by Matt Fischer
We enter the final year of the four team College Football Playoff era with the Georgia Bulldogs looking to go back-to-back-to-back. UGA is the dominant force in college football right now. Can they make it a third straight trip to the playoff? Who can dethrone the dogs and win the title this year? I’ll answer these questions in my 2023-24 College Football Playoff Predictions.
The Final Four
After examining how the Formulator played out the 2023-24 college football season, I see the committee selecting these four teams in order for the 2023-24 College Football Playoff:
- Michigan Wolverines – Is this the year Michigan can finally win a CFB Playoff game? Jim Harbaugh has his most talented team and the expectations are very, very high. They lost the CFB Semi-Final last year in a thrilled to TCU that was part of the best College Football Playoff of all-time. The Wolverines are the best in the Big Ten and should roll through the schedule to again crush a team in the Big Ten title game and send them back to the playoff.
- LSU Tigers – I have the Bayou Bengals winning the SEC, upsetting an undefeated Georgia team. Their strength of schedule is tremendous that’s why they get the #2 seed in the playoff. Brian Kelly left Notre Dame to have a team that win the championship, he gets the SEC Championship in year 2 and is ready to compete for the National Championship behind superstar QB Jayden Daniels.
- Texas Longhorns – Texas is going to go out in style with a Big 12 conference championship. Quinn Ewers is focused on being a great QB and the Longhorns have improved in the trenches, which is absolutely required for when they start SEC play next year. UT will drop a game during the regular season but I see them beating down the competition, winning the Big 12 and setting themselves up for a playoff appearance
- Georgia Bulldogs – UGA will be back and is again one of the most talented teams in the country. They have a stiff test at Tennessee this season but otherwise a manageable schedule. As the defending champs, they’re going to get each team’s best shot week to week so a down week could derail the three-peat but with more talent on the offense this season than the past two title teams, I think Georgia will run the table and be back in position to defend their title.
The Next Four
I’ve given you the four that are going to make it but these teams are the ones with a real shot as well. They’re just an upset away from sliding into the playoff and having that shot at winning the national championship. I don’t see a lot of dominant teams
- Florida State – I think they have two losses and that keeps them out of the title game despite being ACC Champs. Dropping the opener to LSU will keep them playing from behind all season for a playoff spot.
- Clemson Tigers – Dabo finds a way to win every season at Clemson. I think he’s relishing all the preseason hype for Florida State as his team isn’t expected to cruise to the ACC Championship again. Dabo will keep his team motivated and they simply reload. He’s built a juggernaut on the recruiting trail and has the depth to keep Clemson at the top of the ACC. I think Clemson beats Florida State in the regular season but the Seminoles avenge the loss in the ACC Championship Game giving Clemson their lone loss of the season.
- The Pac-12 Champion – Everyone seems to be on the USC bandwagon as the Pac-12 Champs this year and a playoff team. The top of the Pac-12 is very good as four teams are going to beat each other up this season and I think the Pac-12 Champ will have two losses and that’ll keep them out of the playoff. However if USC, Utah, Washington or Oregon catches fire and runs the table, they’re a lock to get the Pac-12 a playoff team again.
- Texas A&M Aggies – Bobby Petrino will get this offense going and with the talent they have, they’re contenders. I see them going into their finale with a shot at the SEC West Championship which would lead to a playoff opportunity but ultimately dropping that game at Death Valley against LSU.
The 2023-24 College Football Champion
Earlier I gave you my top 4 and here’s how I see the College Football Playoff Semi-finals playing out:
Georgia beats Michigan 35-17 – The Bulldogs are more talented and will be ready. I don’t see this game ever really being close as UGA is simply a better team and will jump out early and coast to a spot in their third straight championship game.
LSU beats Texas 38-30 – This could be a classic. I expect it to turn into a back and forth game like last year’s semi-final. LSU will wear the Longhorns down late to edge them for a spot in the national championship game.
Georgia defeats LSU 34-28 for their third straight title – Carson Beck will be ready for the spotlight and lead his team to a win in the national title game. After losing to LSU, the Bulldogs get revenge and win their third straight title.
Check back for more college football predictions all season at SportsFormulator.com.