2021-2022 cbhsports College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six Preview

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl
10.Michigan State vs. 12.Pittsburgh
Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta)
Dec. 30, 7 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN App
Opt-Outs: RB Kenneth Walker (MSU), QB Kenny Pickett (PITT)
Despite major opt outs for both teams, the Peach Bowl should still be a fun one. Expect Nick Patti to step in for Pickett for Pittsburgh and Jordan Simmons to start in place of Kenneth Walker for the Spartans. Pittsburgh of course comes into this game as the ACC Champions and Michigan State finished third in one of the toughest divisions in college football, the Big Ten East. Michigan State usually relies on its running game with Walker and Jordan Simmons can give them some production but Michigan State will need somewhat of an aerial attack come Thursday. With Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi being Michigan State’s defensive coordinator from 2007-2014, there is a lot of familiarity between the two schools, with MSU leading the all time series a dominant 6-1. Projected Score: Michigan State 24, Pittsburgh 21

CFP Semifinal – Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
1.Alabama vs. 4.Cincinnati
AT&T Stadium (Arlington)
Dec. 31, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN App
Alabama returns for its seventh College Football Playoff appearance despite an up and down season by its standards. The Tide will be without starting receiver Jerry Jeudy. The match up everyone will be looking forward to is watching Biletnikoff snub Jameson Williams versus Thorpe snub Sauce Gardner, who has not given up a touchdown all season. As Cincinnati is the first group of five team to make the CFP, it should be an interesting match up. But, it is not a match up Nick Saban is going to lose, despite a loss to Texas A&M, and close calls to LSU, Arkansas, and Auburn, to Cincinnati come New Year’s Eve. Projected Score: Alabama 55, Cincinnati 31

CFP Semifinal- Capital Orange Bowl
2.Michigan vs. 3.Georgia
Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens)
Dec. 31, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN App
Michigan has used its run game (Hassan Haskins and returns Blake Corum from injury) to get to the playoff for the first time. The Wolverine’s lone loss is to rival Michigan State, but they got their first win over Ohio State in sixteen tries. On the other side, Georgia was the most dominant team in the country most of the season, holding the number one ranking until getting defeated by Alabama yet again in the SEC Championship. QB Stetson Bennett threw two interceptions in the game, continuing to make Georgia fans wonder if proficient passer JT Daniels is the better option, who has recently cleared COVID-19 protocols. It should definitely be believed that this will be the better game of the two semifinals as two tough defenses collide in South Beach. Projected Score: Georgia 28, Michigan 24

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
5.Notre Dame vs. 9.Oklahoma State
Statefarm Stadium (Glendale, AZ)
Jan. 1, 1 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN App
Oklahoma State was literally inches from a potential College Football Playoff Appearance, which would have been their first in program history. But, Baylor defense stopped Oklahoma State at the one yard line and became Big 12 champions. Notre Dame was without a head coach for a few days following Brian Kelly’s departure to LSU. The Fighting Irish tabbed defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman its next head coach. Under Freeman’s leadership, much is anticipated as many of Notre Dame’s players vouched for his hiring. Projected Score: Notre Dame 31, Oklahoma State 24

Rose Bowl Game
6.Ohio State vs. 11.Utah
Rose Bowl Stadium (Pasadena)
Jan. 1, 5 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN App
Opt-Outs:WR Chris Olave (OSU), WR Garrett Wilson (OSU), DE Haskell Garrett (OSU), LT Nicholas Petit-Frere (OSU)
Utah has a tough team that easily beat runner-up Oregon en route to a Pac-12 championship. Ohio State will be without two thirds of its talented receiving core but will still have Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The combination of QB CJ Stroud and running back TreVeyon Henderson will determine this game. Utah’s defense has been better than Ohio State’s and it could be the difference in the game. Projected Score: Utah 28, Ohio State 21

Allstate Sugar Bowl
6.Baylor vs. 7.Ole Miss
Caesars Superdome (New Orleans)
Jan. 1, 8:45 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN App
Let’s just say it. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral has been phenomenal this season. He is far removed from his six interception performance against Arkansas. Also, give huge credit to Lane Kiffin’s defense on improving and giving them a chance to even make a New Year’s Six game. Baylor QB Gerry Bohanon has been phenomenal this season along with the Baylor’s defense. Matt Corral and the Ole Miss offense is the difference. Projected Score: Ole Miss 38, Baylor 27

By Carter Huff

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