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College Football Playoff projections: USC Trojans move up to No. 4

A lot is riding on these final two games for Lincoln Riley and USC

With their 48-45 win over UCLA, the USC Trojans have set themselves up for a possible berth in the College Football Playoff.

To get into the CFP, the Trojans have to beat Notre Dame on Saturday, then win the Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 2. That would make them 12-1 and Pac-12 champions - and a safe bet to be included in the top four teams in the final CFP rankings. 

The latest CFP and college bowl projections from Jerry Palm at CBS Sports indicate exactly that - if USC wins out they will get the final College Football Playoff spot. Palm's top four teams in his latest CFP projections are Georgia, Ohio State, TCU and USC. 

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Palm's projections would pit No. 4 USC vs. No. 1 Georgia in the Peach Bowl in one semifinal, and No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl in the other semifinal. 

According to Palm, the Ohio State-Michigan loser would also be under consideration for the final spot, as would Clemson. But Palm says USC's "strength of schedule and the quality of its wins" gives them the edge. Clemson's best win is over North Carolina, a team that lost to Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. Michigan's best win is over Penn State, who has not beaten a ranked team this season. 

The next CFP rankings will be released Tuesday night. The Trojans should be in the top 6, with a chance to move higher over the next two weeks.