The most wonderful time of the year is when the bowl season begins.
The rest of the bowl schedule has been set by the College Football Playoff teams. Before we get into what we're most looking forward to this postseason outside of the semis and national title, we have one final Anger Index on who should be most upset.
The bowl schedule can be found here.
Anger Index | Bowl and Playoff Roundtable
Anger Index | Bowl and Playoff Roundtable
For the first time in the history of the College Football Playoff, it doesn't include Alabama or the other two teams. The committee came up with its top four and not everyone is happy about it.
Here are the people who are angry at the committee this week.
This is the first thing. The USC Trojans are in the top 10.
Perspective is not a good idea. It makes sense to put Ohio State ahead of USC if the only discussion is who has the better record. The conversation gets a bit more difficult when you look at the comparison from another angle.
USC has lost a game. One team has beaten Ohio State.
USC was defeated by 23 points. The last time Ohio State played, it was defeated by 22 points.
Both USC and Ohio State face Notre Dame. The USC defeated Notre Dame by 11 in a game they dominated. In the season opener, Ohio State beat a work-in-progress Notre Dame team by 11 points.
There are six ranked teams in the league that USC plays in. The Big Ten has at least two.
USC was in the top four a week ago and Ohio State wasn't. USC was able to play another game because of its success. There is a reason for that. The Big Ten plays with divisions while the Pac-12 doesn't. USC had to play Utah in a second game. Without divisions, Ohio State would have had a chance to avenge its loss to Michigan. Michigan played for the conference title while Ohio State got the week off.
It's possible that USC wouldn't have had to play Utah again in the conference title game if Oregon hadn't lost to Oregon State. USC wouldn't have played Utah again if Washington hadn't lost to Arizona State. USC had already lost to Utah, so there's no guarantee that the results against the two teams would have been any better. It was not a good match-up, and it was even worse when Williams was hurt.
It's fair to say that Ohio State is a better team than USC. Getting a chance to play in a conference title game was a huge disadvantage for one team, and getting blown out a week earlier was a huge win for the other.
There are two Georgia is the top-ranked school.
The reward for being the best team in the country is a date with the second-most talented team in the country.
There is a comparison between Ohio State and Texas Christian University.
Ohio State is in the top three It is the 10th highest ranked team in the country.
Ohio State is in the top three There is a new entrant to the top 10.
Ohio State's recruiting classes have ranked on average sixth. The Frogs are ranked 38th in the country.
Ohio State has made the playoffs five times. It will be the first of it's kind.
It's true that Georgia wouldn't have been a shoo-in to beat the Frogs, but they are the obvious favorites over Ohio State. This is a much more difficult game for the No. 1 team in the country than any of the others.
The committee chairman noted that the final score wasn't indicative of how competitive Ohio State was for most of the game, and there's a reason the Buckeyes are in the position they're in.
It's a great story this season. The Frogs deserve a spot in the playoffs. We've seen enough college football to know that talent is the most important factor in success, and there's a good chance that the two most talented teams will meet in the semifinals.
Kirby Smart is the head coach of the Georgia football team.
There are three. Alabama is ranked fifth.
When you can't get a table, there's a lot of yelling "Don't you know who I am?". Sure, Alabama hasn't looked like a playoff team for much of this season, but two losses on the final play of the game make this awfully hard to swallow for a program that has more College Football Playoff wins than any other team.
There were 4 ties. The Volunteers and theTigers are ranked in the top seven.
You shouldn't expect a Christmas card this year. In the last two weeks of the season, you ruined two serious playoff bids. Did you not call it in like LSU did? We all know who the real enemy is here, Beamer, and we're not going to forget it no matter what. They are going to be reminded in the run up to the Orange Bowl.
There are five. The Washington Huskies are in the top 12.
To end the year, we need to do a blind résumé.
Team A has two wins over ranked opponents and one loss. Won six games in a row
Team B lost to ranked opponents by 14 or more. Two of the four that were left were lost.
The team is called Washington. Tennessee is the only wild card in the new year's six. There wasn't much chance that the Vols would be ranked higher than the Huskies. It's possible that Beamer and the USC made that happen as well. Tennessee's loss to South Carolina made it seem better, while the Arizona State loss for Washington looked terrible.
There's a good case to be made that the Huskies are more dangerous than the Vols. They are on the outside looking in because they couldn't beat Arizona.
David Hale is a person.
Our reporters break down what games they're most looking forward to and which teams have something to prove.
Boo Corrigan is the chair of the committee that picks the teams for the playoffs.
The committee probably got it right in selecting some combination of the four best or most deserving teams, but it's still hard to swallow the fact that USC was punished for playing a game that Ohio State did not have to play. If the USC chose not to play in the title game a week ago, they would be in the playoffs. If the Big Ten did not have divisions, Ohio State would have had a chance to avenge its loss to Michigan and USC would have been in the same situation. It's a function of college football's quirks that USC was exposed and Ohio State will live to fight another day.
The committee was going to be criticized regardless of what it did. The four most deserving teams are in. What are the four best? That is up for discussion. It's not a perfect system to pick the teams, not with everybody playing different schedules and different conferences. The states of Georgia and Michigan were not open. It's a shame that USC didn't get in because it would have been a lock if it didn't play in the conference title game. It lost to Utah two times in the same season. It's possible to make cases for Ohio State, Tennessee and Alabama for the fourth spot. The Vols lost their starting quarterback in the loss to South Carolina. Alabama is capable of beating anyone but lost two games on the last play and won two games on the final play. It was the ultimate back-in job by the Buckeyes, who were hammered on their home field in the final week of the season, but still managed to sneak in.
I think the committee got the four teams exactly right, although I think one could argue that Ohio State should have been the third seed after they lost in the Big 12 title game. I'm pretty sure millions of people would have watched the regular-season game between Michigan and Ohio State again, even if the committee tried to avoid a second game. The Tide have no one to blame except themselves. Penalties and turnovers cost them in their losses. The Tide are one of the two or three most talented teams in the country, but they did not always play like it.
I agree with Mark. I thought about flipping Ohio State and Texas Christian in our final staff picks. The Frogs are a good team, but the Buckeyes are a better one. Ryan Day's team didn't qualify for the conference title game because it couldn't beat Michigan in the friendly confines of the Horseshoe.
When the rankings are revealed, might I stop listening? It's when the committee chair gives a rationale for their decisions that they lose me. The game was close for three quarters. What is that thing? The Buckeyes lost by three points. The Tide lost two games on the road. I understand that the chair has an impossible job, but I don't think it's worth it.
The committee's toughest job is figuring out the weekly rankings and justifying them, according to Adam. This season the actual group worked itself out. The unbalanced schedules helped USC because they didn't have to face two of the best teams in the conference. Despite being deeper than the three leagues that made the field, the Pac-12 won't have a representative in the four-teamCFP.
It is difficult to say so. The committee was given a clear cut top four. I agree that USC was unfairly punished for playing and losing in a conference championship, but they had a chance to prove they were a playoff caliber team and could not do it.
I think it's a shame that a team that got housed at home by its rival was rewarded because there were no other options. The game was close for a while. We were able to see how it ended. South Carolina needs to be blamed. The top four would have looked different if Tennessee and/orClemson had beaten the South Carolina. The regular season is a quasi-play off.
It's not really close. We assumed the two most talented teams in the country were Ohio State and Georgia for the majority of the season. We will be able to watch them play. Who is the winner? The seemingly endless supply of skill-position talent can be seen in the offense. The bruisers had the dominant defense. It might be the best semifinal game since Georgia and Oklahoma played in the Rose Bowl last year.
I would choose the Capital One Orange Bowl. Only 312 hours away from each other, the two states have only met three times over the past 75 years. There is a chance for both teams to take out some frustration against each other. The final two weeks of the regular season were ruined by South Carolina's victories against Tennessee and Clemson.
Chris is with me. The upcoming Tennessee-Clemson game will be a sneak peek at each team's offense next season. I'm pretty sure that the man will stick with the one he's been with now. He played well against North Carolina. Replacing Hooker could be a lot of fun. He has a cannon for an arm and he is fast.
Georgia and Ohio State appeared to be on a collision course. It's either offense or defense. The Big Ten and the SEC are competing. Ryan Day faced Kirby Smart. Don't let it go to waste. If OSU's tailbacks are healthy, the Ohio State's offense will test Georgia's defense. Few teams are better at that position than the Ohio State. Georgia has risen to the occasion when it mattered most, even though it hasn't been as consistent as last year. The game will not be any different.
The Georgia vs Ohio State game is in the Peach Bowl. The majority of the national semifinals in the College Football Playoff have not been. It was competitive. The Ohio State team is smarting from their fourth-quarter collapse against the Michigan team and the Georgia team wants to replace the Alabama team as the top program in college football. On New Year's Eve, Ohio State and Georgia play one of the best games of the year. To provide all of us with an instant classic, you have to feel like the Ohio State team is coming down to Atlanta to face off with the defending national champion.
I'm looking forward to the Fiesta Bowl, but it's easy to overlook Georgia- Ohio State. The other finalist will be decided by the match up, but also by the contrast in styles. Michigan proved it could take down a high-powered offense in Ohio State, but the Frogs are riding their own capable offense as well as a dream season into this game. Michigan should take care of business, but I wouldn't rule out the Hypnotoad.
The Alamo Bowl may be enjoyable to watch. We will hear about how the Longhorns are back if Texas beats Washington. There is a way to go before Texas is ready to compete in the SEC, but I think Steve Sarkisian has finally got Texas on the right track. One of the more overlooked players in the country is the quarterback for the University of Washington. You don't hear much about him because he has thrown for more than 4,300 yards with 29 touchdown.
The LSU-Purdue game in the VrboCitrus Bowl could be interesting. There's a lot of room for improvement despite the fact that the Tigers performed better than expected. I want to know how they develop in the passing game. Notre Dame -South Carolina in the TaxSlayer Bowl, Florida State -Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl, and NC State -Maryland in the Duke's Mayo Bowl are some of the intriguing games.
If Ron Cherry can be the game official for the 15th anniversary of "giving him the business", this one rises to the top. Maybe Hale has some friends. The rivalry game was lost to conference realignment. The teams are tied at 33-33-4 in 70 games played and last played in the year of the Terrapins' departure from the conference. The Cincinnati vs Louisville game will be played in the bowl. The Keg of Nails trophy is featured in a game.
The Cure Bowl is a match between Troy and UTSA and I will go Group of 5 here. Few first-year coaches did a better job than the one at Troy, who won an increasingly competitive league with a team that embraced defense until its offense began to roll down the stretch. UTSA's Jeff Traylor is in the running for a Power 5 job. UTSA enters the bowl on a 10-game win streak and boasts a must see quarterback in Frank Harris. I would love to see these teams play Power 5 opponents in bowls, but they will also get a lot of attention by sharing the field with the other teams.
The Michigan State graduate is still haunted by what Penix did to the Spartans. The chemistry between Penix and DeBoer is real and has led to one of the betterturnarounds this season. The Huskies had a good chance at the Rose Bowl if not for the chaos in the conference during the final week. The Alamo Bowl will feature a chess match between two great offensive minds.
Hale said that he was from Texas Christian University. Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State are in the college football playoffs. I've been there and done that. After opening the season unranked and getting here with a series of frantic second-half comebacks, TCU is a true Cinderella. Was it lucky or not? There's a good case to be made that this year's TCU is the most unlikely playoff team ever, and while that means the Frogs won't carry the weight of heavy expectations into their game with Michigan, it also means there's an opportunity to change the narrative.
The story of Stetson Bennett is one of the best in college football. He went from a walk-on to the unquestioned leader of the team. If Bennett can lead Georgia to back-to-back national titles, he'll be one of college football's most distinguished winners.
The defense of Ohio State has to be it. The Buckeyes looked better before the game than they did after it, and they lost 45-23. The University of Michigan had over 500 yards of offense. The Michigan football team ran through the Ohio State players. Georgia's defense gets a lot of attention, but the team can put up a lot of points. If they are healthy, they might be even better.
I'm not sure if Michigan is a good place to call home. The Big Ten's schedule was disappointing this season. I want to see how J.J. McCarthy and the passing game perform if they are behind or late in the game.
The quarterback for Ohio State is C.J. He said he knows how his legacy will be viewed with no Big Ten titles and an 0-1 record in The Game. He has a chance to take out the defending champ and set up a possible repeat against Michigan in the title game. After the Michigan loss, Ohio State fans were down on the player and his coach. He leads one of the most talented offenses into the semifinals.
It's hard to argue with what was already said. Outside of the playoffs, I will go with Maye and the Tar Heels. The hype surrounding him is real and opposing coaches rave about his potential to be the top pick. Both Maye and the Tar Heels had disappointing seasons. They lost three games in a row after a 9-1 start, and Maye failed to throw for over 300 yards in three of them. Maye's struggles aren't completely on him. Maye has been hit at increasing rates and teams have increased their pressure on him. He was sacked four times in the title game. The run game is an issue for North Carolina. The bowl game is a good way to turn the page and what should be a season that starts with the return of the quarterback.
Adam is with me. To leave college with two losses to Michigan and nothing close to a title is not something that the Southern California native would want to do. His legacy could be altered by the fact that he's getting another chance to redeem himself and win a title game.
The fact that TCU is in the College Football Playoff is one of the season's best and most remarkable stories. Things are bigger in Texas according to them. If the Frogs can beat Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl, they will be remembered as the first team from the Lone Star State to reach theCFP. Something special is happening in Fort Worth.
Hale has a story about a quarterback. For the next few months, there will be a lot of what ifs. Two losses could have been avoided if DJ Uiagalelei had gotten on the field earlier. The freshman was exceptional, completing 20 of 24 passes for 281 yards in the game. Was it due to the Tar Heels' porous defense or a couple of injuries to the defensive backs? Was it a preview of the future for the school? We will likely get a better answer in the Orange Bowl when we face a very strong Tennessee team.
As a freshman, Harold Perkins Jr. tore the conference apart. It was similar to the way Will Anderson Jr. would rush the passer. I still expect big things from him despite the fact that he wasn't as effective against Texas A&M. He could become one of the best defensive players in college football next season if he plays well in the bowl game.
In a few days, I'll let you know about this one. A number of underclassmen could step into bigger roles in bowl games if a lot of first-round draft picks opt out. I'm talking about guys who play football.
The person is Raleek Brown. USC is going to need a new No. 1 back next season, and the five-star prospect has already shown flashes of his raw talent, so I think Lincoln Riley could use the bowl game to unleash him.
Hale is correct As a preseason favorite to make it back to the playoffs, the Klubnik/ Will Shipley combination will have the Tigers. One of the reasons Duke made a bowl this year was due to the play of Riley Leonard. He will be Duke's first 3,000-yard passer since Sean Renfree in 2012 if he throws 206 yards against UCF in the Military Bowl.