We know there won’t be a lot of drama going into Championship Week, at least when it comes to the four teams competing in the College Football Playoff. It’s simply a matter of which team will be No. 4, USC or Ohio State.
Well, Utah beat USC for the second time this season. 47–24 in the 2022 Pac-12 Championship Game, to eliminate the Trojans from playoff contention. In fact, USC will fall behind Utah when the final CFP rankings are released on Sunday afternoon.
Ohio State would then return to the College Football Playoff for the third time in the last four seasons, often ranked the No. 4 seed. The Big Ten would become the second conference in CFP history to combine the two teams into a single four-team field, along with the SEC.
The Buckeyes’ status was in question as Kansas State handed TCU their first loss of the season. The Big 12 Championship Game Wildcats take longer to make up for their regular season loss to the Horned Frogs.
I feelin the CFP, but even if it isn’t, forget about any notions of Alabama moving in with Ohio State and replacing TCU. It would be completely unnecessary. If TCU jerseys said “Oklahoma” or Alabama’s “Ole Miss,” no one would consider the controversy.
By finishing first in the four-team field, Georgia clinched the playoffs and its first seed. First SEC championship game win since 2017 over No. 14 LSU, and Michigan clinched the second seed with their win. Second straight Big Ten Championship Game at Purdue this season.
college football playoff
|9 January||National championship
|title game||semifinal winner|
|31st December||peach bowl
|semifinal||(1) Georgia vs. (4) Ohio State|
|31st December||party bowl
|semifinal||(2) Michigan vs. (3) TCU|
The Rose Bowl will feature Pac-12 champion Utah, who, after winning its second straight league crown, will make another appearance in the Granddaddy of them all. Penn State would represent the Big Ten instead of league champion Michigan, the highest-ranked Big Ten team not playing in the CFP.
USC had to be high enough in the CFP standings to earn a berth in the Cotton Bowl. This possibility arises because the Big Ten placed another team in the CFP. The fact that Ohio State is out of the big pool in the New Year’s Six opens the door for the Trojans.
Like Kansas State the day before, Tulane avenged the regular season loss in the AAC Championship Game. The Green Wave defeated UCF 45–28 to win the league crown. Tulane, undefeated in the first major bowl game since 1939, faced similarly undefeated Texas A&M in the 1940 Sugar Bowl. Tulane will represent a team of five in this year’s Cotton Bowl against USC.
Speaking of the Wildcats, their Big 12 Championship has secured them a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Kansas State would face Alabama instead of SEC champion Georgia.
The Orange Bowl plays host to ACC champion Clemson, who faced North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game, 39–10. Tennessee would rival Clemson as the top-ranked team in the SEC, Big Ten, or Notre Dame. A Clemson-Tennessee matchup seems fitting for a Orange Container.
set of six new year bowls
Buffalo and New Mexico State are the final bowl-eligible teams this week, though in different ways. Buffalo defeated Akron 23–22 to earn its sixth straight win and a bowl berth. NMSU received an exemption from the NCAA to participate as a five-win team.
New Mexico State earned its sixth win over FCS Valparaiso in an extra game this weekend anyway, but it doesn’t count the six Aggies need because only one FCS opponent can count and NMSU has given Lamar this one. First beat of the season. , The waiver put the Aggies in a bowl anyway.
With the rest of the field, Rice will only be a 5-7 team this season. It could be the same as the next team, UNLV, which fired its coach this week and is considering turning it down if one is offered a bowl offer.