USC sits ninth in the latest AP Top 25. That may inform their standing in the initial set of College Football Playoff rankings, which drop Tuesday night. Or it may not.

One thing’s clear: USC won’t spend much time worrying about it either way.

Oklahoma made the CFP field in 2019 after opening at No. 9 in the first set of rankings. That’s the lowest initial ranking of any team to make the CFP field since 2016, though it’s certainly not uncommon for a team to open outside the top four and still end there. In every year but 2020, a team has made the CFP after opening outside the top four in the initial rankings.

Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma teams made it three straight years despite never opening inside the top four. Riley, now the head coach for USC, won’t spend much time worrying about this first set of rankings.

“Ask all my friends back in Oklahoma. I don’t care,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “Most of the time I don’t even know what it is because it doesn’t matter right now. I spend 1% of my energy, brainpower. … I could not care less. I care about it one time and that’s at the end.”

USC’s Playoff résumé looks light right now. The Trojans have one win over a team currently ranked in the AP Top 25 — Oregon State. The Beavers stand at No. 24 now, but were unranked at the time of the game. And the CFP committee might not even view Oregon State as a top-25 team.

But the Trojans will have some opportunities down the stretch. The committee has yet to exclude a one-loss Power Five champion from the Playoff. If USC runs the table, it would pick up ranked wins over UCLA and then whoever it would meet in the Pac-12 Championship game. It would also mean the Trojans beat Notre Dame to close out the regular season; the Irish aren’t up to their usual standard this season, but that’s a brand-name program and a marquee matchup every year that the committee would likely value.

Of course, none of the talk matters right now if USC doesn’t keep winning. The ninth-ranked Trojans (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12) face Cal (3-5, 1-4 Pac-12) Saturday at the L.A. Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.