The College Football Playoff field seems set − if the committee keeps the same energy − and so do the matchups for New Year's Eve: Georgia vs. Ohio State in one semifinal; Michigan vs. TCU in the other semifinal.
No. 4 USC's 47-24 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night opened the No. 4 spot in the final CFP rankings, which will be announced Sunday at noon on ESPN. Ohio State (11-1) should have the inside track, as it was ranked No. 5 in Tuesday's rankings, with Alabama No. 6. Neither played this weekend, and watched the Trojans suffer a second loss to the Utes on the season.
TCU had its undefeated season come to an end in overtime vs. Kansas State, 31-28, in the Big 12 championship game, but a one-loss TCU should not be jumped by an idle one-loss Ohio State or a two-loss Alabama − again, neither even played for a conference championship.
This leaves the two undefeated teams, Georgia and Michigan, as the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, no matter what happens in their respective championship games Saturday evening. The Bulldogs are currently playing three-loss LSU for the SEC title; the Wolverines battle four-loss Purdue for the Big Ten title (8 p.m., Fox). If both UGA and U-M are upset, they likely will remain 1-2 in Sunday's rankings since, again, TCU and USC both lost, and OSU and 'Bama were at home on the couch, just like you and me. OSU will not jump U-M in the rankings.
If either UGA or U-M wins and the other loses, the winner will be No. 1 and the loser No. 2.
The committee will likely want to slot the teams so Michigan and Ohio State do not face off in the semifinals − the rivals played last week with Michigan dominating the second half in Columbus for a 45-23 win. It would be absurd to make Michigan beat Ohio State again just for the right to play for the national championship. Instead, if both teams win their respective games, then so be it, it will be a deserved rematch. But the committee will prefer a new matchup, and that means Michigan vs. TCU and Georgia vs. Ohio State in the CFP semifinals.
The No. 1 seed gets to choose which bowl it prefers: Peach Bowl in Atlanta or Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. If Georgia knocks off LSU, it should solidify the top seed and pick the Peach Bowl in its home state, sending Michigan to Arizona.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Get ready for Michigan-TCU, OSU-UGA in College Football Playoff