CEO of the Peach Bowl mentions USC before Tennessee-Georgia game begins

Want to read something interesting on a Saturday before USC plays Cal in a “Pac-12 After Dark” game under the lights in the Los Angeles Coliseum?

Try this, sent to us by our friends at Vols Wire.

Gary Stokan, the CEO and president of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, mentioned USC in remarks preceding the biggest college football game of Week 10 (and the season to date). That big game is Tennessee’s visit to Georgia in an SEC showdown matching two of the top three teams in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. USC is No. 9 in those rankings.

USC is expected to beat Cal and Colorado and enter Nov. 19 with just one loss.

Let’s give you Stokan’s specific remarks and unpack some of the context attached to them:

GARY STOKAN ON USC AND UCLA

From the Vols Wire story:

“You can make a case for just about every team in the top 10 or top 12, to really still get into a CFP semifinal game. It’s a great time of the year, great to be able to see it, happen before our eyes with so many teams playing each other, even UCLA and USC playing each other still, so the playoffs are happening starting this weekend.”

WHY THIS MATTERS

The Peach Bowl is one of the two College Football Playoff semifinal games this season, the Fiesta Bowl being the other. Next year’s rotation goes back to the Rose and Sugar Bowls. We will see if the 12-team College Football Playoff plan is put in place for 2024, or if the current four-team plan runs through 2025 and the end of the current contract.

USC SITUATION: WE WROTE ABOUT WHY THE TROJANS NEED GEORGIA TO BEAT TENNESSEE

USC'S PATH

It starts with winning all remaining games. USC, however, will need help.

Georgia beating Tennessee is one item.

The second item: Georgia or Tennessee beating Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. If Alabama doesn’t win the SEC, Bama doesn’t make the playoff, and the SEC might get only one team in the playoff.

OTHER USC ITEMS

The Trojans need Clemson and TCU to lose. They’re not going to get in over a 13-0 Clemson or a 13-0 TCU.

NOTRE DAME OVER CLEMSON: WE WROTE ABOUT THIS

TENNESSEE AT NO. 1

The Vols are No. 1 for the first time since 1998, which is also the last time they won the SEC championship and the national championship.

GEORGIA REPEAT

Georgia is aiming for repeat national titles. The last team to pull off the feat: Alabama in 2011 and 2012.

MORE FROM THE PEACH BOWL CEO, VIA VOLS WIRE

“It’s really going to be a great opportunity to have the semifinal this year,” Stokan continued. “I think this, out of the nine years so far of the CFP, this will be the most challenging, potentially the most challenging decisions the CFP selection committee will have with all the teams that are either undefeated or only have one loss this late in the season.

TENNESSEE-GEORGIA INFORMATION

No. 3 Tennessee (8-0, 4-0 SEC) will play at No. 1 Georgia (8-0, 5-0 SEC) Saturday in Week 10.

Rankings reflect the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.

The Vols are No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, while Georgia is No. 3.

NOTABLE

While USC hosts Cal, UCLA visits Arizona State at 7:30 p.m. for viewers in Los Angeles. If you want to monitor the Bruins in a two-TV setup on Saturday night, you can follow that game on Fox Sports 1 while USC-Cal airs on ESPN.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire