Who’s in? A Guide to the College Football Playoff

Aidan Adams, Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of NBC Sports Chicago

This past Tuesday, at approximately 7 o’clock, the College Football Playoff (CFB) committee released their week 11 rankings. To no surprise, the Georgia Bulldogs claimed the #1 spot after beating the Tennessee Volunteers 27-13 in Athens. Following the Bulldogs are Ohio State, Michigan, and lastly TCU. 

 After the conclusion of week 10, lots was learned about previous teams who were deemed “contenders”. The Alabama Crimson tide were ranked #6 and had a record of 7-1. The Crimson Tide’s one loss came from Tennessee, two weeks prior, when they lost on a last second field goal 52-49. The Tide then bounced back, beating Mississippi State 30-6. Last weekend Alabama faced off against the LSU Tigers where they lost in OT on a Jayden Daniels go ahead touchdown pass to TE Mason Taylor for the 2-point conversion to give the Tigers a 32-31 lead.

Alabama was not the only top-ten team to lose in week 10. The Clemson Tigers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish faced off under the lights in South Bend where the Irish won 35-14. While Notre Dame was ranked #20 at the time, the fashion in which Clemson lost all but eliminated their chances of them possibly making the CFB even if they were to win the ACC championship.

After every installment of the CFB rankings there are teams that are disappointed by their placement. After the week 11 rankings were published many Tennessee Volunteer fans were disappointed. However there are still ways that teams such as Tennessee, USC, and LSU can sneak their way into the playoffs. In week 10 the Volunteers were ranked #1 in the CFB, but after a loss to Georgia, 27-13, the Vols dropped all the way down to #5. The Vols road to the playoff will be simple, just win out. The Vols have five ranked wins against Pitt, Florida, Alabama, LSU, and Kentucky, with two of those wins being by double-digits. The Vols certainly have the resume, their fate fall’s into the hands of TCU, and the result Michigan-Ohio State game.

USC is currently ranked #8 in the CFB, similar to Tennessee, the Trojans need to win out. The Trojans will close out there season with games against #12 UCLA and #20 Notre Dame. The Trojans game against UCLA is by far their most important of the season. If USC wins, the Trojans will be clinch a spot in the Pac-12 championship. Yes, the Trojans will still need to win the Pac-12, but a loss to UCLA would end their hopes. LSU has already locked in a spot for the SEC championship after beating Alabama, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. If the Tigers were to beat Georgia they would have an automatic bid to the CFB as the SEC champion. However there is one problem, head to head, the Tennessee Volunteers went into Death Valley and won 40-13. 

 The most important game of the year and a spot in the CFB playoff will be decided when the #3 Michigan Wolverines travel to Columbus to take on the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes. This will be one of the most anticipated games all time in this rivalry because of the playoff implications. Many college football fans see this game going down to the wire and possibly see Michigan upsetting OSU. Junior Quinn Beckel disagrees with those claims. He says, “I think OSU will beat Michigan and I see them playing Georgia in the national title game.”

 As the ‘22-’23 regular season winds down it will be interesting to see who will win conference championships and if  any upsets will occur. These next weeks will be key to see who ultimately makes the college football playoff.