College Football Playoff picks after Championship Week

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Sunday, December 4, 2022
ESPN

So much for chalk on Championship Week.

On Friday morning the potential for perhaps the least dramatic four-team selection of the College Football Playoff era existed. That was if favorites Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC won their respective championship games.

By Friday night, that chalkboard had been scrubbed clean. Utah trailed 17-3 midway through the second quarter but outscored USC 44-7 the rest of the way. The 14-point comeback is the largest in Pac-12 championship game history. With the loss, USC's chances to reach the playoff fell to 1%. The Pac-12 has not had a representative in the CFP since 2016.

On Saturday afternoon it was TCU's turn. The Horned Frogs trailed by 11 points in the fourth quarter of the Big 12 championship game but still managed to force overtime with Kansas State. In OT, TCU had the ball first and had two chances from the 1-yard line to score a touchdown but was stopped and turned the ball over on downs. The Wildcats kicked the winning field goal six plays later.TCU will look to become the fifth team to make the CFP after not winning its conference.

Ohio Statecould join the Horned Frogs on that list. A week after losing by 22 points at home to Michigan, the Buckeyes did not play on championship weekend but sit in a favorable position with only one loss.

Their northern rivals found themselves in a one-point game with Purdue at halftime of the Big Ten championship game. But running back Donovan Edwards picked up where he left off last week, and Michigan pulled away. Edwards' 60-yard run on the first possession of the second half led to a Wolverines touchdown, and he finished with 185 yards a week after rushing for 216 yards with two long scores against the Buckeyes.

It was less dramatic for No. 1 Georgia, which cruised to a 20-point victory over No. 4 LSU in the SEC title game.Georgia is now 5-0 against teams ranked in the top 25. If that holds in the final rankings, it would be tied for the best record by a team against teams that finished the season ranked in the CFP top 25.Georgia will enter bowl season with an undefeated record for the first time since 1982.

With all that in mind, here's a look at how ESPN's college football reporters see the playoff picture heading into Sunday's final ranking (12:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Andrea Adelson: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Blake Baumgartner: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Kyle Bonagura: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Bill Connelly: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Heather Dinich: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Chris Low: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Ryan McGee: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Adam Rittenberg: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Alex Scarborough: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Paolo Uggetti: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Tom VanHaaren: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

Dave Wilson: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. TCU 4. Ohio State

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