A Breakdown of the College Football Playoff Four

We have our four teams! How did each team make the playoff and what can you expect from each one?

  1. Alabama: For the Crimson Tide, it's business as usual. Nick Saban's squad enters the playoff as the #1 seed with a vaunted offense. Bryce Young looks like a Heisman frontrunner and the receiving corps, led by Jameson Williams (68 receptions, 1,445 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns), is as dominant as ever. Alabama manhandled #1 Georgia in the SEC Championship game, 41-24, behind these units, making them a threat once again. However, that doesn't mean that the Crimson Tide is perfect. Saban has criticized the defense for not playing up to standard. That's true for the secondary, which has allowed 223.3 YPG. If any of the other three playoff teams want to win, they must go deep and hurt the Crimson Tide on the long ball.

  2. Michigan: Many critics have chastised Jim Harbaugh's coaching style, saying that he'll never win the Big Ten East, let alone the Big Ten. How would he compete in a division featuring Urban Meyer, James Franklin, Mark Dantonio, and Ryan Day? It was nigh impossible for Harbaugh to compete, especially when his recruiting tactics were a mere spectacle. However, Harbaugh threw out the common cockiness of Michigan and put in a "we're gonna kick your ass" attitude, leading them to a Big Ten Championship. They throttled Iowa by a score of 42-3, building off the momentum from their big victory over Ohio State a week earlier. Starting with a fearsome front four led by Aidan Hutchinson (14 sacks, two forced fumbles) and ending with a terrifying running game led by Hassan Haskins (1,288 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns) and Blake Corum (939 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns), the Wolverines look like they can beat anybody.

  3. Georgia: The Bulldogs were exposed against the Tide in the SEC Championship game, losing to the likes of Bryce Young and Jameson Williams. Deep balls and running the right routes hurt Georgia badly. Georgia has had an easy schedule in the SEC East after all, with their best win being against Kentucky. Still, Georgia's defense shouldn't be scoffed at. The Bulldogs are hard to run against, allowing only 81.7 YPG and only three rushing touchdowns this season. They're also hard to pass on, allowing only 172.2 YPG. Overall, the defense yields 253.9 YPG, making them a formidable unit. But don't sleep on the offense, either. With weapons like Brock Bowers (47 receptions, 791 yards, 11 touchdowns), Georgia can hurt you in more ways than one on offense.

  4. Cincinnati: Finally, a Group of Five team has made the College Football Playoff. It took beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish handily in South Bend, winning the AAC Championship, and going undefeated to do it. But it finally happened. Led by dynamic quarterback Desmond Ridder and a stingy defense, the Bearcats have broken down the door to the playoff. It isn't just Ridder and the defense, though. It's also Jerome Ford (200 carries, 1,242 rushing yards, 19 touchdowns) who's tough to bring down. The main story is the Group of Five finally getting a playoff team in the mix, which is a major victory for the underdogs and forgotten schools everywhere.