College Football Playoff teams announced

College+Football+Playoff+teams+announced

Woojune Kim , Co-Editor-in-Chief

On Dec. 6, the College Football Playoff (CFP) committee announced the four teams that qualified to play in the semi-finals. Alabama, Michigan, Georgia, and Cincinnati were selected as the top four seeds, in that respective order. Both semi-final games will be held on December 31st.

Georgia had been the number one ranked team since the committee began releasing rankings on Oct. 30. Their suffocating defense allowed a measly average of 6.9 points per game, leading them to an undefeated record. In the final week of the season, they faced Alabama in the much-anticipated SEC championship game. 

“Georgia’s defense was insane leading up to the SEC title game,” Sam Hong (10), passionate football fan, said. “They were playing great as a unit, and they could shut out just about anyone.”

But there, Heisman-favorite quarterback Bryce Young led his team to an emphatic 41-24 victory. Alabama, the defending champions with arguably the greatest college football coach of all time in Nick Saban, passed Georgia to claim the number one spot. 

“I was not surprised at all by the SEC championship,” Jeffery McEvoy-Hein, an avid college football fan, said. “Alabama had a wake-up call against Auburn the previous week, so I thought they were going to play with a chip on their shoulder.”

As for the other teams, Michigan was out of the playoff picture following a major loss against their cross-state rivals, Michigan State. However, they won every other game and stayed within striking distance. Then, in their biggest game of the season, Michigan beat Ohio State and went on to win the Big Ten title, catapulting them into a top-four ranking. 

Still, despite any ups and downs, Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan are well-regarded programs that often boast CFP-caliber teams. Cincinnati was the most surprising team in the CFP, as they are not part of any major conference. They will play in the Big 12 next year, but this year they were not in the Power 5 conferences and consequently played an easy schedule, much to the disdain of other teams’ fans.

But by the end of the season, they were the only undefeated team in the country, and they had two marquee wins against Houston and fifth-ranked Notre Dame. The CFP committee had little choice but to put them in the playoffs, resulting in the first Group of 5 team to ever participate in the CFP. 

“Cincinnati deserved to go in the CFP,” Mr. McEvoy-Hein said. “Cincinnati might have played a weaker schedule, but I believe in head-to-head matchups, and they beat Notre Dame. Also, other teams like Baylor and Ohio State had two losses, whereas Cincinnati had higher profile wins and was undefeated.”