The field for the College Football Playoffs is set, and as expected the Georgia Bulldogs will remain the top seed. For the second year in a row their path to the championship game will run through a traditional Big Ten power.
Georgia will play Ohio State on New Year’s Eve in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, played in the friendly confines of their home away from home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Faced with a couple of weekends of chaos, the committee seems to have decided that the overall body of work put up by the Buckeyes and the TCU Horned Frogs was sufficient to keep them in the top four. There were certainly other contenders, but it seems that two losses are more than one, even if the one came at an inconvenient time. And Ryan Day’s squad’s sole loss, to an undefeated Big Ten champion Michigan, is pretty clearly the “best loss” on anyone’s ledger.
The Bulldogs and Buckeyes have met only once in the history of their respectively storied programs, the 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl, won by the Bulldogs 21–14. If memory serves the Red and Black put a whipping on the kid playing quarterback for Ohio State in that game. Not sure whatever happened to that guy. Probably some kind of local TV sports anchor or something.
But I digress. The matchup gives the committee the 1/4 matchup of behemoths that they probably would have chosen if given the option. But they probably would’ve preferred for it to be a matchup of undefeateds rather than the Bulldogs versus an Ohio State team recently pantsed in the Big Game by Michigan. That being said, the Buckeyes remain a dangerous opponent, a team capable of stretching the field vertically and creating big plays, something to which we have seen Georgia display some vulnerability. DraftKings installed Georgia as roughly a touchdown favorite, a substantial vote of confidence, but the closest opening line of the season for the Red and Black.
While a lot of UGA fans likely would have preferred the Horned Frogs as an opponent, this should be a big time game that will draw even more national attention, and should be a ton of fun to watch.