ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has ranked his top six college football teams all season. Who does Herbstreit has as the top teams in the final College Football Playoff rankings of 2022?
The Georgia Bulldogs won the SEC championship against the LSU Tigers. Georgia’s 50-30 SEC championship victory was convincing, but did expose some of the Bulldogs’ potential weaknesses.
Michigan won the Big Ten championship against Purdue, who put up a fight. TCU fell in the Big 12 championship in a close game to Kansas State and USC lost to Utah in the Pac-12 championship to crush the Trojans’ CFP hopes.
Here’s how Kirk Herbstreit ranks his CFP and the two teams on the outside looking in:
No. 6 Tennessee Volunteers
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Yes, Tennessee had a rough ending to the season, but we the Volunteers deserve to be ranked ahead of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Tennessee beat Alabama, so that should be that. Both Tennessee and Alabama are 10-2.
No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide
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Kirk Herbstreit has Alabama missing the CFP. The Crimson Tide are regulars in the CFP, but lost two games this season and failed to generate many impressive wins.
Alabama is one of the most talented teams in the country. However, its results are not better than TCU or Ohio State, who both have less losses and more wins. What is Alabama’s best win this season? A win over Ole Miss? Mississippi State? Texas? That’s not enough for the Crimson Tide to jump over TCU or Ohio State.
No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes
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Ohio State gets a chance at redemption. The Buckeyes are one of the best teams in college football and needed some help to get in. Utah’s win over USC essentially clinched a CFP spot for Ohio State.
Herbstreit is not confident that TCU will be ranked higher than Ohio State, but he had to pick. If Ohio State is No. 4, then the Buckeyes will play No. 1 Georgia in the CFP. Georgia just gave up 30 points and 502 passing yards to LSU, so Ohio State will like its chances in this potential semifinal contest.
No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs
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Max Duggan and TCU gave a championship effort in the Horned Frogs’ overtime loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship. The Horned Frogs don’t deserve to be punished for making it to a conference championship (unlike Alabama or Ohio State).
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines
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Michigan would play TCU in Kirk Herbstreit’s projected CFP bracket. The Wolverines would be favored, but don’t sleep on the Horned Frogs. TCU has an excellent quarterback in Max Duggan and a solid defense.
No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs
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There’s not much debate. Georgia will be the top-ranked team in the CFP after defeating LSU in the SEC championship. The Bulldogs will face a strong passing offense (either TCU or Ohio State) and must defend the pass better in the CFP. Herbstreit expects Georgia to play Ohio State.