Buckeye50 Playoff Picks – December 4, 2022

Week 6: Playoff Rankings

What a wild and interesting Championship weekend! I am sure like most of you, that when you either watched or saw the outcome of the USC vs Utah game in the PAC-12 Championship Game, you woke up Saturday morning feeling a lot better. Thank you Coach Wittingham! With the Utah victory over the Trojans, the chances for the Buckeyes to make the playoff felt a lot more real. Then, on Saturday afternoon, Kansas State beat TCU in overtime to clinch the Big 12 Championship, and it gave the Horned Frogs their first loss of the season. With that outcome now in place, for Buckeye fans, the question now becomes whether or not if we would be the 4 seed playing Georgia, or the the 3 seed with a rematch against Michigan. It will be up to the committee on how they will evaluate those teams, but one thing for certain is that Georgia will keep their 1 seed and play in the Peach Bowl, and Michigan will stay at 2 and play in the Fiesta Bowl as they two remaining unbeaten teams in the FBS. 

And where does Alabama fit into all of this? Nick Saban sure did a lot of politicking for his team last night, especially during the halftime of the Big Ten Championship Game, to try and make sure he gets his team a chance to play one more time. He knows, like Ohio State did if they did not get to play in the playoff, that a lot of his team would be gone for the bowl game included top draft prospects in Will Anderson, Bryce Young, and Jahmyr Gibbs. Congratulations to Clemson for winning the ACC and going to the Orange Bowl. It seems that they finally now have their quarterback and it is not DJU, but instead Cade Klubnik, who lead the Tigers over the North Carolina Tae Heels. This will be the second straight year Clemson will be left out of the playoff, but they will likely face Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. 

One thing for certain is that this year would have been a great year for a 12 team playoff, as there was so much parity going into the season. Who would have guessed that Georgia and Michigan would be the undefeated teams at the end of conference championship weekend? So, without further adieu, here is our Buckeye50 CFP Poll for the final predictions on selection Sunday!

How We Voted


Buckeye50 Playoff Poll

1. Georgia will be the top seed after clinching the spot once they beat Tennessee and they never looked back. There were some close game since then to the end of the season, but they put up 50 points against LSU and invalidated teams trying to claim a close loss to that team meant it had weight. Congrats to Brian Kelly for making it to the SEC Championship in your first year, but now you have a taste of the difficulty of the SEC, and a 4 loss season. One interesting note is that LSU was able to pass for nearly 500 yards against Georgia, but the Bulldogs offense was able to score with their opportunities so it made any effort from the Tigers all moot. 

2. Michigan will stay at 2 after beating Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game, and winning their 2nd straight title. They achieved a programs first ever 13-0 season, and didn’t did anything to make me think the committee will bump them ahead of Georgia, especially playing an unranked team in their title game. With that, they will likely go to the Fiesta Bowl and potentially play TCU, Ohio State in a rematch, or in a very very unlikely chance Alabama. Without Blake Corum, Harbaugh seems to have allowed JJ McCarthy to open up his game more, and the Wolverines are showing a little more balance in their offense. They are still not dominating in the first half of games, but make the adjustments to put on points in the second half, and that will be the key to stoping them, but building a lead that forces them to play outside of their comfort. They seem to have been on a mission since losing to Georgia last year to make it back, and the question will be will they get a chance to avenge that loss. The Bulldogs are now looking to win their second straight National Championship.

3. TCU has a good quarterback in Max Duggan, who is a fighter from the start to the end of the game, and  their lone loss of the season was in overtime by a field goal. You could question why they didn’t go for the points on their overtime possession, but to be that close to the endzone, you have to have confidence you can get the touchdown, and teams that are good enough to win it all are able to get a yard if they need it. Credit Kansas State for making those stops. The Wildcats had a similar game with the Horned Frogs in the regular season where they had a lead, and TCU fought back to tie and then eventually win the game. It was Kansas States turn this time and the win propelled them to clinch the Big 12 championship, and to play in the Sugar Bowl as the Big 12 representative, with a chance to play Alabama potentially. I feel that the 12 wins this season is the difference between TCU and Alabama, as well as only have 1 loss in a close game, as well as playing for a chance for a conference Championship, while Alabama was at home with 2 losses. 

4. Ohio State moves back up to 4 with the thanks to Utah’s win over the Trojans and aided a bit by TCU losing as well. Those teams do not have a conference championship as a tie-breaker when comparing, and then you will have to look at resume. The Buckeyes have 2 wins against top 25 teams with Penn State and Notre Dame, but a 22 point loss at home to the number 2 team in the country, which was a 4 point game going into the 4th quarter. The Buckeyes have the talent to compete with anyone in the country, but they will have to play loose and work on game flow better. I don’t know what happened after the bye week, but the team did not look the same as they did the first 6 weeks, and that is a concern. Some of it comes down to injuries, and hopefully they are able to get some of their players back, including TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams. There is a still a slim chance Jaxon Smith-Njigba comes back, and if he does, that would be a game changer. If not, the offense will need to be creative and get their playmakers in space. 

5. Alabama moves up 1 spot with all of the shuffling from Championship weekend, and even that is a little generous. At some point the loss to Tennessee has to catch up to them right? With 2 losses, and no conference championship title, they are looking for anything they can get, and that is why Nick Saban was politicking so hard yesterday to get his team in the playoff. They are talented, for sure, but the are inconsistent on both sides of the ball, and do not have the same vertical threat in the passing game like they did last year. Sorry Saban, this year looks like you will miss your second playoff. Good news is that in 2 years it will be 12 teams and it will almost impossible for your team to miss out. 

6. Clemson moves up the the 6th spot, but mostly due to their conference championship , and their 2 losses have kept them out of the playoff. They have more of an argument than Alabama, but their resume is not impressive, and their losses were to an unranked South Carolina, and at the time an unranked Notre Dame. This spot is really a place holder too because Penn State and USC also have some consideration, but ultimately they were not good enough to make it this season. 


DaveGeorgiaMichiganOhio StateTCUAlabamaUSC
GreggGeorgiaMichiganTCUOhio StateUSCPenn State
JoshGeorgiaMichiganTCUOhio StateAlabamaClemson
StevenGeorgiaMichiganTCUOhio StateClemsonUSC
TroutGeorgiaMichiganOhio StateTCUClemsonAlabama
VaughnGeorgiaMichiganTCUOhio StatePenn StateAlabama



Here is how we voted, lets us know how you predict the final rankings will go!  Who is your top 4?

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