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CFP preview: breaking down each semi-final matchup

(Sam Donsig/TIS)

By: Nick Peres

It's the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is around the corner and so are the College Football Playoffs (CFP). Four teams remain, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and last but not least Texas Christian University (TCU). One team will emerge victorious in the end and cement themselves into College Football history forever.

Based off of the committee's rankings as it stands, Georgia sits at No. 1, Michigan at No. 2, TCU at No. 3 and Ohio State at No. 4. Michigan will face off against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl one from today on Saturday, December 31st, 2022, at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN and TSN. Georgia will face off against Ohio State in the Peach Bowl later that night, with kick-off set for 8 p.m. EST on ESPN and TSN.

These two matchups are exciting, and I do not see either of these games being a blowout. They will be both hard-fought physical football games that will go down to the wire. Now let's get right into the predictions for the games.

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU

This game is the more interesting matchup to me. This is TCU's first time in the College Football Playoff and they are coming off their first loss of the season in the Big 12 Championship game against Kansas State. Michigan is coming off its first win against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio for the first time since 2000. Plus, earning a second straight Big Ten Championship after dominating Purdue 43-22. In many people's eyes, Michigan is the better team on paper. But this TCU team is gritty and has faced more adversity than any other team in College Football this season. This game comes down to who can win the battles in the trenches.

If Michigan can run the ball like they have all season, TCU will have a tough time. But if TCU stops Michigan's run, they have an excellent secondary that will make it challenging for J.J. McCarthy and Michigan's receivers to garner any yards all game.

On the other side, TCU's offence has Max Duggan. He is a beast and a 2022 Heisman finalist. TCU fans are thankful that Duggan is their man under centre for this game. If Duggan and that TCU offence catch fire, Michigan's defence could be in trouble. They have playmakers all over the field. I think Michigan will have trouble running the ball and stopping TCU's offence in the first half but will be able to keep it close.

Now, once the second half starts and Michigan's defensive coordinator puts his adjustments into effect. Michigan will come out and dominate in the second half. They will slowly wear out TCU, making them beg for a breath of air when they are on the field.

Final Score: Michigan 28-23

No. 1 Georgia vs No. 4 Ohio State

Now for the Buckeyes vs the Bulldogs. Georgia is looking for back-to-back National Championships, and Ohio State is lucky USC lost to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game. Or they would have spent the holidays with their families instead of their teammates.

Ohio State is playing with house money, and they have nothing to lose. They are the only team in the playoffs that did not play a conference championship game and still have a chance to be crowned National Champions. We all know how potent Ohio State's offence can be. But if there is one defence that will put it to sleep, it's Georgia's. That said, as long as Georgia's offence is rolling, they should have the win in the bag.

Ohio State is not a tough team, and you saw that when they faced any adversity against Michigan as they did not know how to react. Georgia will show no mercy and have its way with Ohio State. Now, unless Ohio State proves me wrong and punches back, I still think that the Bulldogs will outlast the Buckeyes simply due to experience and the fact that Georgia has faced way more adversity than the Buckeyes.

The only way the Buckeyes can win this game is if they come out guns blazing and have 2-3 quick scores to shock Georgia and are up something like 24-7 at the half, in which case they most definitely can do with all the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball.

But in my eyes, if Michigan's defence can prevent Ohio State's offence from scoring in bunches, then I think the Georgia defence will have no problems whatsoever come to New Year's Eve.

Final Score: Georgia: 31-21

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