By Nick Tomlinson
As of November 29th, 2022, the rankings for the College Football Playoff list Georgia as number one, Michigan as number two, TCU as number three, and USC as number four. While this may be how the bracket shakes out, Ohio State may be able to budge their way into a spot with a win in the Big Ten Championship, and a loss by either TCU or USC in their respective conference championship games. Although Alabama is ranked sixth, it will be nearly impossible for them to make the playoff with two losses on their resume.
First of all, I believe the number one overall seed in this year’s College Football Playoff will remain the Georgia Bulldogs. They have been completely dominant in every game this season, and their defense is as formidable as ever. Their signature win came against a then number one ranked Tennessee team, where the Bulldogs took the victory 27-13. Georgia has a solid offense led by quarterback Stetson Bennett and running back Kenny McIntosh, and a defense full of future first round draft picks in the NFL. Their conference championship game will match them against a gritty LSU team featuring Jayden Daniels behind center, but I believe Georgia will leave with the victory regardless. They have too much firepower for the Tigers to handle, and the Bulldogs will take their momentum from the SEC Championship into the College Football Playoff.
Coming off their massive victory against Ohio State, Michigan is poised to enter the College Football Playoff as the number two seed. Their matchup in the Big Ten Championship is Purdue, a team that they will most likely demolish. The Wolverine’s quarterback J.J. McCarthy has played exceptionally this year, and a backfield with both Heisman candidate Blake Corum and rising star Donavan Edwards is menacing. Per usual, Michigan has displayed outstanding defensive play this year. I expect Michigan to glide into the College Football Playoff, with a solid chance to take the title home to Ann Arbor.
This is where it gets interesting, as the TCU vs. Kansas State game is the perfect chance for an upset. Although TCU is undefeated thus far in the season, they have had some close calls including a last second field goal win against unranked Baylor. Despite this, I predict that TCU will come out on top and secure the number three seed, as quarterback Max Duggan and running back Kendre Miller are a force to be reckoned with.
Last but not least come the USC Trojans, who I believe will secure the four seed. They have a tough matchup against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game, a team who gave USC its only loss earlier this year. The Trojans have improved immensely since then though, as quarterback Caleb Williams has primed himself as one of the top choices for the Heisman award this year. USC also boasts an elite combination of wideouts with Jordan Addison and Tahj Washington. Although the Trojans took a hit with the loss of star running back Travis Dye to an ACL tear, his replacement Austin Jones performed well.
If the bracket shakes out the way I planned it, then this is the way I believe the playoff will go. I pick the USC Trojans as a dark horse candidate to win the entire thing, and knock off Georgia in the first game. I believe their opponent in the championship will be Michigan, who will breeze past the Horned Frogs in their matchup. Although the championship will be a close game, I see the Trojains claiming victory.