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The most notable thing for the latest College Football Playoff rankings wasn’t really the actual ranking themselves. There were few surprises in this week’s edition of the rankings, meaning that ESPN’s hour-long Playoff show got filled with something else: whether or not USC should be in contention for a Playoff spot.

The argument was heated on television, as Kirk Herbstreit, Danny Kanell, and David Pollack all espoused how three-loss USC was playing fantastic football right now. As far as they were concerned, the Trojans should deserve intense consideration despite the three losses earlier in the season.

Rece Davis and Joey Galloway put up the argument against them on television, but their argument wasn’t as intense as what they were going up against. However, those two got some major backup on Thursday, as ESPN Insider had a panel of five of their top writers to discuss whether USC should have a shot at the Playoff.

Related: There’s at least one candidate that could crash the Jimbo Fisher-to-LSU party

The result? All five massively agreed that USC shouldn’t be anywhere close to the Playoff, going against the narrative that the four-letter network has been pushing on television over the past two days.

To me, this is funny just because how hard ESPN has been pushing on television that the Trojans deserve a legitimate shot at college football’s final four. For their own website to then turn around and disagree with a 5-0 verdict? That shows that ESPN might just be trying to stir up things on television to create drama for the rankings show.

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