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Sports Bowl projections: Will Alabama or Michigan be the No. 1 seed?

16:02  05 december  2021
16:02  05 december  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

No. 4 Ohio State destroys No. 8 Michigan State, 56-7, in Big Ten shocker

  No. 4 Ohio State destroys No. 8 Michigan State, 56-7, in Big Ten shocker The Buckeyes soar into next weekend's rivalry game against Michigan and are the team most capable of wrestling the national championship from Georgia.The win sends Ohio State soaring into next weekend's rivalry game against Michigan and paints the Buckeyes as the team most capable of wrestling the national championship from Georgia, which has looked invincible in an unbeaten march through SEC play.

The College Football Playoff picture entering the final weekend was pretty straightforward. Georgia, Michigan, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State were all favored to win their games and would be the four participants in the semifinals.

It didn't quite work out that way. The Bulldogs were handled by Alabama in the SEC title game. The Cowboys fell to Baylor in a dramatic finish in the Big 12 title game.

Those results changed the calculations, but there's still no mystery about the four teams that will be in the playoff. Michigan and Cincinnati confirmed their spots with wins. Georgia stayed in, despite the loss. Out goes Oklahoma State and in comes Alabama.

Desmond Howard, Ted Ginn Jr. forever linked by punt returns that define Michigan-Ohio State rivalry

  Desmond Howard, Ted Ginn Jr. forever linked by punt returns that define Michigan-Ohio State rivalry Desmond Howard and Ted Ginn Jr. are linked with their punt returns in The Game, and the eras they have defined.This year marks the 30th anniversary of Howard's signature moment — a 93-yard punt return in a 31-3 blowout on Nov. 23, 1991 which the former Michigan legend put the finishing touch on with the Heisman pose at Michigan Stadium.

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The only question is where the quartet will be ranked. Cases can be made for Michigan and Alabama. Yes, the Crimson Tide looked fantastic against Georgia. However, their three previous wins against SEC opponents were by a combined 15 points, including a four-overtime defeat of 6-6 Auburn.

Michigan wide receiver A.J. Henning celebrates a first down against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. © Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press Michigan wide receiver A.J. Henning celebrates a first down against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

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Did Bryce Young wrap up Heisman Trophy race vs. Auburn? Where contenders stand after Week 13

  Did Bryce Young wrap up Heisman Trophy race vs. Auburn? Where contenders stand after Week 13 Did Bryce Young's game-tying, 97-yard drive against Auburn clinch the Heisman Trophy? Or is a defensive player worthy of winning this season?Last year, it was DeVonta Smith. The wide receiver was dominant in the passing game (1,641 yards and 105 receptions), becoming the first player at the position to win the award since 1991 (Desmond Howard, Michigan).

Meanwhile, the Wolverines have dominated both Ohio State and Iowa in their final two games after also beating Penn State on the road. Michigan was ranked ahead of Alabama by the committee last week, too.

The other part of the calculation is where to put Georgia. It's likely the committee will try to avoid a rematch of the SEC title game in the semifinal. If the Bulldogs don't fall behind Cincinnati, would the Wolverines jump to No. 1?

Given all the considerations, expect Alabama to lead Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati in that order when the reveal comes Sunday afternoon.

A couple of other pieces of business were resolved this weekend. Utah and Ohio State are set for the Rose Bowl. Baylor and Mississippi will head to the Sugar. Pittsburgh confirmed its place in the New Year's Six with its ACC title.

Also, there was a bowl added this week to allow the postseason to accommodate the 84 teams that finished with six wins. The date and location are TBA but are shown in the chart.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh to donate bonuses to athletic department employees

  Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh to donate bonuses to athletic department employees Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh stands to earn significant bonuses this postseason and vowed to donate that money to athletic department employees.During his weekly appearance on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show, Harbaugh announced his intention to funnel any bonus money he receives to the U-M athletic department as a means of repaying employees who worked for reduced wages because of the pandemic.

Reminder: Some conferences may not fulfill their bowl allotment. Asterisks denote a replacement pick. Teams in bold have accepted berths.

  Bowl projections: Will Alabama or Michigan be the No. 1 seed? © Provided by USA TODAY SPORTS

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bowl projections: Will Alabama or Michigan be the No. 1 seed?

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