2023 january college football playoffs
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It’s still early in the 2022 college football season. It’s pretty clear that after six weeks the three best teams in the country are Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State. That may or may not be the order that you like, but at this point in the season those three teams rule the roost.
The big question since even the beginning of the 2022 season was always about the fourth team in the mix. Is it Clemson, who is now 6-0? Maybe Michigan? Also, 6-0 by the way. Then, there are a number of other unbeatens that are making things real interesting.
Tennessee is 5-0. The city of Los Angeles has been resurrected. USC and UCLA are both 6-0. Oklahoma State, Penn State, TCU, Syracuse, Coastal Carolina, and the newest FBS member James Madison are all unbeaten. Is No. 4 any of those teams?
Maybe. Since we’re not even at the halfway point of this season, anything is possible…including these College Football Playoff scenarios.
OKLAHOMA STATE, PENN STATE, ALABAMA, CLEMSON
Yes, remember, ridiculous is in the title to this piece. The Cowboys run the table or even lose a game and still win the Big 12 title. Penn State enters as the unbeaten Big Ten champ. Clemson does the same and represents the ACC. Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC title game, which was the second loss for Georgia. That eliminates the Bulldogs. As usual, the Pac-12 isn’t represented.
But, what if…
UTAH, USC, ALABAMA, MICHIGAN
LOL! The Pac-12 gets two teams?! Utah rallies to beat an unbeaten USC in the Pac-12 title game. Georgia loses twice, the big one being the SEC title game. Clemson wins the ACC but has two losses on its resume. Two-loss Utah over two-loss Clemson? Hey, the Utes would have wins over ranked USC and Oregon teams.
Wait. Doesn’t the SEC rule?
GEORGIA, TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY, OHIO STATE
SMH…seriously? The thing is…as ridiculous as this scenario is, it’s entirely possible. The Wildcats have two losses – to Ole Miss and South Carolina. They run the table, which would mean wins over No. 16 Mississippi State, No. 6 Tennessee, and now No. 1 Georgia. Then, Kentucky wins the SEC title.
Tennessee finishes 11-1. Georgia wins the SEC West and loses to Kentucky a second time in the SEC championship. We all know the CFP committee loves the SEC. With a three- or four-loss Big 12 champ and two-loss champs in the ACC and Pac-12, they opt to lather up the SEC in this scenario. Yes, it’s laughable. But remember, it’s still possible.
What about the Big Ten?
OHIO STATE, MICHIGAN, PENN STATE, ALABAMA
This is almost as ridiculous as the last one, but alas…still possible. Penn State loses to the boat rowers at Minnesota. The Nittany Lions beat Michigan and Ohio State on the way to winning the Big Ten title. Michigan finishes 11-1 and Ohio State winds up 10-2 with losses to PSU and the Wolverines.
Whoever wins the Big 12 ends up with four losses. The Crimson Tide wins the SEC and everyone else in the conference has at least two losses. Clemson fails to win the ACC and the Pac-12 beats each other up enough to drop them off the radar. The committee loves C.J. Stroud and that Buckeyes offense. Stroud is currently the odds on favorite at SportsBetting.ag to win the Heisman Trophy at -135 odds. The next player in line is Hendon Hooker at +700.
It appears the committee likes Oranges too…
SYRACUSE, ALABAMA, OHIO STATE, USC
What’s funny is this scenario makes a ton of sense…minus the Orange, that is. Alabama, Ohio State, and USC all go 13-0 with conference championships. Wait, Syracuse goes 13-0 with an ACC title. Oh boy, there in!
The Orange would have to beat No. 15 N.C. State, No. 4 Clemson, Notre Dame, Pitt, Florida State, and No. 14 Wake Forest before beating Boston College in its season finale to finish the regular season unbeaten. That doesn’t seem too likely, but crazier things have happened. Syracuse is +25000 to win the national title at BetUS.com