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BREAKING: Tennessee Falls Four Spots In College Football Playoff Rankings

Tennessee Vols CFP Odds
Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee football fell to No. 5 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings following the Vols loss at now-No. 1 Georgia.

Josh Heupel’s second Tennessee team comes in behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU in the second CFB Playoff rankings.

The Vols were the No. 1 team in the initial rankings last week before dropping their first game of the season at Georgia.

Tennessee dropped just four spots in the rankings thanks to some fortunate help from the rest of the college football world.

Then-No. 4 Clemson lost to an average Notre Dame team in South Bend and then-No. 6 Alabama dropped its second game of the season at LSU.

After navigating its way through the toughest part of its schedule, Clemson seemed like a lock to run the table and return to the College Football Playoff. The Tigers loss virtually eliminates them from playoff contention due to their weak strength of schedule.

LSU’s victory over Alabama eliminates the Crimson Tide from playoff contention and gives the Tigers an outside shot to make the playoffs as a two-loss conference champion.

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Even with the loss to Georgia, Tennessee’s playoff hopes are high thanks to the aforementioned game results.

The Vols will still need some help to get in the playoffs. Georgia and the winner of the Big 10 are locks to make the playoffs. That leaves two playoff spots open.

Tennessee needs TCU to lose a game in its final four matchups before the official bracket is released.

A one-loss Pac 12 champion — whether Oregon, USC or UCLA — could potentially get in the playoff over Tennessee.

The loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game will also have a chance to make the playoffs but Tennessee’s resume would be better than either team.

While Tennessee doesn’t have another marquee matchup in the regular season, the Vols have to run the table to have any playoff hopes. That’s where Heupel and his team’s attention is during the final stretch of the regular season.

“There’s nothing that we can control other than who we are, how we approach it and how we go play and compete,” Heupel said. “At the end of the day, it’s about trying to find a way to be the best team on the field during the 60 minutes. That’s all we are concerned about.”

Tennessee returns to the field at noon ET Saturday against Missouri. Tom McCarthy, Rick Neuheisel and Sherree Burress are on the call for CBS.

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