College Football Round-Up: Championship Week

Alabama Crimson Tide team in action

Swinging Johnson

Monday, December 5, 2016 8:30 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 5, 2016 8:30 PM GMT

The four entrants into the College Football Playoff were announced on Sunday, though there was much debate. Let's review the week that was with a view towards cashing in our college football picks down the road.

The Committee Got it Right

The mandate is simple: pick the four best teams. And much to its credit, the College Football Playoff selection committee did indeed do just that. Alabama is the consensus No. 1 team in the country and not only crushed Florida in the SEC Championship Game 54-16, but easily covered the 23-point impost and rewarded all those who backed Bama on their college football picks. The Crimson Tide will square off against No. 4 Washington, team nobody saw coming after a 7-6 season in 2015, in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve. Alabama has been installed as a 16-point favorite on college football odds as of this early writing over the Huskies.

The Clemson Tigers were pretty much a lock for one of the top four spots after they disposed of Virginia Tech in their ACC title gme showdown on Saturday. The Tigers defeated the Hokies 42-35 and ended the regular season with a 12-1 mark and were picked as the second-ranked team in the playoff. The only controversy was whether to include Big Ten champion Penn State, owning an 11-2 record and victory conference rival Ohio State. Had the committee picked the champions of the best four conferences, as had been argued in the past, Penn State would have been in and the Buckeyes would be out.

But common sense prevailed and No. 3 Ohio State, a team with one fewer loss and having defeated a team in Michigan that throttled the Nittany Lions by 39 points earlier in the season, got its place in the sun. The Tigers and Buckeyes will be locking horns in the Fiesta Bowl as the second leg of a New Year's Eve College Football Playoff doubleheader. OSU opened at -3 at SBR's top sportsbooks.  

No. 5 Penn State and No. 6 Michigan will be featured in top-tiered bowls but will have no shot at the national title this season. Perhaps there is some merit in having a six-team playoff with the top two teams receiving byes and the third- and fourth-ranked teams getting to play the No. 5 and No. 6 teams on their home field. However, that is a discussion for another day because now the bowl season commences and the College Football Playoff is waiting to be played.

Bowl Matchups

Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal)

Alabama vs. Washington — Dec. 31, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff Semi-Final)

Clemson vs. Ohio State — Dec. 31, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

National Championship (In Tampa) 

Peach Bowl winner vs. Fiesta Bowl winner — Jan. 9, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Orange Bowl

Florida State vs. Michigan — Dec. 30, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Cotton Bowl

Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin — Jan. 2, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Rose Bowl

Penn State vs. USC — Jan. 2, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

 Sugar Bowl

Auburn vs. Oklahoma — Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Celebration Bowl 

North Carolina Central vs. Grambling — Dec. 17, noon (ABC)

New Mexico Bowl

UTSA vs. New Mexico — Dec. 17, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Las Vegas Bowl

Houston vs. San Diego State — Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Cure Bowl

Arkansas State vs. UCF — Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Camellia Bowl

Toledo vs. Appalachian State — Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

New Orleans Bowl

Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette — Dec. 17, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Miami Beach Bowl

Tulsa vs. Central Michigan — Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Boca Raton Bowl

Memphis vs. Western Kentucky — Dec. 20, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Poinsettia Bowl

BYU vs. Wyoming — Dec. 21, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Idaho Potato Bowl

Idaho vs. Colorado State — Dec. 22, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Bahamas Bowl

Old Dominion vs. Eastern Michigan — Dec. 23, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Armed Forces Bowl

Navy vs. Louisiana Tech — Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Dollar General Bowl

Ohio vs. Troy — Dec. 23, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Hawaii Bowl

Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee — Dec. 24, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

St. Petersburg Bowl

Mississippi State vs. Miami (OH) — Dec. 26, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Quick Lane Bowl

Maryland vs. Boston College — Dec. 26, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Independence Bowl

NC State vs. Vanderbilt — Dec. 26, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Heart of Dallas Bowl

North Texas vs. Army — Dec. 27, noon (ESPN)

Military Bowl

Temple vs. Wake Forest — Dec. 27, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Holiday Bowl

Washington State vs. Minnesota — Dec. 27, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Cactus Bowl

Baylor vs. Boise State — 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Pinstripe Bowl

Pitt vs. Northwestern — Dec. 28, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Russell Athletic Bowl

West Virginia vs. Miami (FL) — Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Foster Farms Bowl

Utah vs. Indiana — Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m. (Fox)

Texas Bowl

Texas A&M vs. Kansas State — Dec. 28, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Birmingham Bowl

South Carolina vs. USF — Dec. 29, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Belk Bowl

Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas — Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma State vs. Colorado — Dec. 29, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Liberty Bowl

TCU vs. Georgia — Dec. 30, noon (ESPN)

Sun Bowl

Stanford vs. North Carolina — Dec. 30, 2 p.m. (CBS)

Music City Bowl

Tennessee vs. Nebraska — Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Arizona Bowl

Air Force vs. South Alabama — Dec. 30, 5:30 p.m

 Citrus Bowl

LSU vs. Louisville — Dec. 31, 11 a.m. (ABC)

TaxSlayer Bowl

Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky — Dec. 31, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

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