Championship weekend preview: Will TCU, USC make it to CFP?

TCU's unbeaten record -- and perhaps a playoff berth -- is on the line in the Big 12 championship game against Kansas State. Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

When November began, Ohio State, Tennessee and Clemson were all unbeaten. Oklahoma State and Wake Forest were in the AP top 10, and Syracuse was 16th. Per SP+, Ohio State had a 65% chance of winning the Big Ten East, and Alabama was at 58% to win the SEC West.

As it always does, November scrambled our expectations. Of the teams that began the month in the AP top 25, only four skated through unbeaten, and those four -- Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC -- are all on the cusp of CFP bids. UGA and Michigan will likely get in regardless of what happens on championship weekend, but we will pass out two more CFP bids and 10 FBS conference trophies. The weekend will also give us a couple of makeup games (including the first-ever Hastily Scheduled Valparaiso-New Mexico State Game!), the SWAC championship and what is sure to be a huge load of wonderful nonsense in the small-school playoffs.

Here's everything you need to follow during a unique and consequential championship weekend.

What's changed since USC-Utah I and TCU-KSU I?

With USC and potentially TCU needing to win to secure playoff bids, this week's two most important title games are rematches of two of the most enjoyable games of the regular season: Utah 43, USC 42 and TCU 38, Kansas State 28.

Who were the key players in those October outcomes? More importantly, what's changed since those games? The answers will determine who makes the CFP. Let's take a look.