Whenever the new edition of the College Football Playoff Top 25 releases, controversy immediately follows. The latest rankings were no exception and immediately raised questions among college football fans after the release on Tuesday night. Many placements drew controversy, but none more than No. 5 LSU remaining above No. 6 USC in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Trojans earned their best win of the season last Saturday, defeating crosstown rival UCLA in a 48-45 thriller in the Rose Bowl. Meanwhile, the Tigers had a relatively uneventful week, defeating UAB 41-10 at home in their final non-conference game this season. Despite these results, the Tigers still placed ahead of the Trojans when the new rankings dropped on Tuesday.

The debate over whether USC or LSU should be higher is very divisive. Those who believe the Trojans are better will point to their better record, as well as their signature win over UCLA. Meanwhile, those who believe the Tigers are better will point to their tougher schedule and better set of wins, including one over Alabama.

While both teams have a solid case to be ahead of the other, USC’s is just a bit stronger. Let’s go over why USC should be ahead of LSU in the College Football Playoff rankings.


2. USC football is peaking at the right time

When talking about the College Football Playoff, finishing strong is of the utmost importance. Several teams have started the season poorly but made it to the dance anyways thanks to their strong finishes. Take 2014 Ohio State, which lost to unranked Virginia Tech at home in the second game of the season but went on to win the national championship.

USC didn’t start the season out poorly, but the Trojans are playing their best ball of the season now. They have won four straight games following a loss to Utah, and have scored more than 40 points in each game. They also just won against a ranked team on the road in by far their best win this year.