Georgia earns first College Football Playoff bid

by Abel Hampton December 5, 2017, 1:11
Georgia earns first College Football Playoff bid

After three months of play, including a wonderfully chaotic last couple of weeks, we finally know the bowl matchups for this college football season. The offense has become more efficient, with the help of sophomore running back Rodney Anderson, while a once disastrous defense has forced eight turnovers in the last five games. The top-four is completed by No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Alabama.

The Rose Bowl will be played without a team from either of its traditional Pac-12 or Big Ten conferences for the first time since January 3, 2002. But it could've been way worse: Because we have a four-team playoff, we were spared of what would have been a fingernails on the chalkboard debate about which two teams of Clemson, Georgia, and Oklahoma belonged in the BCS Final. There are 39 games in all, and 81 teams are eligible this year.

"It's always been the one, looking from afar, that I haven't gotten a chance to be a part of yet that I was always hoping I'd get the chance to be in", Riley said.

Clemson is bidding for the program's third national football championship, and the third by an ACC team in the last five seasons. The Bulldogs' all-time bowl record is 30-19-3.

Both CFP semifinals and the national championship game will be carried live by ESPN.

Michigan State, ranked 16th in the CFP rankings, was projected to head to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, but after the four-team playoff shook out, with Alabama getting the fourth spot ahead of Ohio State, the bowl dominoes began to fall. The Tigers earned the No. 2 seed last season and the No. 1 seed in 2015. The Florida State Seminoles beat the Auburn Tigers 34-31.

The College Football Playoff trophy, presented to the championship team, is handmade, stands 26.5 inches tall and is constructed from 24-karat gold, bronze and stainless steel. There's the contest of a first-year coach in Lincoln Riley and a second-year coach in Kirby Smart.

While the season has been a roller coaster with more ups than downs, this team is focused on the accomplishments that are in front of it, instead of the ones behind it.

Wyoming will enter the bowl game with a two-game losing streak, with setbacks to Fresno State, 13-7, and San Jose State, 20-17. Kickoff is at 4:10 p.m. CT. The game is set for Monday, Jan. 1 at 5:00pm ET on ESPN. The Cavaliers are 7-11 in 18 previous bowl games. That game was at the Rose Bowl, although it wasn't the official Rose Bowl game, which was between Ohio State and OR that season.

Florida State (6-6) is set for a December 27 date in the Walk-Ons Independence Bowl at Shreveport, Louisiana, at 1:30 p.m. (ESPN).

Georgia earned a spot with its first SEC title since 2005 under Smart, its second-year coach. Clemson and Alabama meet in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

It landed the final spot over Big Ten champion Ohio State, which handed Wisconsin its only loss 27-21 to win the Big Ten championship.

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