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College Football Recap: Championship Weekend

Story posted December 8, 2022 in

Bowl season is upon us in the world of college football, some of the most exciting weeks of the year. Although there is plenty of bowl action to talk about, let's take a look back at how championship week shaped these bowl games.

It all started on Friday night with the Pac-12 championship between the Utah Utes and the USC Trojans.

USC came into this game as confident as ever. The Trojans had won five games in a row coming off back-to-back victories over ranked opponents to reach the championship game. They were sitting pretty at No. 4 in the nation, which would have been good enough to earn them their first-ever spot in the College Football Playoff.

Their opponent was a familiar foe, the 9-3 Utah Utes. While USC boasted the better record, Utah had the head-to-head advantage, having handed USC its only loss this season 43-42 in Salt Lake City. This time around, it wasn’t quite as close. Utah dominated the Trojans in the second half, winning 47-24.

While Heisman trophy favorite Caleb Williams was hurt during the game for USC, it was pretty well out of hand already. The Utes got to hand USC its only two losses of the season and earned themselves a trip to Pasadena to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl.

In the Big 12 championship game in Jerry World, there was even more chaos. The TCU Horned Frogs came into the contest ranked No. 3 and had a perfect 12-0 record on the year. Their opponent was No.11 Kansas State, a scrappy team who almost beat TCU earlier in the season.

This game was pretty close throughout, but Kansas State held the lead for much of the first half. TCU came back in the fourth quarter, scoring the last 11 points of regulation to force overtime. In overtime, TCU got the ball first and scored not once but twice, or so they thought. In what were extremely controversial reviews, TCU had two would-be touchdowns called back.

Kansas State got the stop, and only needed a field goal to win in the first period of overtime, and they did just that. Despite the loss, TCU remained No. 3 in the CFP rankings thanks to USC losing and is moving on to take on Michigan in the playoffs.

In SEC action, Georgia proved once again why its ranked as the best team in the country. The No. 1 ranked Bulldogs defeated the LSU Tigers 50-30 in dominating fashion. Georgia’s defense pressured Jayden Daniels all game long and resulted in Daniels exiting the game with an injury.

On the positive side for LSU, backup Freshman quarterback Garrett Nussmeier came in and looked great against the best defense in the land, a promising sign for the young signal caller. 

As for Georgia, the Bulldogs will be moving on to the College Football Playoff to take on the fourth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in a highly anticipated matchup between two Heisman trophy finalist quarterbacks.

In the Big Ten, Michigan took care of business once again to remain undefeated. The Wolverines dominated Purdue in the second half after going into the locker room leading just 14-13.

Purdue put up a good fight but ultimately lost not only the game but its head coach as well. Coach Jeff Brohm has accepted the job at Louisville, so they will be in a coaching search in the coming weeks.

Michigan has won 13 games for the first time in program history, but its sights are set higher than that, winning all 15 and becoming national champions. It’ll have to go through Max Duggan and TCU on its way to the championship game, which is no small task.

In other action around college football, Clemson dominated North Carolina and earned itself a spot in the Orange Bowl, still a great accomplishment in what they would consider a down year in Death Valley.

Tulane punched its ticket to a New Years 6 Bowl as well, beating UCF in the AAC championship. Tulane will take on the USC Trojans in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2, the Green Wave’s first NY6 appearance since 1939 in the Sugar Bowl.

Jameson Kramer is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him, email jek5650@psu.edu.