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The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

College Football Playoff Rundown- Conference Championship Week

The 107,000 seats in Michigan Stadium were emptied as fans stormed the field after the Wolverines beat Ohio State

Conference Championship week is here, and with the tightest field of contenders in playoff history comes a crucial week of title games. Four spots are still up for grabs, with eight different teams campaigning for a shot at the national championship. This week’s playoff rankings are as follows: 

  1. Georgia (1) 
  2. Michigan (3) 
  3. Washington (4) 
  4. Florida State (5) 
  5. Oregon (6) 
  6. Ohio State (2) 
  7. Texas (7) 
  8. Alabama (8) 
  9. Missouri (9) 
  10. Penn State (11)
  11. Ole Miss (12) 
  12. Oklahoma (13) 
  13. LSU (14) 
  14. Louisville (10) 
  15. Arizona (15) 
  16. Iowa (17) 
  17. Notre Dame (18) 
  18. Oklahoma State (20) 
  19. NC State (22) 
  20. Oregon State (16) 
  21. Tennessee (21) 
  22. Tulane (23) 
  23. Clemson (24) 
  24. Liberty (25)
  25. Kansas State (19) 

“I think [the rankings] are pretty solid, it doesn’t really matter where OSU gets ranked within the top eight because if Texas or Bama win, they will obviously jump them. Four undefeated power five teams make life really easy for now. If Texas was undefeated that would be a complete nightmare scenario where an undefeated P5 would be left out,” Angus Van Valey said. 

“They’ve all played power five schedules, and I think [the top four] teams are ranked appropriately. I think there’s a lot of teams with one loss that are right on the heels and are going to have opportunities to turn some of those undefeated teams into one-loss teams. I think we’re set up for a very exciting weekend and there could be chaos on Sunday and Monday,” GP Athletic Director and former Oregon Ducks football player Rory Rosenbach said. 

Though there weren’t many rivalry week upsets, teams at the top of the standings received some potentially season-altering scares from their toughest rivals. Both sides of the country saw hotly contested games come right down to the wire. 

Kentucky 38, #10 Louisville 31 

As the potential departure of Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops spun whirlwinds around the Wildcats program, Louisville looked to stay in the hunt for a potential playoff spot. Having already clinched a spot in the ACC championship, the Cardinals were looking ahead to their matchup with Florida State. Cards Running Back Jawhar Jordan opened the scoring, but a touchdown pass from NC State transfer Devin Leary and a Louisville field goal gave the Cardinals a 10-7 advantage into the half. The second half went back and forth, with Leary leading Kentucky down the field before Ray Davis sealed the win with a 37-yard rushing touchdown. The loss eliminates Louisville from playoff contention, but they’ll still have a chance to win the ACC. 

#6 Oregon 31, #16 Oregon State 7 

In what was a statement game for the Ducks, Bo Nix and the offense showed up to say goodbye to the Beavers. With Oregon headed for the greener pastures of the Big 10 next season while Oregon State heads for CFB purgatory, the Beavs had one final shot to derail the Ducks push to the playoff. Oregon had already jumped out to a two-score lead by the time the Beavers finally got on the board, and they didn’t look back from there. Nix continued his Heisman campaign in the rivalry game, passing for 367 yards and two touchdowns to power UO to a spot in the conference championship game. After losing to Washington at Husky Stadium back in October, the Ducks will have a chance to avenge their loss in Vegas. 

#8 Alabama 27, Auburn 24 

2013 saw Auburn beat Georgia thanks to a Nick Marshall Hail Mary that was tipped and caught for a touchdown. Dubbed the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare”, the win against the Bulldogs helped Auburn on their way to a national championship game appearance, after their Kick-Six against Alabama in the Iron Bowl. 10 years later, the Tide were back in Jordan-Hare trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. Auburn led right down to the wire, until Jalen Milroe stepped up and tossed a miracle touchdown pass on fourth and 31. Milroe and the Tide walked off their in-state rival Tigers and survived the “Scare at Jordan-Hare.” 

California 33, UCLA 7 

As a high school senior, I’ve begun to say goodbye to things I’ve always known as a I prepare to move halfway across the country. It’s an odd feeling, realizing I may never see things that have always been around again. That was the case in the Rose Bowl Saturday night. With the PAC-12 set to split every which way next season, Cal and UCLA’s matchup under the Southern California lights marked the end of a conference which was a staple in the college football landscape. As one TikTok caption from @senditinsports said, “Under the lights at the Rose Bowl, and that’s all she wrote [for the PAC-12.]” Cal was in control the whole night, as Justin Wilcox guided them back to a bowl game for the first time since 2019. 

#3 Michigan 30, #2 Ohio State 24 

Once again, The Game was crucial for the playoff picture. Ohio State headed up north as Ryan Day looked to exercise his big game troubles. In what was a back and forth game all day long, QB Kyle McCord led the Buckeyes down the field with just seconds to go, hoping to add his name to the seemingly unending list of folk heroes that both the Buckeyes and Wolverines had created throughout the years of one of college football’s best rivalries. That was, until his pass was tipped and intercepted. As the clock hit zero, Michigan players stormed stand-in head coach Sherrone Moore. Moore guided Michigan through their final regular season games, after regular coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended in the wake of the Wolverines’ sign stealing scandal. 107,000 simultaneously cleared the stands and stormed the field at the Big House, celebrating a third consecutive victory over the team down south. 

Heading into the conference championships, here’s how I think the playoff should look: 

  1. Michigan (+1) 
  2. Georgia (-1) 
  3. Washington  
  4. Florida State 
  5. Oregon 
  6. Texas (+1) 
  7. Alabama (+1) 
  8. Ohio State (-2) 
  9. Missouri 
  10. Ole Miss (+1) 
  11. Oklahoma (+1) 
  12. Louisville (+2) 
  13. Penn State (-3) 
  14. LSU (-1) 
  15. Iowa (+1) 
  16. Arizona (-1) 
  17. Oklahoma State (+1) 
  18. Notre Dame (-1) 
  19. NC State 
  20. Tulane (+2) 
  21. Liberty (+3) 
  22. Oregon State (-2) 
  23. Kansas State (+2) 
  24. Clemson (-1) 
  25. Tennessee (-4) 

This champ week has the opportunity to turn the world of college football on it’s head. All of the top seven teams take the field, and every P5 title game involves two ranked teams. For the first time in years, every spot is up for grabs before Sunday’s selection show. 

#3 Washington vs #5 Oregon (5 PM Pacific, Friday Dec. 1, Las Vegas, NV) 

Back in October, the Ducks and Huskies played a contender for game of the season. UW won on a missed field goal, handing UO the only blemish on their record. Since then, Bo Nix and the Ducks have caught fire, dominating every team they line up against. This time, Oregon is nearly a nine point favorite, as they look to bounce Washington from their playoff spot. Expect to see PAC commissioner George Klavikoff boo’d at the trophy ceremony in what will be the final game in PAC history. 

My Winner: Oregon 

#7 Texas vs #18 Oklahoma State (9 AM Pacific, Saturday Dec. 2, Arlington, TX) 

The 11-1 Longhorns have dispatched seven of their eight “Hateful Eight” opponents this year. The only one they haven’t gotten to yet? The Oklahoma State Cowboys. Texas will look to keep their name in the mix as far as a playoff appearance goes, though they’ll need a little help later on in the day. Though Texas is a 15.5-point favorite, it won’t be a walk in the park for the Longhorns. Mike Gundy’s Cowboys always come prepared for big games like this one, and they’d love to send Texas off to the SEC with a Horns Down and an L. Things could get fairly awkward at AT&T Stadium for a few reasons. On December 1, a dead Longhorn steer turned up on the lawn of an Oklahoma State frat. Though the school announced it was a prank between frats, the incident has left social media buzzing ahead of gameday. For Texas, things could get a little awkward should they win. Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has openly rooted against the Longhorns throughout the season, and he might not love having to hand them the championship trophy. 

My Winner: Texas 

#1 Georgia vs #8 Alabama (1 PM, Saturday Dec. 2, Atlanta, GA) 

Another title game where a playoff spot is up for grabs, the Dawgs and Tide will go head-to-head in what is a de facto home game for UGA. Though the Bulldogs got off to a shaky start to the year, they’ve found their rhythm the past few weeks, making quick work of some high-quality opponents. Meanwhile, Jalen Milroe and the Crimson Tide have been playing some of their best football, dominating opponents since their week two loss to the Longhorns. If they can win, it could mean that the back-to-back champs miss out on the playoff, or in an insane scenario, the SEC misses out entirely. 

My Winner: Georgia 

#2 Michigan vs #16 Iowa (5 PM, Saturday Dec. 2, Indianapolis, IN) 

After overcoming the adversity of a major sign stealing scandal, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is back on the sidelines for the Big Ten championship game. His Wolverines have made the playoffs each of the last two seasons but have failed to get out of the first round each time. Like last season, Michigan will rely on the legs of Blake Corum to deliver them a conference championship. On the other sideline, Iowa will look to use its spectacular defense to try and drag the Wolverines into a low scoring slog. Though Iowa’s offense lacks any real pop, their defense has them as the first team to appear in a championship game while averaging less than 20 PPG since 1976. 

My Winner: Michigan 

#4 Florida State vs #14 Louisville (5 PM, Saturday Dec. 2, Charlotte, NC) 

This might be the biggest game of the entire slate. Not only will the Seminoles be fighting for a spot in the playoff for the first time since 2014, but Louisville will be backed by fans of at least two other fanbases. Ohio State fans, Texas fans (should they beat Oklahoma State), and fans of Georgia and Washington (should they lose their respective title games0 will all be tuned in to see the final puzzle piece put in place for the year. Florida State is undefeated, but their weak schedule means one loss could end their year. Here’s the catch: FSU lost starting QB Jordan Travis to a leg injury two weeks ago. Backup Tate Rodemaker missed a play with a head injury last week against Florida, and is now doubtful against the Cards. Down to their third stringer, things seem dire for the ‘Noles, while Louisville has a chance to give the committee a long night before Sunday’s selection show. 

 My Winner: Louisville

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Trevor Butler, Staff

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  • H

    HouganDec 7, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Wazzu got robbed. Should have been top 4. Next year we will ’em!!!