- Four teams — Georgia, Michigan, Texas Christian University (TCU), and Ohio State — will face off in the semifinal championship games scheduled for New Year’s Eve.
- Georgia, the current national champion, will play Ohio State, and Michigan will take on TCU.
- Two teams will play in the college football national championship on Jan. 9.
A national championship is one of the highest honors a team can earn in college sports. Four college football teams will compete in a postseason playoff to see who wins the 3-foot, 24-karat-gold, bronze, and stainless steel trophy — and bragging rights, of course.
This year, the Georgia Bulldogs (ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff poll), Michigan Wolverines (No. 2), Texas Christian Horned Frogs (No. 3), and Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 4) worked their way into the playoff, according to ESPN.
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
8 p.m. EST, Dec. 31, 2022
Ranked No. 1
Ohio State Buckeyes
Ranked No. 4
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl
4 p.m. EST, Dec. 31, 2022
Texas Christian Horned Frogs
Ranked No. 3
Ranked No. 2
According to the NCAA, both Georgia and Michigan have an undefeated record of 13-0 this season. TCU ended 12-1, their only loss being to Kansas State. And Ohio State went 11-1, their only loss being to Michigan.
It all begins on New Year’s Eve, when Georgia takes on Ohio State at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and Michigan takes on TCU at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.
But the playoff doesn’t end until Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. So, hang on to your brackets, and keep reading for rankings and highlights from the 2022-2023 college football season.
What to Know About the Teams in the Playoff
All four programs have earned at least one national championship since the AP Poll era began in 1936. But the results of the final game could be especially significant for some teams.
If Georgia takes home the national championship, it will be their second consecutive win. If TCU wins, it will be their first national championship since 1938.
Michigan, the team in the playoff with the most national championships, hasn’t taken home the title in 15 years. Meanwhile, Ohio State has played in five of the last nine college football semifinals — and made it to three national championships.
|School||Number of Championships Since 1936||Last Year Won|
To make matters more exciting, all four teams in the semifinal matchups are facing each other for the first time in years — maybe ever.
The top-four teams all made their mark in post-season awards this year.
Each had a player who earned Heisman Trophy votes: Stetson Bennett from Georgia, C.J. Stroud from Ohio State, Max Duggan from TCU, and Blake Corum from Michigan.
Additionally, three of the four coaches were finalists for the 2022 Paul
Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award: Sonny Dykes of TCU, Kirby Smart of Georgia, and Jim Harbaugh of Michigan.
2022-2023 Football Season Highlights, Rankings, and Records
The four teams heading to the playoffs were not always at the top. Ohio State and Georgia started the season in the top four and fought to stay up until Week 15, but TCU and Michigan battled their way to the top.
Georgia has kept the Southeastern Conference (SEC) name alive in the playoff, rising from third to first. Ohio State dropped slightly from the preseason to Week 15, following their loss to Michigan in the final weeks of the season. Meanwhile, Michigan rose from eighth to second after earning a perfect record.
Remarkably, TCU shocked everyone, rising from an unranked position to third in the country in a matter of weeks.
|Ranking||Preseason||Week 7||Week 15|
|2||Ohio State||Ohio State||Michigan|
|7||Utah||University of Southern California||Utah|
|8||Michigan||Oklahoma State||University of Southern California|
|9||Oklahoma||Ole Miss||Penn State|
Other teams have had significant journeys this season — for better or for worse. According to ESPN:
- Alabama, a powerhouse in the SEC, dropped from the top preseason ranking to fifth in the span of 15 weeks.
- TCU, Tennessee, the University of Southern California, and Penn State all ended up in the Top 10 rankings from an unranked position in the preseason.
- At the same time, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Baylor fell off the ranking wagon by Week 15.
- Clemson, a top four contender through Week 7, dropped to 10th place in the back half of the season.
- The University of Southern California, led by Heisman winner Caleb Williams, played its way into the Top 10 as well.
Even though none of these players or teams ended up in the playoff, they still provided plenty of highlights this season. As of Dec. 10, these were the players and teams that held offensive and defensive records, per NCAA College Football Statistics.
- Michael Penix Jr. from the University of Washington passed for 4,354 yards, placing him in the lead spot by 60 yards.
- DeWayne McBride from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, rushed for 1,713 yards, putting him in the top spot for rushing yards.
- The Tennessee Volunteers had the highest-scoring offense overall, with 47.3 points per game on average.
- Illinois allowed only 12.25 points per game on average, ranking them first in scoring defenses.
What Made This Season Special?
Additionally, some of this season’s best storylines came from the top four teams.
TCU Proves Everyone Wrong
Coming off a 5-7 season last year, TCU hired a new coach, Sonny Dykes, the Big 12 Coach of the Year. Dykes led his team to not only a winning season but nearly an undefeated one. Coming off their only loss of the season against Kansas State for the Big 12 championship, this underdog team is seeking out a trophy.
Is Georgia the Next Alabama?
The Alabama Crimson Tide dominated the college football scene for the past two decades, winning six national championships since 2009. But some fans think Georgia’s dynasty is here to stay, and it might outrun the Tide. Especially after Georgia won the SEC championship heavy-handedly by 20 points.
Do Ohio State and Michigan Have the Best Rivalry?
The two powerhouse programs in the Big Ten have developed one of the most recognized rivalries in college football. In fact, some Big Ten fans even deem their annual matchup
Prior to 2021, Ohio State had been the clear victor, dominating eight years in a row, according to the NCAA. But Michigan has won for the last two years. Will the two teams face off in the national championship game?