College Football Playoff 2021-22: Full Bowl Schedule, Championship Predictions
The college football world continues to spin, despite several bowl cancellations and substitutions. On Wednesday, Maryland, Clemson and Oklahoma all picked up bowl wins in the Pinstripe Bowl, Cheez-It Bowl and Alamo Bowl, respectively.
Four more bowl games are set to take place Thursday, and there are two non-playoff bowls Friday. Of course, Friday also marks the official start of the College Football Playoff (CFP)
Alabama will take on Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl Classic, while Michigan and Georgia will face off in the Orange Bowl.
Here you will find a look at the remaining bowl schedule and the CFP schedule. Upcoming game and broadcast information can be found at NCAA.com. Predicted winners are listed in bold.
Non-CFB Bowl Schedule, Odds, Predictions
Thursday, December 30
Duke's Mayo Bowl: North Carolina (-12) vs. South Carolina
Music City Bowl: Tennessee (-7.5) vs. Purdue
Peach Bowl: No. 11 Michigan State (-3) vs. No. 13 Pittsburgh
Las Vegas Bowl: Wisconsin (-7) vs. Arizona State
Friday, December 31
Gator Bowl: No. 20 Wake Forest (-16) vs. Rutgers
Sun Bowl: Washington State (-7) vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, January 1
Outback Bowl: No. 22 Arkansas (-2) vs. Penn State
Citrus Bowl: No. 17 Iowa (+3) vs. No. 25 Kentucky
Fiesta Bowl: No. 5 Notre Dame (-2.5) vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State
Rose Bowl: No. 7 Ohio State (-4) vs. No. 10 Utah
Sugar Bowl: No. 6 Baylor (+1) vs. No. 8 Ole Miss
Tuesday, January 4
Texas Bowl: Kansas State (-3.5) vs. LSU
College Football Playoff
Friday, December 31
Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 1 Alabama (-13.5) vs. No. 4 Cincinnati
Orange Bowl: No. 2 Michigan (+7.5) vs. No. 3 Georgia
Monday, January 10
College Football Playoff National Championship
Projected Matchup: No. 2 Michigan (+6) vs. No.1 Alabama
One could easily argue that Georgia should have fallen to No. 4 after its loss to the Crimson Tide in the SEC title game. The Cincinnati Bearcats, though not a Power Five school, had a remarkably impressive resume—one with a win over No. 5 Notre Dame and with zero losses.
However, that would have meant an immediate rematch between Georgia and Alabama, something the CFP committee clearly didn't want to see. We may get that rematch in the national championship game, though you should expect Michigan to get by the Bulldogs by the slimmest of margins.
Georgia is touchdown favorite over the Wolverines, but Michigan comes into the game with plenty of momentum. The Wolverines haven't lost since October and are coming off of back-to-back blowout wins over ranked opponents. Michigan beat Ohio State and Iowa by a combined 84-30 score.
The Wolverines know they are underdogs but are treating this like any other game.
"We're just focused, because that's the only way we're going to play championship-level ball," Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith said, per Josh Taubman of FanNation.
Georgia's defense will present a tough challenge for the Wolverines, but Michigan's unit is terrific in its own right. It essentially shut down Ohio State and smothered Iowa. It can do the same to Georgie.
Expect a defensive struggle between these two Friday, with Michigan coming out on top.
Cincinnati represents the first Cinderella story of the CFP era, but Alabama is taking an underdog mentality into its matchup.
"All year, we have been disrespected," Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. said, per Nick Kelly of the Tuscaloosa News. "I'm pretty sure we're still probably getting disrespected out there. Right now, we're not really worried about the external factors. We just have to worry about what's going on inside the facility and the practice field and all the meetings and stuff like that."
Cincinnati, meanwhile, believes it has the talent to compete with the Tide.
"We have really, really good players here. And I feel that will be showcased during the game and then showcased during the NFL draft," Bearcats linebacker Darrian Beavers said, per Justin Williams of The Athletic.
We may see a closer game than many expect, but it's hard to pick against Alabama on a stage this big.
While it's not going out on a limb to say that we'll see No. 1 versus No. 2 in the title game, that's what you should expect. We could see any combination of these four teams, and it wouldn't be shocking, but Alabama and Michigan are both coming in hot. They have the talent. They have the coaching.
Michigan and Alabama have Heisman Trophy finalists in defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and quarterback Bryce Young, respectively—Young and Hutchinson finished first and second in the voting. Alabama has the experience, though, which is why it will come out on top for the second straight year.
All odds via DraftKings.
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