Let the College Football Playoff games begin
The GIST: It’s the most wonderful time of the college football year, and this season’s semifinals are ones for the books. No. 1 Georgia is aiming to become the first-ever back-to-back champs, No. 3 TCU is the first not-Oklahoma Big 12 team to make the final four, and there could be a spicy rivalry title game between No. 2 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State. Tasty.
- Before 2023 makes its grand tunnel entrance, the two New Year’s Eve semifinals will determine who has a shot at a January 9th confetti shower.
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN): The day’s most fascinating matchup features second-half standouts. Undefeated Michigan has made a season out of an impressive run game, clock control and wearing out their opponents early in order to overtake them after halftime.
- On the other hand, TCU and their Heisman finalist quarterback (QB) Max Duggan have been the comeback chaos-makers, clawing out five dubs after trailing by at least seven points.
- If this turns into an offensive fight, TCU could topple the Big Ten champs. But if Michigan’s defense and endurance show up, the Wolverines could be dining on frog legs with their New Year’s champagne.
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN): In the second-ever battle between the defending champ Bulldogs and the just-squeaked-in Buckeyes, it seems clear who’ll end up as top ’Dawg. Undefeated Georgia’s dominated all year, with a defense, led by lineman Jalen Carter, that gobsmacks opponents.
- Ohio State will need every advantage. Their offense was exceptional this season, but now they’ll be playing without stars RB TreVeyon Henderson and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, due to injury and the NFL draft, respectively.
- The Buckeyes’ hopes rest squarely on the shoulders of Heisman finalist QB C.J. Stroud and top WR Marvin Harrison Jr. Both will need to be near-perfect, as will the Ohio State defense, to overtake the Goliath that is Georgia. Breath? Held.