Bowl Predictions 2022: Full CFP Finals Predictions & More Top Games
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The window has opened for Ohio State to make the college football playoffs this season. In fact, it seems like a certainty that the Buckeyes will now be part of the four-team CFP field.
On Friday night, USC fell 47-24 to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It was the Trojans’ second loss of the season, both against the Utes. And now, USC is unlikely to make the first CFP appearance in program history.
Ohio State, ranked No. 5 in the College Football Playoffs rankings, should benefit even if it doesn’t play the conference championship weekend. The Buckeyes went 11-1 in the regular season, with their only loss coming in their finals against Michigan (ranked No. 2 in the country).
The loss of USC impacted the New Year’s Six Bowl landscape in numerous other ways as well. Here are the latest projections for the top bowl matchups heading into Saturday’s conference championship action.
CFP and the six projections of the New Year
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Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinals): #1 Georgia vs. #4 Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinals): No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU
CFP National Championship: #1 Georgia vs. #2 Michigan
rose bowl: Penn State vs. Utah
cotton bowl: USC vs. Tulane
sugar bowl: Alabama vs. Kansas State
Orange peel: Clemson vs. Tennessee
Peach Bowl: #1 Georgia vs. #4 Ohio State
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Georgia is ranked #1 in the CFP rankings and will end up taking first place as long as it beats LSU in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs, who are 12-0 through the regular season after storming, are heavily favored over the Tigers and shouldn’t have much of a problem.
Even if Georgia gets upset, it should still get into the college football playoff field. It probably wouldn’t be number 1, but it would still earn a spot on the selection committee.
Ohio State should be No. 4 after USC’s loss in the Pac-12 championship game. The Buckeyes were the first team from the CFP field to rank and will move up from No. 5 to make the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.
It’s possible that Ohio State could even move up to 3rd place if TCU loses to Kansas State in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game. But the prediction here is that the Buckeyes will end up as the No. 4 seed and head into the Peach Bowl to take on the Bulldogs.
Georgia and Ohio State have never met in a college football playoff matchup. In fact, the two programs have only met once before: The Bulldogs defeated the Buckeyes 21-14 at the end of the 1992 season in the Citrus Bowl.
This year, Georgia has one of the most dominant defenses in the country. Ohio State’s offense is full of playmakers and has one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in junior CJ Stroud. Also, the Buckeyes will try to prove they belong in the CFP despite not even making the Big Ten Championship Game.
But Georgia will be the favorite to advance to the CFP National Championship Game regardless of their opponent. And the Bulldogs could even be on their way to a second straight national title.
Fiesta Bowl: #2 Michigan vs. #3 TCU
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The Fiesta Bowl should feature a matchup of the undefeated Power Five Conference Champions. But Michigan and TCU each have business to attend to first on Saturday.
The Wolverines should have no trouble in the Big Ten Championship Game, which could be the most one-sided conference title fight this weekend. After going 12-0 down in the regular season, Michigan meets Purdue, who went 8-4 and didn’t face a ton of top-flight competition.
Michigan was the No. 2 pick in last season’s college football playoff, which was its first appearance in program history. But the Wolverines fell to Georgia in the Orange Bowl semifinals. This season, they shouldn’t face the Bulldogs until a potential matchup in the CFP National Championship Game.
However, Michigan will likely have to get past TCU. It’s possible for the Horned Frogs to make the College Football Playoffs even if they suffer a narrow loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game. However, there is also a possibility that the selection committee will exclude the TCU in this scenario.
That’s why it’s important for the Horned Frogs to win and prevent these talks from having to happen. They’ve already beaten the Wildcats in the regular season (a 38-28 win on Oct. 22), but this could be another close game.
TCU is used to competing in its first season under head coach Sonny Dykes. And it also knows how to win these types of games.
So don’t be surprised if the Fiesta Bowl hosts a matchup between Michigan and TCU, which would be the first-ever meeting between the programs.