The top three seeds of the College Football playoff were pretty much decided going into Championship weekend and it was just a matter of what order they would be put in. Ohio State, LSU, and Clemson all capped off perfect regular seasons at 12-0 and were heavy favorites heading into their respective conference championship games. All three took care of business on Saturday, leaving Utah, Oklahoma, and Baylor to battle for the fourth and final spot in the 2019 College Football Playoffs. 

Pac-12 Championship Game:

#13 Oregon 37     #5 Utah 15

The Utes came into the contest in the fifth spot in the playoff rankings with a perfect chance to slide into the playoffs with a win over Oregon and a Georgia loss to LSU. The latter seemed inevitable, so all the Utes had to do was take care of business on Friday and they were in. However, Utah came out and laid an egg and quickly faced a 20-0 deficit at halftime. An interception and two failed fourth down conversions in Oregon territory prevented the offense from scoring. The Utes battled back late in the third quarter before two long touchdown runs from CJ Verdell (18 carries, 208 yards, three TD’s) shut the door in the fourth quarter. Utah’s loss spoiled not only theirs but the Pac-12’s playoff hopes. For Oregon, it was their first Pac-12 title since 2014 and first under head coach Mario Cristobal. 

What’s Next For Each Team: 

Oregon (11-2)– Oregon moved up to the #6 spot in Sunday’s Playoff Rankings and will face the #8 Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day at 5 p.m.

Utah (11-2)– The Utes fell back to #11 in the ranking, and will be playing Texas in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on December 31 at 6:30 p.m. 

Big 12 Championship Game:

#6 Oklahoma 30     #7 Baylor 23 (OT) 

Losses from both Georgia and Utah opened the door for the winner of this game to sneak into the #4 spot and make it to the playoffs. Saturday’s championship game was a rematch of November’s thriller in which the Sooners overcame a 25-point deficit to come back and win 34-31. The rematch was another treat to watch and was filled with even more drama. Baylor starting quarterback Charlie Brewer left the game early in the second quarter with a head injury. Backup quarterback Gerry Bohanon drove the offense down the field to get 10 late points to take a three point lead into halftime. The Sooners fought back to take a 10 point lead after Bohanon left the contest with a knee injury. Their third string quarterback, Jacob Zeno, completed his first two passes for an 81yard touchdown and a 78 yard completion. This set up a field goal to tie the game at 23 and send the game into overtime. The Sooners got first possession and in three plays, got to the endzone. The defense forced a Baylor turnover on downs, and the Sooners won their fourth straight Big 12 Championship. 

What’s Next For Each Team:

Oklahoma (12-1)– The Sooners moved up into the #4 spot in Sunday’s Playoff Rankings with their win and losses from Georgia and Utah. Oklahoma will face the #1 LSU Tigers in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on December 28 at 4 p.m. 

Baylor (11-2)– Baylor stayed at the #7 spot in the latest rankings and will be traveling to New Orleans to take on #5 Georgia in the AllState Sugar Bowl on January 1 at 8:45 p.m. 

SEC Championship Game: 

#2 LSU 37     #4 Georgia 10

The Bulldogs came into the contest as heavy underdogs. Winners of the SEC East division, Georgia was fortunate to scrape by Auburn, Florida, and Notre Dame earlier in the year. Quarterback Jake Fromm had to shoulder the load in the passing game for most of the year with a very inexperienced wide receiver group. Factor in that he was without one of his top options in Lawrence Cage and things would be challenging offensively for the ‘Dogs, especially since star tailback was D’Andre Swift was less than 100 percent. Georgia was completely shut down on offense, totaling 61 rushing yards on 25 carries. 

Fromm was forced into 40 passing attempts and only accumulated 200 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions. For LSU, it was another game for Joe Burrow to fill up the stat sheet and pad his Heisman campaign. Burrow went on to break the SEC touchdown passes record of 44 early in the first quarter before tossing three more for good measure. The Tigers took a 17-3 lead into halftime before blowing the game open in the second half with 20 more points to finish the beatdown at 37-10. 

Burrow finished the game with MVP honors backed by his 28-of-38 completion for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns, as the Tigers captured their first SEC crown since 2011. Passing game coordinator Joe Brady has done wonders to bring this LSU offense into the modern era since he was hired last January. Once stuck in their ways with a run heavy-scheme, LSU has become the best college football passing offense in the country. A win over Alabama and a surefire Heisman Trophy for Joe Burrow leaves only one more thing complete the season: win a National Title. 

What’s Next For Each Team: 

LSU (13-0)-The Tigers did enough on Saturday to move ahead of Ohio State for the #1 spot in the rankings and will face #4 Oklahoma in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl in the first Playoff Semifinal game at 4 p.m. on December 28.

Georgia (11-2)-The ‘Dogs fell back one spot to #5 and will travel to New Orleans to take on #7 Baylor in the AllState Sugar Bowl January 1 at 8:45 p.m. 

ACC Championship Game: 

#3 Clemson 62     #23 Virginia 17 

The Cavaliers entered the game as the seventh different team to win the ACC Coastal Division in seven years. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall has done a terrific job turning around Virginia from a 6-win team to a 9-win team. Meanwhile, the Tigers made their fifth consecutive appearance representing the Atlantic Division. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney recently voiced his frustration that the nation was disrespecting the Tigers in terms of the playoff rankings. He had his team looking to make a statement on Saturday as the Tigers were up 31-7 at halftime. Clemson did not let up as they went on to score 31 more points in the second half in a 62-17 rout.

What’s Next For Each Team: 

Clemson (13-0)– The Tigers stayed put at #3 in Sunday’s playoff rankings and will play the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale on December 28 in the playoff’s second semi-final game at 8 p.m. 

Virginia (9-4)– The Cavaliers stayed in the top 25 only moving back one spot to #24 and will look to reach 10 wins against #9 Florida in the Capital One Orange Bowl December 30th at 8:00 p.m.  

Big Ten Championship Game: 

#1 Ohio State 34     #8 Wisconsin 21

In the rematch of October’s beatdown of the Badgers, Ohio State struggled in the first half. To Wisconsin’s credit, they were playing great on both sides of the ball as star tailback Jonathan Taylor had 130 yards and a touchdown at half. While quarterback Jack Coan had two rushing scores on the ground as well. The Wisconsin defense was stifling with three sacks on Justin Fields and one forced fumble. Great play on both sides allowed the Badgers to take a 21-7 lead into halftime. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, things changed quickly to open the third quarter as the Badgers began to self-destruct. After an Ohio State touchdown to open the half, punter Anthony Lotti fumbled the snap and could not get the kick away giving Ohio State great field position. Later, Zach Hintze missed a 48 yard field goal. Numerous missed tackles, penalties, and questionable play calling from Paul Chryst added insult to penalty. Ohio State pounced on the mistakes and went on to score 20 unanswered points against an exhausted Wisconsin defense, closing out their third consecutive Big Ten Championship with a 34-21 win. Fields was named Championship MVP with a 299 yards, 3 touchdown performance. 

What’s Next For Each Team:

Ohio State (13-0)– The Playoff Committee made the decision to move LSU ahead of the Buckeyes and drop them back to #2. Ohio State will travel to Glendale on December 28 to take on the third seeded Clemson Tigers in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl in the second Playoff Semifinal Game at 8 p.m.

Wisconsin (10-3)- As the Big Ten’s second highest ranked team coming in at #8, the Badgers earned the right to play for the Rose Bowl on January 1 against the #6 Oregon Ducks.