Bowl projections: Will Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State all make the playoff again?

The first set of College Football Playoff rankings showed how this season’s playoff field may not be much different than last season’s.

Ohio State took the top spot in the initial rankings ahead of Michigan and Georgia. All three of those teams were in the playoff field a season ago and Georgia and Michigan have been in the playoff in each of the last two seasons. With TCU at 4-4, we know we’ll see at least one new playoff team at the end of 2023. But that may be it.

The path to all three teams making it back to the playoff is pretty clear. If Ohio State and Michigan enter their regular-season matchup at 11-0, the winner will advance to the Big Ten title game while the loser will be 11-1. Ohio State made the playoff in 2022 at 11-1 after losing to the Wolverines. Unless there are four other undefeated teams, it’ll be hard to avoid a repeat of that scenario in 2023.

Georgia’s in the playoff if it keeps winning. The two-time defending national champions were No. 3 in the first rankings in 2022 before surging to No. 1. The Bulldogs have games against ranked opponents over the next three weeks. Convincing wins over Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee will undoubtedly move Georgia up.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Teams line up for a play during the college football Playoff Semifinal game at the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Ohio State Buckeyes on December 31, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Could Georgia and Ohio State meet in the College Football Playoff for the second straight season? (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Even if the Bulldogs lose one of those games and still win the SEC East, a 12-1 season with an SEC title should be plenty to get the Bulldogs into the playoff again.

The only way to avoid Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State all making the playoff again may be to have one or more of the three taking two losses between now and the end of the season. Based on recent form, it’s hard to see Washington running the table and winning the Pac-12 at 13-0, and Florida State’s remaining schedule isn’t great, thanks to the weakness of the ACC this season.

Thanks to Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas in Week 9 and Ohio State’s spot at No. 1 on Tuesday night, we have the Buckeyes in the playoff field in our latest set of bowl projections. We’re going to leave Ohio State in the playoff field until the Buckeyes lose, too.

New Year's Six Bowls

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 29)
Texas vs. Washington

Peach Bowl (Dec. 30)
Penn State vs. Alabama

Orange Bowl (Dec. 30)
Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1)
Air Force vs. Oregon

Rose Bowl [CFP semifinal] (Jan. 1)
Michigan vs. Florida State

Sugar Bowl [CFP semifinal] (Jan. 1)
Georgia vs. Ohio State

Other Bowls

Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 16)
Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 16)
Liberty vs. James Madison

Cure Bowl (Dec. 16)
Colorado State vs. Appalachian State

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 16)
New Mexico State vs. Utah State

LA Bowl (Dec. 16)
Fresno State vs. Arizona

Independence Bowl (Dec. 16)
West Virginia vs. Washington State

Myrtle Beach Bowl (Dec. 18)
Marshall vs. Jacksonville State

Frisco Bowl (Dec. 19)
Houston vs. Texas State

Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 21)
Florida Atlantic vs. Georgia Southern

Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 22)
Mississippi State vs. Troy

Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 23)
Kentucky vs. Navy

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 23)
Miami (Ohio) vs. Georgia State

Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 23)
SMU vs. Louisiana

Potato Bowl (Dec. 23)
Northern Illinois vs. Boise State

68 Ventures Bowl (Dec. 23)
Ohio vs. South Alabama

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 23)
UCLA vs. Wisconsin

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 23)

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26)
Nebraska vs. Toledo

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 26)
BYU vs. Memphis

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Dec. 26)
TCU vs. Maryland

Military Bowl (Dec. 27)
Tulane vs. Virginia Tech

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Dec. 27)
Louisville vs. Auburn

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 27)
Clemson vs. USC

Texas Bowl (Dec. 27)
Kansas vs. Texas A&M

Fenway Bowl (Dec. 28)
Boston College vs. South Florida

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 28)
Syracuse vs. Rutgers

Pop-Tarts Bowl (Dec. 28)
Duke vs. Oklahoma State

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 28)
Kansas State vs. Utah

Gator Bowl (Dec. 29)
Miami vs. Missouri

Sun Bowl (Dec. 29)
NC State vs. Oregon State

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 29)
Iowa State vs. Tennessee

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30)
Minnesota vs. Florida

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 30)
Eastern Michigan vs. Wyoming

ReliaQuest Bowl (Jan. 1)
North Carolina vs. LSU

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1)
Iowa vs. Ole Miss