Since its introduction The College Football Playoff has been full of excitement. Every year a new time rises to the top and stirs the pot. Who will it be this year? Who will get in? Who will miss out?
Here’s How The College Football Playoff Will Pan out
Tennessee Volunteers (10-2)
It’s the next-man-up mentality for the Volunteers. Luckily for the Vols, they will return their top three rushers, as well as Bru McCoy and Joe Milton. Three consecutive matchups against Texas A&M, Alabama, and Kentucky will test the heart of this football team. Last season the offense was the recipe for success, but they’ll need the defense to improve. They ranked 127th in pass defense but have the opportunity to put together an impressive season.
Florida State Seminoles (12-1)
FSU finished last season with the number one offense and defense in the ACC. They will return 16 starters and pick up where they left off. Mike Norvell and Jordan Travis will lead the Noles to their first ACC title since 2014. Despite one loss, the strength of the schedule won’t play in their favor. Their resume won’t be enough to secure a CFP spot, but they will get a birth in a New Year’s Six Bowl, most likely the Capital One Orange Bowl. Their first NY6 bowl apperance since 2016.
Texas Longhorns (12-1)
Texas is back but for real this time! There are Texas-size expectations around Quinn Ewers and the Longhorns and there will be a huge leap in year three under Steve Sarkisian. Longhorns wideout Xavier Worthy is poised for a big year and will be the top target for Ewers. In week two they will travel to Tuscaloosa and lose a close one, which will set the tone for the season. They will secure their first Big 12 title since 2009 but are set to join the SEC in 2024.
USC Trojans (13-0)
The Trojans season ended roughly, losing consecutive games while leading by double digits. This year the circumstances will be different. Caleb Williams and the offense have already put the world on notice, but their defense will be the X Factor. They will face four of College Football’s best quarterbacks. Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Sam Hartman (Notre Dame), Bo Nix (Oregon), and Cameron Rising (Utah). If the USC defense can secure victories against all four they’ll be in a great position to win the Pac-12 and secure a College Football Playoff berth.
Georgia Bulldogs (13-0)
As a back-to-back national champion, there’s a bullseye on the back of this program. Carson Beck is next under center for the Georgia Bulldogs and the nation’s top tight end, Brock Bowers also returns for another season. UGA saw a lot of their defensive threats drafted in the spring but are still expected to be the number one defense. A matchup in Knoxville against the Volunteers could be a trap game, but their schedule is fairly favorable. The Bulldogs have taken the top spot in the SEC and look to maintain it.
Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0)
A field goal kept the Buckeyes out of the National Championship last season. The quarterback position is a question mark but their skill positions are loaded. Ohio State may be WRU, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka are next to show why. The defense will have to limit the big plays to secure another title. Last year they gave up five 70+ yard plays from scrimmage which ranked 128th, four of those in the final two games. They have road games at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Michigan to strengthen their resume. After running the table they will show why they’re a powerhouse.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, LA
Texas (12-1) vs. 1. Ohio State (13-0)
The 2009 Fiesta Bowl was the last time these two met. Quinn Ewers, an Ohio State transfer plays an old friend. Both of these teams will come in with two potent offenses. Led by the Buckeyes one-two punch, Harrison Jr and Egbuka will be too much to handle. Texas will keep the game close but the Buckeyes playmakers will get the best of the Longhorns defense.
OSU 52 UT 45
Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, CA
USC (13-0) vs 2. Georgia (13-0)
If history plays a role it won’t be favorable for the Bulldogs. USC is one of the four teams that Georgia has never beaten (0-3), their last matchup being in 1960. This time around the Bulldogs might be a little too much. This game will feature two of college football’s best offenses. The UGA defense will be the difference maker, getting stops when it matters the most.
UGA 44 USC 38.
CFP National Championship
NRG Stadium – Houston, TX
Ohio State (14-0) vs. 2. Georgia (14-0)
Winner: Ohio State
The two met in the playoff semifinals last season. Ohio State led by 14 but UGA would rally back in the fourth quarter and win after the Buckeyes missed a 50-yard field goal. Georgia will be playing for their third consecutive National Championship but as Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friends! Similar to the majority of the season, the Buckeyes wideouts will be a matchup nightmare. Georgia will continue to strike back and keep the game within arm’s reach but Ohio State’s offense will secure the win. They will win their ninth championship title with a score of 45-41.
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