With the final week of the 2022 college football regular season in the books, the focus now shifts to conference championships. Bowl games will be decided and the College Football Playoff will be set in just a few short weeks.
The month of November has been generous to those who love chaos when it comes to rankings. Multiple teams that had playoff aspirations have fallen out of the running completely. Clemson, LSU and Tennessee all had sights set on making the College Football Playoff but suffered interesting losses late in the season that knocked them all out of the running.
Before conference championship games begin, here’s my prediction for the top six teams in the College Football Playoff rankings. Which programs sit inside the top four, and which ones just miss the cut?
.Junfu Han-USA TODAY NETWORK
Michigan strolled into Columbus and left with more than a win against Ohio State. The Wolverines finish the regular season with a dominant statement: Respect them. As the visiting team, winning by three touchdowns is quite a feat; but doing it against the No. 2 team in the nation with multiple postseason implications? Sure, there were some injuries for Ohio State, but every team suffers injuries. Michigan is on top for now.
Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY NETWORK
Georgia‘s 37-14 win over Georgia Tech was nothing grand. In all honesty, the Bulldogs would likely still be at No. 1 if it wasn’t for Michigan winning in such a dominant fashion. Kirby Smart’s squad has been a lock for the playoffs since taking down Tennessee a few weeks ago. seeding is the only thing on this team’s mind. Oh, and LSU, which just got decimated by a non-bowl-eligible Texas A&M team.
Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
Arguably the most surprising team in the nation surprised absolutely nobody in the monster win over Iowa State to close out the regular season. The Horned Frogs dominated the Cyclones 62-14 and nobody is talking about it. This team is special and strong wins such as this are expected now. Ohio State’s loss allows TCU to move up. This program has proven that it belongs in the playoffs.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Caleb Williams-led offense might be one of the most exciting visuals in all of college football in 2022. Entering Rivalry Week ranked No. 6, the Trojans were automatically moving up at least a spot with a win over No. 15 Notre Dame because of the LSU loss. However, the calmness this team displayed in defeating the Fighting Irish almost made it look too easy. Not only was the offense electric throughout the game, but the defense never let up, despite letting up a few touchdowns. There’s no way USC could be kept out of the No. 4 spot given the way things played out in a couple of games.
Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
Some will argue Ohio State deserves to remain in the top four, while others will argue that No. 5 is too high for the Buckeyes. The College Football Playoff committee has valued Ohio State as a top-three team and while this loss is rough, I believe the committee will keep the Buckeyes out, but within reach. Losing to a rival by more than three touchdowns on your home turf is a terrible way to prove that you deserve a shot to win it all on a neutral field. As much as some will want to discuss how Ohio State would perform in head-to-head matchups against the other three teams inside the top four on this list, the Buckeyes’ resume took a massive hit and this is the consequence.
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
When Alabama lost to Tennessee, fans across the country were happy to see the Crimson Tide fall. When Alabama lost its second game of the season to LSU, fans across the country were happy to finally have another College Football Playoff without the Crimson Tide. While there has never been a two-loss team to make the playoff, the nail has not yet been hammered into the coffin on the Crimson Tide’s chances. There was a long list of chaotic scenarios that needed to take place in order for Alabama to be within striking distance of the top four, and most of it happened. In the 49-27 win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl, the Crimson Tide looked like it wanted to prove something. Some upsets would need to take place in order for Nick Saban’s crew to move up, but let’s not act as if the last two weeks went totally as expected.