May 27, 2024

The Georgia Bulldogs and Washington Huskies, No. 1 and No. 5 in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, had the toughest matchups of Week 12 on Saturday — at least on paper. Both teams were the only playoff contenders to face ranked opponents.

Washington got all it could handle from the Oregon State Beavers. In rainy Corvalis, the Huskies held on for a 22-20 win. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. passed for 162 yards and connected with Rome Odunze for two scores, but it was the Huskies defense that sealed the deal with a fourth-down stop with two minutes left in the game.

Georgia had no trouble with the No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers. After the Vols scored on their first play from scrimmage, the Bulldogs answered with 24 consecutive points on their way to an easy 38-10 win. Receiver Dillon Bell threw and caught a touchdown pass.

The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes completely dominated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 37-3. OSU’s defense held Minnesota to just 159 total yards.

The No. 3 Michigan Wolverines, playing their second game without coach Jim Harbaugh, who is serving a three-game suspension due to the sign-stealing investigation, held off the Maryland Terrapins to stay undefeated. The Terps got within five points and forced the Wolverines to punt on three straight second-half possessions. However Taulia Tagovailoa threw a costly interception and was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, giving Michigan a safety and allowing the Wolverines to prevail 31-24.

The Florida State Seminoles, ranked No 4 in the rankings, started slow, but eventually cruised past the FCS North Alabama Lions. Though FSU remained undefeated, it lost star quarterback Jordan Travis, who was carted off the field with his left leg in an air cast.

Along with the Thanksgiving holiday, the final week of the regular season serves up traditional rivalries. Washington faces the Washington State Cougars for the Apple Cup, while Florida State travels to face the Florida Gators. Georgia visits the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. And, of course, Ohio State and Michigan will face off in one of the most anticipated editions of their rivalry next Saturday.

Here’s who ESPN’s college football reporters are picking for the playoff:

Andrea Adelson: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. Florida State

Blake Baumgartner: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. Washington

Kyle Bonagura: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Washington 4. Ohio State

Bill Connelly: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Washington

Heather Dinich: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. Florida State

David Hale: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Washington 4. Ohio State

Chris Low: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Florida State

Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Florida State

Ryan McGee: 1. Georgia 2. Washington 3. Ohio State 4. Florida State

Adam Rittenberg: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Washington 4. Ohio State

Alex Scarborough: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Washington

Mark Schlabach: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Oregon

Paolo Uggetti: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Washington

Tom VanHaaren: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Florida State

Dave Wilson: 1. Georgia 2. Michigan 3. Ohio State 4. Washington

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