The College Football Playoff will look very different this year. This will be the first time that Alabama has not made the playoff. With their most recent loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, 48-45, Alabama went from #5 in the country to #12. With the newest rankings, Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, and Georgia all remained at their same spots. With the CFP only weeks away, this week’s championship games have a lot of implications as no one is safe.
The SEC championship will see the #2and #4 teams collide. This will be the game where playoff dreams are fulfilled or crushed. If LSU pulls off the win, they will punch their ticket to the playoffs as at least the #2 team in the country. They have already proven they can beat the best. They have taken down 4 Ap top 10 teams this season. Joe Burrow is looking to continue his push for the Heisman with a dominant performance. Georgia is hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win. Fromm has not lived up to the hype this year and has fallen down draft boards. This Georgia defense has been picking him up. 20 points was the most given up all season and it was Georgia’s only loss on the season. If Georgia can pull out a win, they might knock LSU out of the playoffs but if this defense can’t contain Burrow, their run is over.
The Big 10 championship is a regular season rematch one of the most anticipated games. #2 Ohio State will take on #8 Wisconsin. In the first matchup, Wisconsin did not stand a chance as they fell 38-7. They are trying to rebound and make a case as to why they should be one of the top 4. In that first game, Wisconsin held Fields to 167 yards but he still threw for 2 TDs. J.K Dobbins was the big factor for Ohio State as he ran for 163 and 2 TDs. If Wisconsin wants to win, potentially knock Ohio State out, and make a case, Jonathan Taylor needs to have a big game. He only had 52 yards in that first matchup. He is the key to Wisconsin winning this game. 3 Clemson will take on #23 Virginia in the ACC championship game. With 3 losses, Virginia’s playoff hopes are over, but they can still spoil Clemson’s perfect season. However, it is very unlikely to see Virginia win. With Lawrence throwing for almost 3,000 yards, Etienne rushing for over 1,000, and Higgins almost at 1,000 receiving yards, expect them to put up a lot of points. This game should be an easy win for Clemson and punch their tickets to the playoffs.
If any of the top 4 teams lose, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, Florida, and Baylor will be waiting. #9 Florida will not be playing in a championship game and their playoff hopes ride on one of the top 4 teams losing and Utah and Oklahoma losing. They are the least likely team out of those 4 to get in if the opportunity arises. #5 Utah will be hoping that LSU wins and can jump into that #4 spot with a win in the PAC-12 championship over #13 Oregon. Oregon’s playoff hopes were shattered when they were stunned by Arizona State 2 weeks ago but don’t expect that to stop Herbert. Herbert who has shown to be the #1 QB in this draft, even with Burrow leading the Heisman race, has put up huge numbers. He has thrown for 3,100 yards and 35 TDs while only throwing 5 interceptions. Utah sitting at 11-1 and their only loss coming at the hands of USC earlier in the season has rebounded since then. Led by running back Zach Moss, Utah is hoping he can keep up his impressive season up and lead them to a win. Expect this to be a close game all the way through.
Jalen Hurts is hoping to keep his name in the Heisman running and get #6 Oklahoma in the playoffs with a win over #7 Baylor in Big 12 championship. Hurts has thrown for 3,300 yards and leads Oklahoma in rushing yards with 1,200. Hurts is hoping he can use his dual threat ability to keep Oklahoma in the running. Baylor’s #1 receiver, Denzel Mims, is hoping to end Oklahoma’s chances and help put Baylor in. He has been a force to be reckoned with all season. 61 receptions, almost 1,000 yards, and 11 touchdowns, expect him to have a big game and be the reason Baylor stays in this game.
A lot of playoff implications this weekend but aside from that, expect a lot of good college football games.