We finally have the playoff picture set. The top three teams are unbeaten and no argument as to their positions. The fourth spot was debatable but the committee settled on the Big 12 champion, Oklahoma Sooners. The Georgia Bulldogs and Ohio State Buckeyes are on the outside looking in. Here’s the final regular season top ten.
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0) defeated #4 Georgia Bulldogs 35-28
The Crimson Tide makes a huge comeback to claim the SEC title over the Bulldogs. QB Tua Tagovailoa had his worst game of the season, going 10-25 for 164 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Enter backup Jalen Hurts in an ironic scenario, he engineers two fourth quarter touchdown drives to bring Alabama back for the win. The defense came up big in the second half to help secure the win.
Next game- CFP Semifinals: Orange Bowl vs #4 Oklahoma Sooners
2) Clemson Tigers (13-0) defeated Pittsburgh Panthers 42-10
The Tigers had little trouble with the Panthers and easily won the ACC title. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was shaky, going 12-24 for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Travis Etienne had 156 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The defense gave up a lot of rushing yards but kept Pittsburgh out the end zone. They pressured the opposing quarterback all game.
Next game- CFP Semifinals: Cotton Bowl vs #3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-0)
Regular season over
Next game- Cotton Bowl vs #2 Clemson Tigers
4) Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) defeated #15 Texas Longhorns 39-27
The Sooners got a well earned victory over the Longhorns and secured their fourth consecutive Big 12 title. Quarterback Kyler Murray was spectacular, going 25-34 for 379 yards with three touchdowns. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb had 167 receiving yards with a touchdown. The defense had been terrible all season but must be given credit for stepping up to help avenge Oklahoma’s only loss of the season.
Next game- Orange Bowl vs #1 Alabama Crimson Tide
5) Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) defeated Northwestern Wildcats 45-24
The Buckeyes made quick work of the less talented Wildcats to secure the Big Ten title. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was incredible, going 34-41 for 499 yards with five touchdowns and an interception. Wide receiver Johnnie Dixon had 129 yards and a touchdown. The defense held it together long enough to get out to a big lead and get the win.
Next game- Rose Bowl vs #11 Washington Huskies
6) UCF Knights (12-0) defeated Memphis Tigers 56-41
The Knights use a big second half to complete a major comeback to beat the Tigers for the AAC Championship. Quarterback Darriel Mack Jr was awesome, going 19-27 for 348 yards with two touchdowns. Running back Greg McCrae was special with 206 rushing yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Dredrick Shelson chipped in 120 receiving yards. The defense couldn’t stop the Tigers rushing attack in the first half but completely shut them down in second half.
Next game- Fiesta Bowl vs #15 LSU Tigers
7) Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) lost to #1 Alabama Crimson Tide 35-28
The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker to the Crimson Tide and a shot at a playoff spot. Quarterback Jake Fromm was very good, going 25-39 for 301 yards with three touchdowns. The defense just couldn’t stop Alabama’s offense when it counted in the fourth quarter. They had control of the game for three quarters, this loss will hurt for awhile.
Next game- Sugar Bowl vs #22 Texas Longhorns
8) Fresno State Bulldogs (11-2) defeated #10 Boise State Broncos 19-16 OT
The Bulldogs gets a tough win against the Broncos in OT to win the Mountain West title. Quarterback Marcus McMaryion was decent, going 21-33 for 170 yards with a touchdown. The defense came up with key stops with their offense struggling. This caps a great season.
Next game- Las Vegas Bowl vs Arizona State Sun Devils
9) Michigan Wolverines (10-2)
Regular season over
Next game- Peach Bowl vs #18 Florida Gators
10) Boise State Broncos (10-3) lost to #8 Fresno State Bulldogs 19-16 OT
The Broncos lost a winnable game to the Bulldogs in overtime. Quarterback Brett Rypien was terrible, going 15-31 for 125 yards and a touchdown. Running back Alexander Mattison was a workhorse rushing for 200 yards and a touchdown. The defense played well enough to win the game but the offense couldn’t score.
Next game- First Responders Bowl vs Boston College Eagles