Sport Winners and losers from the final College Football Playoff rankings
Winners and losers in fourth College Football Playoff rankings include Ohio State and Utah
The College Football Playoff committee released its fourth rankings of the 2019 season. There were winners and losers, including Ohio State and Utah.That's the most notable shift in terms of determining the final four teams, even if both the Buckeyes and Tigers have been locked into the national semifinals with perfect ends to the regular season — Ohio State gets Michigan and the winner of the Big Ten West, while LSU faces Texas A&M and Georgia.
Saturday made it easy on the College Football Playoff selection committee. After Utah lost to Oregon on Friday night, all the committee needed for a no-doubt, slam-dunk Sunday was for the top contenders to hold serve — and that's exactly what happened, creating an outstanding playoff field completely free of controversy.
It'll be No. 1 LSU and No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl. No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson will meet in the Fiesta Bowl. In the end, the only debate centered on which deserved to end up No. 1, and thereby avoiding a matchup in the semifinals against the defending national champions.
Winners and losers from Thursday’s Thanksgiving NFL action
As everyone came together to watch football, the NFL delivered a satisfying day we’ll never forget. © Jason Getz-USA TODAY SportsSports fans sat down with their families expecting the Chicago Bears-Detroit Lions clash to be the green bean casserole of the NFL’s Thanksgiving menu. Instead, it delivered plenty of entertainment and only increased everyone’s appetite for more great football with a close contest that came down to the final minute. The matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys served as the side dish for Thursday’s slate.
It was the win against Georgia, and the team's recent play on defense, that vaulted LSU ahead of Ohio State and back into the top spot. The disappointment from Ohio State coach Ryan Day was palpable: "Do I feel like we should have been the one seed? Yeah," he said on Sunday.
Combined, the four playoff teams account for 51 wins against just one loss. The three unbeaten teams have played in only four games decided by a single possession. Across a combined 52 games, all four have failed to score 30 or more points just five times. It's the dream playoff field.
Sunday also saw the list of New Year's Six bowls and the rest of the Bowl Subdivision's postseason slate. Here are the winners and losers from the postseason unveiling:
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LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma
For the obvious reason. This is the first playoff berth for LSU, which is hoping for its third national championship of the 21st century after completing its first unbeaten regular season since 2011. Ohio State and Clemson reaching this point is old hat, though the last pairing was one to forget: Clemson shutout OSU in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. (The Buckeyes hope history doesn't repeat itself.) And the Sooners have made the playoff in each of the last three years, while quarterback Jalen Hurts is the first at his position to lead three teams into the playoff.
TEAM TO BEAT:
While it may be without coach Mike Norvell, who is heading to Florida State, Memphis is set for the biggest postseason appearance in program history in a Cotton Bowl matchup with Penn State. Recent history has been kind to the underdog in these games: Group of Five teams are 3-2 in New Year's Six bowls.
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Virginia and Baylor
Largely overlooked during the preseason — especially Baylor, which was just two years removed from going 1-11 — the Cavaliers and Bears will end their seasons in the New Year's Six. After losing to Clemson in the ACC championship game, Virginia will meet Florida in the Orange Bowl. At 11-2 with two losses to Oklahoma by a combined 10 points, the Bears will face Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall and Baylor's Matt Rhule have done outstanding work in leading these two programs into elite bowls.
In theory, the idea of facing Alabama in the Citrus Bowl is daunting. The last time the Alabama played in a non-New Year's Six bowl, in early 2011, saw the Crimson Tide annihilate Michigan State 49-7. (That's a bad omen, it would seem.) In 2019, however, look for several Alabama draft-eligible players to sit out the bowl in advance of the NFL draft, continuing a recent trend. That means Michigan will be the beneficiary of playing an Alabama team without its star quarterback, the injured Tua Tagovailoa, and perhaps a handful of its top stars. A win would make Michigan 10-3 and create huge postseason momentum for Jim Harbaugh's program.
Winners, losers from Oklahoma's Big 12 title win vs. Baylor
Baylor and Oklahoma slugged it out for the second time this season.Early on, it appeared the Sooners were ready to roll over their rival, going up 10-0. The Bears woke up in the second quarter, however, to take a 13-10 lead at the half. The second half saw both teams go on runs. But ultimately, after four quarters the score was tied, 23-23. Overtime beckoned.
The best five-loss team in the country — damning praise, maybe, but the Cyclones have been terrific — will get a matchup with 10-2 Notre Dame in the Camping World Bowl. As with Michigan, this is a tremendous opportunity for ISU and coach Matt Campbell, who has built a perennial Top 25 contender but can bring even more eyeballs to his program with a bowl win.
Boca Raton Bowl
Maybe the matchup of Florida Atlantic and SMU loses a little luster with FAU coach Lane Kiffin's move to Ole Miss. Still, the Boca Raton bowl has one of the best matchups of any non-New Year's Six bowl: FAU is 10-3, winners of Conference USA, while SMU finished a surprising 10-2 and spent time inside the Top 25 during the regular season.
Las Vegas Bowl
Washington's matchup with Boise State is an interesting but slightly awkward way for departing Washington coach Chris Petersen to end his tenure. (He made the surprising decision to step down last week, with assistant coach Jimmy Lake promoted as his replacement.) Petersen spent eight wildly successful seasons with the Broncos before leaving for the Huskies, with two unbeaten seasons and an overall record of 92-12.
The Utes went from the doorstep of the national semifinals to out of the New Year's Six entirely. Even if the committee had eventually favored Oklahoma, the farthest Utah could fall with a win against the Ducks was the Rose Bowl. Instead, the Utes will go to the Alamo Bowl and take on 7-5 Texas, in a matchup that would've been lauded in August or September but now feels like a letdown for both teams.
Winners, losers from Week 15, led by Oklahoma, LSU and Georgia
There were highs and lows during Week 15 of the college football season.Chaos would have come to the playoff race on Saturday afternoon if Georgia had pulled off an upset of LSU to win the SEC championship. But the Tigers held serve, making one final case for sitting atop the final playoff rankings while sending Georgia into the soft landing of a New Year's Six bowl.
Selection committee chairman Rob Mullens said Georgia joined Oklahoma in contention for the No. 4 spot, in a comment that was overblown to signify that the Bulldogs were a realistic option to round out the field — they were merely the only other team with anything resembling a case for making the playoff. That might've been different had Georgia merely hung close with LSU and gave the committee something to consider. Instead, the offense against sputtered and the defense had a rare letdown in.
The Hurricanes will spend Christmas in Shreveport, Louisiana, in an Independence Bowl matchup with Louisiana Tech. This is what happens when you lose your final two games of the regular season to Florida International and Duke.
Someone had to be left out. With one more bowl-eligible option than bowl spots, the unlucky team is 6-6 Toledo, which once sat at 4-1 with the potential for eight or more wins but spent the second half of the season among the worst teams in the Group of Five.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
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