Bowl Predictions 2022: Projections for College Football Playoff Teams

Joe TanseyNovember 27, 2022

Bowl Predictions 2022: Projections for College Football Playoff Teams

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    COLUMBUS, OHIO - NOVEMBER 26: Rod Moore #19 of the Michigan Wolverines walks onto the field with his team before a college football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
    Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

    The race for the four College Football Playoff spots was simplified even more on Saturday.

    The Michigan Wolverines dominated the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes to claim the No. 2 spot in Tuesday's rankings behind the Georgia Bulldogs.

    Georgia and Michigan are the safest of the top playoff contenders because of their expected rankings on in Tuesday's release and their opponents in the conference championship games.

    The TCU Horned Frogs and USC Trojans have simple instructions to get into the playoff as well. The two sides need to win the Big 12 and Pac-12 Championship Games, respectively, and they will be into the playoff field.

    Wins by Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC next weekend would make the decisions very easy for the selection committee.

    A loss by Michigan, TCU or USC shakes up the picture a bit and allows the Alabama Crimson Tide to sneak back into the discussion after the LSU Tigers, Clemson Tigers and Ohio State lost on Rivalry Weekend.

    Georgia should be safe regardless of its result against LSU because it is the No. 1 team in the country and a drop to No. 4 could be justified in the current playoff scenario.

No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 USC

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Kenny McIntosh #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs breaks into the open field for a long run during a game between Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
    Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

    Georgia has been an unstoppable machine all season.

    The Bulldogs faced few significant threats on their way to a 12-0 regular-season record.

    Georgia's path to the College Football Playoff appeared to get easier on Saturday after LSU lost to the Texas A&M Aggies. That was LSU's third loss of the season.

    LSU displayed that it could contend with the top teams in the SEC with wins over the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ole Miss Rebels, but Georgia resides on a different level than any of the other SEC teams.

    Kirby Smart's team has the edge in basically every department over LSU, especially when it comes to title game experience and defense.

    Georgia is expected to win in Atlanta on Saturday to confirm its spot on top of the CFB Playoff rankings.

    USC's path to the playoff got even clearer on Saturday with its win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the losses suffered by LSU, Ohio State and Clemson.

    The Trojans do not have to play the what-if game with the SEC Championship Game because even if LSU springs an upset it will not get into the playoff.

    USC proved its mettle with back-to-back Top 25 wins over the UCLA Bruins and Notre Dame in the last two weeks. Caleb Williams became the Heisman Trophy favorite thanks to his performances in those contests.

    USC can avenge its one-point road loss to the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night.

    A win by the Trojans would confirm them in the playoff field and it would set up a potential matchup between Williams and the UGA defense. USC would be the No. 4 seed if Michigan and TCU win their respective title games.

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU

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    FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Max Duggan #15 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks to throw against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
    Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

    Michigan and TCU were dominant in their own ways on Saturday.

    Michigan used a 21-point fourth quarter to cruise past Ohio State for its second straight win in the rivalry.

    The Wolverines proved they win a big game behind J.J. McCarthy and they may be better suited to win a playoff game this year because of the quarterback's play.

    Michigan still has to beat the Purdue Boilermakers in Indianapolis to be confirmed as a top-two team in the playoff, but that is expected given the gap in quality between the top of the Big Ten East and Big Ten West.

    TCU used a 62-point outburst against the Iowa State Cyclones to finish the regular season with an undefeated record.

    The Horned Frogs were tested in previous weeks and they need to beat the Kansas State Wildcats to land in the playoff.

    Kansas State scored 28 points on the TCU defense earlier in the season, but TCU still won the game by 10 points.

    Max Duggan and Co. displayed an ability to win in the most adverse situations, and that could help them deal with the pressure of the Big 12 Championship Game.

    TCU is unlikely to jump Michigan before the December 4 selection show. The Wolverines and Horned Frogs should play each other if they emerge as conference champions.