Only one week of games remain until the College Football Playoff selection committee will be called on to choose the four teams that will qualify for the competition.
Only this weekend’s conference championship games stand between the selection committee picking its four qualifiers for the big tournament at the end of the season which will decide this year’s college football champion.
Here are our predictions for the teams that will qualify to play for all the marbles.
#1 LSU Tigers vs. #4 Utah Utes
LSU qualifying for the College Football Playoff, even if they were to unexpectedly lose to Georgia in this Saturday’s SEC Championship Game, is pretty much a given at this point. As one of three undefeated teams in the country, if they are able to knock off a top-five Georgia team in Atlanta this weekend, we think they’ll deservedly be named the top team.
As for the #4 seed and the last team into the playoffs, there are four real possibilities at this point: Georgia, Utah, Oklahoma, and Baylor. We don’t think Georgia will make it because of their likely loss to LSU, and one of Oklahoma or Baylor will be eliminated with a loss in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Personally, we think Utah will go on to knock off Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game, giving them a signature win against a top 15 team that should be enough to qualify them. Their road loss at USC, a top 25 team, is nothing to be ashamed of, whereas Oklahoma’s loss at Kansas State is a little less impressive.
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #3 Clemson Tigers
If Ohio State beats Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship Game this weekend, they are a lock to make the playoffs. The Buckeyes have looked like one of the two best teams in the country this year, and they will look to play for their first championship since the 2015 CFP Championship Game this season. They have won all of their games this season by double digits so far this season, looking dominant in the process.
Clemson has a date with 23rd-ranked Virginia in the ACC Championship Game this weekend, a game which they should win handily. The 2019 College Football Playoff Champions have looked dominant for the majority of the season, with a close win over North Carolina being the only blip on their radar. If the Tigers and Buckeyes meet up in the semifinals, it could end up being a game for the ages.