College Football Predictions for 2022 Bowl Games, Playoff Semifinals, National Championship

Get ready for more of the same.

Sporting News’ annual preseason bowl predictions are in, and our college football playoff picks for 2022-23 are the usual suspects again.

This is the ninth year of the playoffs.

MORE: SN’s 2022 preseason preview

The semifinals of the College Football Playoffs will take place on December 31st this season. These semifinals will be played at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. The College Football Playoffs championship game will be held on January 9th at SoFi Stadium in Glendale, California.

Sporting News’ playoff picks are more the same. Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State have collectively made 17 of 32 playoff appearances. However, these four schools are yet to all make the playoffs in the same season.

MORE: Heisman Odds | Trainer rankings 1-131

SN has projections for each bowl game here, updated throughout the season:

College football bowl predictions 2022

DATE BOWL MATCH
December 16th Bahamas bowl North Texas vs. Miami, Ohio
December 16th healing bowl State of Georgia vs State of Kent
December 17th Wasabi Fenway Bowl Cincinnati vs. Boston College
December 17th New Mexico bowl BYU vs. Colorado State
December 17th Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Boise State vs. Washington State
December 17th Loan tree bowl Toledo vs. Old Dominion
December 17th Las Vegas Bowl Washington versus Florida
December 17th Frisco bowl FAU vs. Tulsa
19 Dec Myrtle Beach Bowl UTEP vs Marshall
20 Dec Famous potato bowl from Idaho Western Michigan vs. Air Force
20 Dec Boca Raton bowl East Carolina vs. UTSA
21 Dec New Orleans bowl UAB vs. Coastal Carolina
December 22 Armed Forces Bowl State of Mississippi* vs. Navy
23rd of December independence bowl Army vs. UCF
23rd of December Gasparilla bowl SMU vs. Fresno State
24th of December hawaiian bowl WKU vs. San Diego State
December 26th Quick Lane Bowl Minnesota vs. Central Michigan
December 27th camellia bowl Appalachian State vs. Northern Illinois
December 27th First Responder Bowl Arizona versus West Virginia
December 27th Birmingham bowl Memphis vs. Virginia Tech
December 27th Guaranteed rate bowl State of Iowa vs. Nebraska
December 28th military bowl Maryland* against freedom
December 28th liberty bowl State of Kansas vs. South Carolina
December 28th Texas bowl State of Oklahoma vs. Arkansas
December 29th Pinstripe Bowl Purdue vs. Louisville
December 29th Cheez-It Bowl North Carolina vs. Texas
December 29th Alamo bowl Baylor vs. Oregon
Dec 30 Duke’s Mayo Bowl Iowa vs NC State
Dec 30 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Oregon State vs. Wake Forest
Dec 30 gator bowl Pitt vs. Kentucky
Dec 30 Arizona bowl Bowling Green vs. Utah State
Dec 31 Music City Bowl Penn State vs. LSU
January 2nd Tampa Bay Bowl Michigan State vs. Ole Miss
January 2nd citrus peel Tennessee versus Wisconsin
open holiday bowl UCLA vs. Florida State

College Football New Year’s Day Six Picks

DATE BOWL MATCH
Dec 30 Capital One Orange Peel Miami, Florida vs. Notre Dame
Dec 31 Allstate Sugar Bowl Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
January 2nd Goodyear cotton bowl USC vs. Houston
January 2nd Rose bowl game Michigan versus Utah
Dec 31 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (semifinals) Clemson vs. Alabama
Dec 31 Fiesta Bowl (semifinals) Ohio State vs. Georgia

College football playoff championship pick

DATE BOWL MATCH
11th January CFP Championship Game Alabama vs. Ohio State

Six tips for the New Year

Capital One Orange Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Miami, Fla.

First-year coaches Marcus Freeman and Mario Cristobal renew a classic rivalry in the right setting. The Irish have a tough schedule with Ohio State, USC and Clemson, but it would take an 11-1 record to make the playoffs. The Hurricanes have their second appearance on New Year’s Day, and this could be a showcase for Tyler Van Dyke.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M

Oklahoma is still winning the Big 12 with freshman coach Brent Venables and they face off against the old Big 12 and future SEC rival Texas A&M, which is under pressure to end the CFP once and for all under Jimbo Fisher to create after the off-season -Continue with Nick Saban. Ultimately, the Aggies are close again, but there will be enough heat in this matchup to make the Sugar Bowl entertaining.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Houston vs. USC

Houston and Cincinnati will once again be battling for the American Athletic Conference championship, and this time the Cougars get the Group 5 bid for the sixth day of the new year. This will put Dana Holgorsen back on the coaching circuit. USC is the off-season “It” team after Lincoln Riley’s arrival and transfer portal magic that brought in Caleb Williams, Travis Dye and Jordan Addison. The Trojans have a legitimate shot at the CFP and a Pac-12 championship, but we’re giving Riley a little more time to get there.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Michigan vs. Utah

Jim Harbaugh’s first game in Michigan was a 24-17 loss in Utah. Now Harbaugh will lead Michigan to his first Rose Bowl appearance since 2007. The Wolverines are down 3-0 in the New Year’s Day Six Bowls and the CFP Semifinals, but there’s enough on the roster to come to Pasadena and pull off a win. The Utes return as defending Pac-12 champions and must stop USC and Oregon to return here. It’s a chance for Utah quarterback Cam Rising to shine again.

College football playoff selection

Capital One Orange Bowl: Alabama vs. Clemson

It took a few years to deliver Clemson-Alabama V, but the Tigers will return to the CFP as long as the offense regroups in the ACC. The defense is chock-full of All-American talent, and Dabo Swinney’s program isn’t on the wane. Alabama advances to the eighth CFP semifinals under Nick Saban, and a strong squad led by Bryce Young and Will Anderson wins another SEC championship.

MORE: Ranking the 16 best programs of the CFB era

Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Georgia

The Buckeyes and Bulldogs haven’t met since the 1993 Citrus Bowl, and this would make for the classic offensive-versus-defense match we didn’t get last season. Will the Bulldogs slow an absurd Ohio State offense led by CJ Stroud? Will Ohio State’s defense against an SEC heavyweight reach national championship caliber? The Buckeyes are 2-0 at the Fiesta Bowl in the CFP semifinals.

CFP Championship Election

CFP Championship Game (Los Angeles): Alabama vs. Ohio State

Another rematch — this time after the Crimson Tide’s 52-24 win of the CFP Championship on Jan. 11, 2021. That was during a season affected by COVID-19. What has changed for both programs two years later? Young and Stroud are the top contenders for Heisman and could be the top two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Both rosters are peppered with five-star talent, and Ryan Day is looking to win his first national title with the Buckeyes. Will Saban get 8th place here?

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