College football predictions, odds: Expert picks for Georgia vs. Ohio State and

The College Football Playoff is upon us. After months of speculation about who would end up in college football’s final four — and another month of trying to figure out what will happen once the actual teams were announced — we’ve reached the point where the only thing left to do is have the teams take the field and end the debate themselves.

But that doesn’t mean we are going to stop trying to figure it out before kickoff of the Fiesta Bowl commences Saturday afternoon from Glendale, Arizona, with action continuing as New Year’s Eve begins with the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

College Football Playoff cases: No. 1 GeorgiaNo. 2 MichiganNo. 3 TCUNo. 4 Ohio State

Will Georgia become the first repeat champion of the College Football Playoff era (and first program to do so since Alabama in 2011-12)? Will Michigan put last year’s blowout loss to Georgia behind it and finish the job this season? What about TCU? It’s the only one of the four teams making its debut in the CFP. Will it continue its Cinderella story? And then there’s Ohio State. Will the Buckeyes take advantage of the second chance given to them and bounce back from a second-straight loss to Michigan by taking down the defending champions?

We’ll find out soon enough, but for now, let’s try to figure out what’ll happen in Saturday night’s CFP semifinals.

2022 Fiesta Bowl: (2) Michigan vs. (3) TCU

Featured Game | Michigan Wolverines vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Spread: While there’s no question TCU earned its place in the playoff, I make no secret of my belief that the Horned Frogs are the “weakest” of the four teams in the field, at least from a power rating standpoint. TCU played the most one-score games this season out of the four. In fact, the Frogs’ six one-score games were more than the other three teams combined (three). Ohio State didn’t play in any. This is a team that found itself in a lot of close games and did the smart things good teams do to win them.

That’s not a knock on TCU, but it is a concern about what might happen when the Frogs run into elite competition, and that’s what you’re facing once you get this far. While TCU played a stronger overall schedule than Michigan, what you do to the competition you face isn’t considered often enough. Michigan may have played a weak nonconference slate, but it also beat Penn State and Ohio State by a combined 46 points. You can argue TCU didn’t play anybody as good as those teams this season. Michigan is built similarly to Kansas State in terms of its style of play and philosophy, and we saw how much trouble the Wildcats gave the Frogs this season. The difference? Michigan is far more talented. I can’t trust TCU to keep up in this one. Pick: Michigan -7.5

Total: The…

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