Everything You Need to Know about The College Football Playoff

The final preliminary College Football Playoff rankings were released this Tuesday, and the final selection will take place on Sunday. Let’s take a look at the matchup that each of the top six teams face, and the potential roadblocks they face on their way to the top four.

 

#1 Alabama

Record: 12-0

This weekend: SEC Championship vs. #4 Georgia

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama quarterback. Image courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

The Alabama/Georgia championship game is easily the biggest matchup of the weekend. Although Alabama averages more points per game and yards per game, this win is not a lock for them. Jake Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs have only gotten better as the weeks have gone on, so they are a viable threat to the Tide this weekend. Led by likely Heisman-winner Tua Tagovailoa, the Tide have been rolling over all of their opponents this season, but Georgia is easily the hardest opponent that they have faced but if Alabama can have solid coverage and avoid penalties, they should be able to put Georgia away.

 

#2 Clemson

Record: 12-0

This weekend: ACC Championship vs. Pittsburgh

Clemson South Carolina Football 2018

Travis Etienne, Clemson running back. Image courtesy of Greenville News.

The Tigers shouldn’t have too much trouble with the Panthers, but a win is not guaranteed. Pittsburgh gave both Syracuse and Notre Dame a run for their money during the regular season and they have a quarterback who’s throwing 62.3 percent. The Panthers will give Clemson a challenge, but the Tigers should be able to handle it if they play the way they have these past few weeks.  

 

#3 Notre Dame

Record: 12-0

This weekend: No game

Tony Jones Jr., Notre Dame running back. Image courtesy of UHND.

There is no real scenario in which Notre Dame is left out of the College Football Playoff. With no Conference Championship to play for this weekend, they get an extra week of rest while their future opponents square off in the biggest games of their seasons. The Irish are in good shape for a spot in the CFP for the first time in the history of the Playoff.

 

#4 Georgia

Record: 11-1

This weekend: SEC Championship vs. #1 Alabama

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Jake Fromm, Georgia quarterback. Image courtesy of Saturday Down South.

Georgia lost to LSU because they couldn’t get things started on offense when the Tigers sent the blitz. They have corrected this error, however, and are in a good position to challenge Alabama this weekend. Jake Fromm is an elite quarterback who has what it takes to score big points-- this is crucial, as it has been said that the best defense against this Alabama team is a good offense.

 

#5 Oklahoma

Record: 11-1

This weekend: Big 12 Championship vs. #14 Texas

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Kyler Murray, Oklahoma quarterback. Image courtesy of The Mercury News.

The Sooners are out for revenge. Texas handed Oklahoma their only loss of the season this year, winning on a field goal that they scored as time expired. Yet the Longhorns are unlikely to replicate this performance, although they won’t make a win easy for the Sooners. If Alabama beats Georgia, the Bulldogs will drop out of the top four. This will open up a spot in the playoff, a spot which Oklahoma will likely fill if they can get it done against Texas.

 

#6 Ohio State

Record: 11-1

This weekend: B1G 10 Championship vs. #21 Northwestern

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Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State quarterback. Image courtesy of Draft Wire.

Last week, Ohio State handed Michigan their biggest loss in the history of The Game. The Buckeye team who showed up last Saturday made a case for their spot in the top four, a case that would be strengthened by a big win over Northwestern this week. Ohio State and Oklahoma are neck-and-neck for the final spot in the playoff, and resume-building win this weekend may propel the Bucks over the Sooners, particularly if Oklahoma struggles against Texas.

 

The playoff picture has been in and out of focus as the season has progressed, but this Sunday we will finally have answers regarding the National Championship semi-final games. But no matter how you slice it, college football is always an adventure.