NCAA Football Playoff 2021-22: Full TV Schedule, Odds and Projections
The SEC is once again at the forefront of the College Football Playoff.
The Alabama Crimson Tide became the fourth SEC program in a row to earn the top seed in the playoff and the Georgia Bulldogs came in third during Sunday's rankings release.
Alabama and Georgia are favored to win their respective semifinal games against the Cincinnati Bearcats and Michigan Wolverines.
Nick Saban's Crimson Tide are a two-touchdown favorite against the first-ever Group of Five playoff participant, while Georgia is projected to win by a touchdown over the Big Ten champion.
If the SEC programs cash in on their favorite status, we will see a rematch of the SEC Championship Game and the 2018 National Championship.
CFB Playoff Schedule and Odds
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Cotton Bowl: No. 1 Alabama (-13.5) vs. No. 4 Cincinnati (Over/Under: 58.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Orange Bowl: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia (-7.5) (O/U: 43.5) (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati (+13.5)
Two of the best FBS quarterbacks will be on display at the Cotton Bowl.
Alabama's Bryce Young is the likely Heisman Trophy winner and Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder has been fantastic all season.
Ridder's play will be the reason why Cincinnati remains competitive with Alabama for four quarters.
The senior quarterback produced 3,190 passing yards and 36 total touchdowns during Cincinnati's undefeated season.
Ridder shined against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with 297 passing yards, two scores through the air and a rushing touchdown.
Cincinnati's overall performance against Notre Dame is a glimpse into how the Bearcats can perform against a FBS power like Alabama.
The Bearcats might not be able to beat Alabama, but Ridder, running back Jerome Ford and Co. will pose a threat to the Alabama defense.
Alabama's offense came to life in the SEC Championship Game, but there could be concerns about its performance in the Cotton Bowl because it was not as consistent as previous Crimson Tide teams.
Alabama struggled to put up points in November against the LSU Tigers and Auburn Tigers. They were a few minutes away from not scoring a touchdown in four quarters against Auburn.
The No. 1 seed will be at a disadvantage without John Metchie, who tore his ACL in the SEC Championship Game.
If Jameson Williams can't break free of the coverage from Cincinnati's top defensive backs, Alabama's offense may struggle to get going and not cover the 13.5-point spread.
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia (-7.5)
The Orange Bowl matchup pits strength versus strength on the interior.
Michigan's offense thrives through its rushing attack led by Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum. Haskins has nine rushing touchdowns in the last three games.
Georgia's defense features the best front seven in the FBS that has kept the Bulldogs inside the top five of most defensive stat categories.
The Bulldogs allow 81.7 rushing yards per game. which is 40 yards fewer than the mark posted by the Michigan defense.
If Georgia's front seven slows down Haskins and Corum, the Bulldogs have a chance to win the Orange Bowl through with a better passing attack.
Stetson Bennett has nine more touchdown passes than Cade McNamara and he could have a healthier George Pickens back on New Year's Eve. Pickens tore his ACL during spring practice and made his season debut on November 27.
If Pickens feels more comfortable after a month worth of practices, Georgia could use a few big plays through the air to create separation on the scoreboard.
Pickens has potential to be the X-factor not only in the Orange Bowl, but in the National Championship in a potential rematch with Alabama as well.
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