SPORTS COMMENTARY: New faces headline fresh college football playoff


Photo Illustrated by Stella Kole

The college football stage is underway, and the four schools are ready to battle it out for the college football championship.

On Dec. 4, the college football playoffs selection committee announced Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Ohio State would be competing in the college football playoffs. As the college football landscape continues to evolve, the unique lineup for this year’s playoff provides hope for a positive future for the sport. 

After rivalry week and the conference championships shook the landscape of college football, the playoff selection show held lots of anticipation from fans. The top two spots were locks, as Georgia and Michigan were undeniably the two best teams in the nation. TCU lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 conference championship, but had a strong enough resume to where it didn’t matter. USC’s loss during conference championship week allowed Ohio State to steal the last available spot. 

The matchups set for Dec. 31 include the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl with No. 1 Georgia against No. 4 Ohio State and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 TCU. Georgia looks like the absolute favorite to win the entire playoff after a strong showing against their top tier SEC competition. Michigan is led by sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy and a dominant defense, but will be playing without the nation’s best running back, Blake Corum. TCU has an incredibly talented quarterback, Max Duggan, who has led his team to win after win throughout the season. Ohio State had a shaky finish to their regular season, almost losing to Maryland and being embarrassed by Michigan, singling them out for the weakest team in the playoff.  

Ohio State is making their fifth appearance and Georgia is making their third, but it feels like a fresh slate for football fans. Michigan slotted themselves in for their second playoff. The surprise team of the year was the TCU Horned Frogs, who started the season unranked but miraculously made their way to 12-1. 

For the first time since the college football playoff was put in place for the 2014-2015 season, Alabama and Clemson were both left out of the four qualifying teams. The two programs have dominated college football since the 2010s, and each were amongst the top four teams in the nation during the 2022 preseason poll. Both programs collected two losses during the season, eliminating them from serious playoff contention. 

In 2024, the college football playoff will be expanded to a 12 team format, which received mixed reviews from fans. More football is always a bonus, but it appears to just be a money grab. It also allows more programs a chance at competing for a championship, but that is contradictory because the top tier programs will just have an easier time making it. It is also exposing many top tier athletes more of a chance of injury, which may hurt their chances of getting drafted into the NFL. The college football playoff holds lots of implications on the future of the sport, as it continues to grow in popularity.