The regular college football season has officially ended and the bowl matchups have been assigned! Before Selection Sunday could occur, however, the conference champions had to be crowned. The Michigan Wolverines emerged the Big 10 champions for the second year in a row following an undefeated season and a final 43-22 win against Purdue. The Georgia Bulldogs, another undefeated juggernaut, beat Louisiana State University (LSU) 50-30 to become the SEC champions. Clemson crushed North Carolina to win the ACC title, all while Tulane became the AAC champion over the University of Central Florida (UCF). In a dramatic overtime game, this year’s storybook team, Texas Christian University (TCU), lost the Big 12 championship to Kansas State, despite a heroic final run by QB Max Duggan. The University of Southern California (USC) was upset in the Pac-12 Championship by a tough University of Utah team, which ultimately booted USC from the College Football Playoffs.
After TCU and USC both lost, fans of The Ohio State University and the University of Alabama were hopeful that their teams would be boosted in the rankings by those losses, despite neither Ohio State nor Alabama playing in a conference championship. Selection Sunday rolled around the next day, and while it was common knowledge that Michigan and Georgia were going to be the top seeds in the playoffs, the bottom two spots were within reach of a few teams.
Georgia took the top seed, meaning that they’ll be playing with a home-field advantage against the fourth seed in the Peach Bowl, taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. The debate over who would be Georgia’s competitor was far and wide, and many expected TCU to take the fourth and final seed in the competition. That selection was revealed last, and all depended on who the second and third seeds were. Michigan was placed second, as expected, and will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl against the TCU Horned Frogs! The teams will battle it out in Phoenix, Arizona, on December 31st, following the Peach Bowl. The TCU selection was surprising to some due to their recent loss, but the team undoubtedly deserved it. That left Ohio State to play against Georgia, robbing fans of a second Michigan-Ohio State rivalry game. The first two teams out were Alabama (despite coach Nick Saban’s efforts in the media to support his team) and the University of Tennessee, who will face Kansas State and Clemson, respectively.
This was a college football season with lots of ups and downs, and the playoffs are seemingly going to be similar! Although the playoffs are entertaining, be sure to keep an eye out for other bowl games, including the Rose Bowl (Utah vs Penn State), the Cotton Bowl (USC vs Tulane), and the Sugar Bowl (Alabama vs Kansas State), alongside several other great matchups! No matter if you’re team Ohio State or team Michigan, now’s a great time to brag over all of those Michigan State fans!