Bowl predictions: Ohio State makes College Football Playoff after USC wins over Georgia, Michigan, TCU

We know there won’t be a lot of drama entering Championship Week, at least as far as the four teams participating in the College Football Playoff are concerned. 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 likely be behind Utah when the final CFP rankings come out Sunday afternoon.

So Ohio State will return to the College Football Playoff for the third time in the past four seasons, often as the No. 4 will be ranked. The Big Ten would become just the second conference in CFP history to combine two teams in a single four-team field with the SEC.

The Buckeyes’ position was under some question as Kansas State handed TCU its first loss of the season. Big 12 Championship Game Wildcats take more time to avenge their regular-season losses to horned frogs.

I believe TCU will be ahead of Ohio State In the CFP, but even if it’s not, forget any notions of Alabama moving up along with Ohio State and replacing TCU. It would be completely unnecessary. If TCU’s jerseys read “Oklahoma” or Alabama’s “Ole Miss,” no one would entertain this point of contention.

By finishing first in the four-team field, Georgia locked up the playoffs and its first seed. First SEC Championship Game win since 2017 No. 14 In LSU’s loss, Michigan clinched the second seed with its win. Second straight Big Ten Championship Gameon Purdue this season.

College Football Playoff

January 9

National Championship
Inglewood, Calif.

The title game Semi-Final Winners

December 31st

Peach bowl


(1) Georgia against (4) Ohio State

December 31st

Fiesta bowl
Glendale, Ariz.


(2) Michigan against (3) TCU

The Rose Bowl will feature Pac-12 champion Utah, which after winning its second straight league crown, will make another appearance in the granddaddy of them all. Penn State will represent the Big Ten in place of league champion Michigan, which will be the highest-ranked Big Ten team not to play in the CFP.

USC needs to be high enough in the CFP rankings to earn a spot in the Cotton Bowl. That possibility arises because the Big Ten put the second team in the CFP. Ohio State being 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 a regular season loss in the AAC Championship Game. The Green Wave defeated UCF 45-28 to win the league crown and advance to their position. First major bowl game since 1939 Unbeaten Tulane 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 clinched a spot in the Sugar Bowl. Kansas State will take on Alabama in place of SEC champion Georgia.

The Orange Bowl hosts Clemson, the ACC champion who took on North Carolina 39-10 in the ACC Championship Game. Tennessee will be Clemson’s opponent as the highest-ranked team left in the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame. A Clemson-Tennessee matchup seems fitting for one Orange Bowl.

New Year’s Six bowl games

Buffalo and New Mexico State are the last bowl-eligible teams this week, albeit 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 got its sixth win over FCS Valparaiso in a game added this weekend anyway, but that doesn’t count toward the six the Aggies need because only one FCS opponent can count and NMSU beat Lamar earlier this season. . Exemption put the Aggies in a bowl anyway.

With the rest of the field, Rice will be the only 5-7 team this season. It could be similar to what was offered to the next team, UNLV, which fired its coach this week and is considering rejecting a bowl bid if offered.

Don’t see your group? check Jerry Baum’s updated bowl predictions As well as the CBS Sports Bowl Qualifiers Watch All 82 slots for the 2022-23 bowl games have been filled.

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