There are going to be two great bowl games happening at the end of the month to determine who plays in the national championship game on Monday, Jan. 9.
The College Football Playoff pairings are set. This tells me that right now Penn State is more capable of competing with top-level talent than Washington is, since the Huskies have played a fairly tame schedule compared to Penn State.
Clemson, fresh off their winning their 2nd straight ACC Championship game on Saturday night, will be heading back to Phoenix, Arizona for the semifinals of the College Football Playoff it was announced on Sunday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions were followed by Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
- No. 18 Virginia Tech lost 42-35 to Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and moved up one spot.
Ohio State is the first at-large team to make the field in the short three-year history of the playoff.
The Huskies got the call, and Washington will meet Alabama in the Peach Bowl in the other semifinal. 3 MI in double-overtime to close out the season.
If I were to compare the resumes of these 2 teams, I would have to score it like so: Yes, Washington has a better record, but if you look at each team's "strength of record" rank on ESPN (a factor in determining ESPN's FPI rankings), Washington is ranked 4th while Penn State is 7th, meaning that Penn State's schedule was much harder than Washington, nearly completely making up for the 1-game differential between the 2 teams.
The other semifinal is No. 2 Clemson against No. 3 Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl, also December 31.
"The strength of schedule of Washington has been a concern for this selection committee", chairman Kirby Hocutt said. Swinney has taken the Tigers to a bowl game in each of his nine seasons, winning at least 10 games the past six.
Penn State, following their win in the Big Ten title game, jumped ahead of MI into the fifth spot and the Wolverines dropped to sixth.
Alabama has earned the distinction as the best team in America and will face the fundamentally sound Huskies of the Pac-12. Not to mention, I think Washington vs. MI would be a better Rose Bowl than Penn State vs. Colorado, so I think that could be a deciding factor as well.
- Which Atlantic Coast Conference team will play in the Orange Bowl, likely against No. 6 MI?
What propelled Ohio State into the College Football Playoff was its win over top 10 Oklahoma on the road, Hocutt said. "They've played good teams and they've beaten good teams".