The No. 4-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will play the No. 3-ranked Michigan Wolverines in the national title game. Or at least that’s what I think is going to happen.
A healthy Ohio State matches up well against No. 1 Georgia as well as Oklahoma did against UGA in 2017. Marvin Harrison, Jr. against Kelee Ringo? Stetson Bennett in a pitcher’s duel with C.J. Stroud and Ryan Day vs. Kirby Smart? It all ought to be considerable fun.
What’s more? I doubt Day is going to squib kick to UGA up 17.
It’s going to be difficult for Ohio State to overcome the home-field advantage UGA will enjoy in Atlanta, but all the Buckeyes asked for was a chance to play in this game. They have it, and now they must seize it.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines have pounded on every team they’ve faced this season. Even without star running back Blake Corum in the backfield, the Michigan offensive line has dominated front sevens all year.
The No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs will have to summon more than guts to beat the most physical team they’ll face all year.
College Football Playoff: Can Ohio State beat Georgia?
RJ Young dives deep into the College Football Playoff semifinal matchups.
Here is the complete bowl schedule, with my analysis and picks included for every game.
For times, viewing information and a live scoreboard, click here.
Saturday, Dec. 31
Semifinal game: Fiesta Bowl
State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU, 4 p.m. ET
TCU got to this game by showing guts. But Michigan knows what this atmosphere is like and is chasing glory.
Semifinal game: Peach Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET
A healthy Ohio State looks built to defeat a Georgia team that has been anything but infallible throughout its 2022 run.
Pick: Ohio State
Monday, Jan. 9
SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Georgia-Ohio State winner vs. Michigan-TCU winner, 7:30 p.m. ET
I’m projecting that this will be Ohio State vs. Michigan. The Game (again) but this time with a national title on the line. I love it.
Pick: Ohio State.
COMPLETE BOWL SCHEDULE
Friday, Dec. 16
Miami (Ohio) vs. UAB
RJ’s pick: UAB
Result: UAB wins, 24-20
No. 25 UTSA vs. No. 24 Troy
RJ’s pick: UTSA
Result: Troy wins, 18-12
Saturday, Dec. 17
Cincinnati vs. Louisville
RJ’s pick: Louisville
Result: Louisville wins, 24-7
Jackson State vs. North Carolina Central
RJ’s pick: Jackson State
Result: North Carolina Central wins, 41-34
Las Vegas Bowl
Florida vs. No. 14 Oregon State
RJ’s pick: Oregon State
Result: Oregon State wins, 30-3
Fresno State vs. Washington State
RJ’s Pick: Washington State
Result: Fresno State wins, 29-6
RJ’s Pick: BYU
Result: BYU wins, 24-23
Rice vs. Southern Miss
RJ’s Pick: Southern Miss
Result: Southern Miss wins, 38-24
North Texas vs. Boise State
RJ’s Pick: North Texas
Result: Boise State wins, 35-32
Monday, Dec. 19
Myrtle Beach Bowl
Marshall vs. UConn
RJ’s Pick: Marshall
Result: Marshall wins, 28-14
Tuesday, Dec. 20
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Eastern Michigan vs. San Jose State
RJ’s Pick: EMU
Result: Eastern Michigan wins, 41-27
Boca Raton Bowl
Liberty vs. Toledo
RJ’s Pick: Toledo
Result: Toledo wins, 21-19
Wednesday, Dec. 21
New Orleans Bowl
Western Kentucky vs. South Alabama
RJ’s Pick: USA
Result: Western Kentucky wins, 44-23
Thursday, Dec. 22
Armed Forces Bowl
Baylor vs. Air Force
RJ’s Pick: Baylor
Result: Air Force wins, 30-15
Friday, Dec. 23
Louisiana vs. Houston
RJ’s Pick: Houston
Result: Houston wins, 23-16
Wake Forest vs. Missouri
RJ’s Pick: Wake Forest
Result: Wake Forest wins, 27-17
Saturday, Dec. 24
Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State
RJ’s Pick: MTSU
Result: MTSU wins, 25-23
Monday, Dec. 26
Quick Lane Bowl
New Mexico State vs. Bowling Green
RJ’s Pick: Aggies
Result: New Mexico State wins, 24-19
Tuesday, Dec. 27
Georgia Southern vs. Buffalo
RJ’s Pick: Georgia Southern
Result: Buffalo wins, 23-21
First Responder Bowl
Memphis vs. Utah State
RJ’s Pick: Utah State
Result: Memphis wins, 38-10
Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
Coastal Carolina vs. East Carolina, 6:45 p.m. ET
After playing for the Sun Belt title, the 9-3 Chants will look to finish their season strong with a win against the Pirates. But with Chadwell accepting the head coach position at Liberty the program could be in flux enough ECU to pick off the Chants.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona
Wisconsin vs. Oklahoma State, 10:15 p.m. ET
After looking like the class of the Big 12, the Pokes fell short of their expectations to return to the Big 12 title game. Now they face a great challenge in Wisconsin. Though Luke Fickell has been named head coach, it’s defensive savant Jim Leonhard who should be the worry for Mike Gundy’s squad.
Wednesday, Dec. 28
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland
UCF vs. Duke, 2 p.m. ET
The Knights fell just short of playing in the Cotton Bowl with their loss to Tulane in the AAC title game. They’ll look to finish on a high against Mike Elko’s Duke squad, which exceeded expectations by becoming bowl-eligible before Thanksgiving.
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee
Kansas vs. Arkansas, 5:30 p.m. ET
The Jayhawks are not unlike the Razorbacks were a year ago — on the come-up. While KU has a ways to go, they’re bowling for the first time and looking for their first winning season since 2008. This marks just the second time KU (6-6) has made a Liberty Bowl appearance against an Arkansas (6-6) team looking to finish the season with a winning record — just like the Jayhawks.
Petco Park in San Diego
North Carolina vs. Oregon, 8 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app
The Tar Heels were once a favorite to defeat Clemson for their first conference title in 40 years, but they fell short — again. UNC has lost their last three games in a row, but they’ll get an Oregon team in transition.
Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham is set to take over as head coach at Arizona State in 2023, and UNC might take advantage of a program still sorting through its coaching staff. However, the Ducks will be prepared defensively to meet the challenge Drake Maye and the UNC offense present.
NRG Stadium in Houston
Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss, 9 p.m. ET
In Year 1, Joey McGuire not only beat Texas and Oklahoma but has a chance to avenge the Red Raiders’ 20-point loss to the Rebels in 2018. With a win, the Red Raiders can earn their first eight-win season since Baker Mayfield quarterbacked the team in 2013.
Pick: Texas Tech
Thursday, Dec. 29
Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City
Syracuse vs. Minnesota, 2 p.m. ET
This game could feature two of the best tailbacks in the country in Mohamed Ibrahim and Sean Tucker — if they play. Ibrahim has been otherworldly in the backfield for Minnesota, rushing for 1,494 yards — averaging more than 144 rush yards a game — and the engine that makes P.J. Fleck’s offense go.
Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida
Oklahoma vs. No. 13 Florida State, 5:30 p.m. ET
Oklahoma lost four of its six games by a single score and three by a field goal. If the offense and defense can play well in the same game, they ought to match up well against Mike Norvell’s FSU.
RELATED: How to bet Oklahoma-Florida State
Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
No. 20 Texas vs. No. 12 Washington, 9 p.m. ET
With Washington possessing one of the best passing offenses in the country and two former UW coaches — including one head coach in Steve Sarkisian — on the UT sideline, this game should mean a bit more to each party. Even if it doesn’t, Michael Penix Jr. and Bijan Robinson — if they play — are worth a watch.
Friday, Dec. 30
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina
Maryland vs. No. 23 NC State, Noon ET
Without Devin Leary, the Wolfpack took a step back. And Mike Locksley’s Maryland has played great, gutsy football all season. The Terps should handle their one-time ACC foe.
Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas
Pittsburgh vs. No. 18 UCLA, 2 p.m. ET
With Dorian Thompson-Robinson headed to the NFL, Chip Kelly’s Bruins will be without their first five-year starter against a Panther team that possesses one of the best running backs in the country in Israel Abanikanda.
TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida
No. 21 Notre Dame vs. No. 19 South Carolina, 3:30 p.m. ET
The Gamecocks have been giant-killing in their last two outings — knocking off both Orange Bowl participants (Tennessee and Clemson) in back-to-back weeks. With ND quarterback Drew Pyne entering the transfer portal, ND will have to show up tough if it doesn’t want it to end up a pelt on the South Carolina hunting room wall.
Pick: South Carolina
Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona
Ohio vs. Wyoming, 4:30 p.m. ET
It might be difficult for UW to overcome the loss of Titus Swen, who became just the 12th player in history to rush for 1,000 yards at the program that gave the NFL Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen. Ohio ought to be mad after falling short of winning the MAC title against Toledo and take it all out on the Pokes.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida
No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 6 Tennessee, 8 p.m. ET
Could there be more orange in the Orange Bowl? Hardly. The Vols and Tigers will meet to find out who will likely roll into the 2023 offseason not only with a New Year’s Six bowl win.
Saturday, Dec. 31
Caesars Superdome in New Orleans
No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 5 Alabama, Noon ET
This game is about Bryce Young — his absence or his presence. If the 2021 Heisman winner plays, Alabama ought to challenge the Big 12 champs. If he doesn’t, K-State should beat back-to-back SEC West opponents in bowl games marking their best season in Manhattan since 2012.
Pick: Kansas State
Music City Bowl
Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee
Iowa vs. Kentucky, Noon ET
If you told me the over/under in this game was 10, I’d believe you. These teams play great defense and are anemic — sometimes dead in the case of Iowa — on offense. But the Hawkeyes are feeling good about earning the commitment of former Michigan quarterback and Big Ten champion Cade McNamara heading into 2023.
Meanwhile, UK will play without NFL Draft-bound Will Levis.
Monday, Jan. 2
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
No. 22 Mississippi State vs. Illinois, Noon ET
This game should be one hell of a fight. Illini coach Bret Bielema would run the ball on every play if he thought it could help him win, and Bulldogs coach Mike Leach won’t run it until he knows it can help him win. But the Illini hold the ball and play stifling defense. Leach is gonna need his best players to play like his best if they’re to win.
Camping World Stadium in Orlando
No. 17 LSU vs. Purdue, 1 p.m. ET
The Boilermakers have a chance to earn their ninth win this season with a win against the SEC West champs. But the Bayou Bengals looked lethal through the air with Garrett Nussmeier at quarterback against Georgia, and he’ll be a threat in this battle for bragging rights between the nation’s two best conferences.
Cotton Bowl Classic
AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
No. 16 Tulane vs. No. 10 USC, 1 p.m. ET
With Lincoln Riley detailing the severity of star quarterback Caleb Williams’ hamstring injury, it’s an open question as to whether he’ll play against the Green Wave. Tulane, who has played its best season since 1998 and won the American Athletic Conference crown, might not care either way. They’re just that good.
Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California
No. 8 Utah vs. No. 11 Penn State, 5 p.m. ET
Utah is the closest thing on the West Coast to a bona fide no-nonsense Big Ten squad. The Utes possess an outstanding offensive line and want to own the line of scrimmage — just like Penn State.
The Nittany Lions will play without star corner Joey Porter Jr. and wide receiver Parker Washington against Kyle Whittingham, Cam Rising and the Utes in a game Utah fell just short of winning against Ohio State last year. This year they’ll look to finish what they started.
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RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.
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