Georgia Bulldogs now have easiest path to college playoffs

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As week 9 of the college football season has arrived, people have seen some surprising events happen. From the “dynasty program,” Clemson becoming unranked, to Georgia being number one on the AP poll, nobody could have predicted any of these outcomes. 

The Clemson Tigers won two of the last six college football national championships. Entering this season, the Tigers have made six straight appearances in the college football playoffs, making themselves known as one of the best teams in the current college football playoff era. Clemson currently sits at a record of 6-3, with losses to Georgia in week one, along with losses to NC State and Pittsburgh. 

In regulation this season, the Tigers have failed to put up more than 20 points on the scoreboard. Many fans feel that the loss of players such as Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne really affected the way the offense is used to playing, and that sophomore quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has been a major disappointment in what was expected to be a great season. 

As of now, the AP poll has the Cincinnati Bearcats as number two in the country, and fans are not surprised. The Bearcats football team has been doubted the entire season, but they have yet to disappoint. It is very difficult for non-power five conference teams to get into the playoffs, but as it looks right now, Cincinnati has a solid chance if they can find a way to win out. 

In week four, the Bearcats defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a big win 24-13. On Nov. 20, the stage is set where they will face off with previously ranked SMU. A win there and over South Florida and Eastern Carolina should put Cincy in the college football playoffs this season. 

The Big Ten teams taking over include Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa all take up spots in the top 10 in the rankings. Ohio State began the season with a rough start as they barely got by Minnesota in week one, and lost to Oregon in week two. Since then, the Buckeyes have represented the Scarlet and Grey well as they have handled all comers, most recently holding off a feisty Nebraska team 26-17. Whether or not the Buckeyes make the playoffs could come down to their final two games against Michigan State and Michigan. 

Michigan is the next team that had been in control of every game this season until a 47-33 loss to rivals Michigan State got in the way. Running backs Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins have had a huge impact on Big Blue’s success this season, as they each put up two touchdowns in the game against Northwestern which they won 33-7. For Michigan to make the playoffs now, they will need to win out, which would include wins over Penn State, Maryland, and Ohio State. Michigan has not beaten Ohio State since 2012. 

The Iowa Hawkeyes started off the season very strong, with a win against Iowa State and a beatdown against several teams, such as Maryland. Iowa won the faceoff against Penn State in a very close matchup, and many expected this to be the win that led to their playoff push. But, the next week they unexpectedly got completely crushed by Purdue and followed that with a loss to Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes now have no chance of making the playoffs.

The last team at the top of the Big Ten is Michigan State, who looked like they were well on their way to a playoff spot when they took their undefeated record into Purdue, who had already wrecked Iowa’s playoff hopes, last Saturday only to lose 40-29. Michigan State finds itself in the same situation as Michigan now: they have to win out over Maryland, Ohio State, and Penn State. 

The Georgia Bulldogs have solidified themselves as the best team in college football for the 2021-2022 season. They remain undefeated behind a defense that has yet to surrender more than 13 points a game. The remainder of the schedule consists of Tennessee, Charleston Southern, and Georgia Tech. Barring an upset of Biblical proportions, Georgia will finish the season undefeated and go into the playoffs as the number one seed. 

Wrapping up the halfway point through the season, there are still many questions to be answered and anything can happen and usually does. The college football playoffs semifinals will take place on New Years’, and the championship will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Jan. 10. Fans have been left wondering which four teams will be the ones who have the chance to win it all this college football season.

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