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It started with  drama and just enough snow for effect at the Big House in Ann Arbor, where Michigan did what no Jim Harbaugh coached team ever had done--beat Ohio State.

It picked up momentum  in mid-afternoon where defending national champ Alabama toyed with arch-rival Auburn through 4 overtimes before finally closing the deal a quarterback who was presented with a Heisman challenge that he more than met. 

 And it concluded with the normal chaos, or in this case aptly named bedlam, as Oklahoma State finally found a way to get to the Big  12 championship game 

So it went, with a series of games  ESPN has appropriately named "Rivalry Week 

College football promises us much each season and seldom lets us down or disappoints.

. And to top it off the stunning news that Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was not going to be the next coach at LSU...but USC.

College football promises us much each season and seldom lets us down or disappoints. 

After last year served us with a truncated COVID dominated season with few fans and even less pageantry this year has given us a trove of gifts which has resulted in a more than interesting set of participants in next week's Championship weekend.

The Winners

USC

After a loss to BYU  which dropped the Trojans below the .,500 mark and out of bowl contention, USC athletic director Mike Bohn then hit a grand slam by reaching a deal with Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley.

Riley gets out of the fast lane that n in the SEC would be like at LSU or Oklahoma, but moves to the fertile Pac-12 where he could be an icon in rapid fashion, contending for a national championship every year.

It also elevates the Pac-12 considerably.

Michigan

The Wolverines were ranked No. 5 vs. Ohio State in a rivalry game which was one sided--towards the Buckeyes

In one afternoon that magically  as Michigan, led by an old fashioned ground game pounded the Buckeyes into submission in a 42-27 romp.

It was a duel victory for Michigan and Harbaugh who had been 0-6 since his return to his alma mater as a head coach six years ago.

With the win, Michigan won its first Big Ten East title.  "With a win in Indianapolis on Saturday, the Wolverines can win their first Big Ten title since 2004, with a potential of winning its first national championship since 1997.

Even more satisfying for Michigan fans is that Ohio State with a pair of losses is now out of the championship picture as well, although the Buckeyes could very well get a bid to the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize. 

There is also a bit of irony here for die-hard Big Ten fans. Michigan could be playing on New Year's Eve in the Cotton or Orange Bowl as a much less (nationally) prestigious Rose Bow

The Wolverines will probably be no worse than a No. 2 seed if they beat Iowa.

Cincinnati

The Bearcats again did not dazzle anyone after a 35-13 win over East Carolina on Friday in a game which was much more contested than the final score might  suggest.

But Oklahoma's loss to Oklahoma's 37-33 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday and Ohio State's 37-33 loss to Michigan, the number of quality contenders declined.

Barring a loss by No. 1 Georgia to Alabama in the SEC title game, Cincinnati seems well placed to hang on to a Top 4 spot if it beats Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

The Bearcats main competition will be once beaten Notre Dame, whose only loss of the season has been to Cincinnati in South Bend and a once beaten Oklahoma State which would have  a resume with victories over Top 10 teams in back to back (Oklahoma and Baylor).

The Bearcats should be able to fend off both of those challenges.

Nick Saban

Not that Saban has any job security issues, but here's another reason why the Alabama football coach is  comfortable in his own skin.

Trailing .10-0 in the first half against Auburn,Saban called for a field goal..

The snap was good, bt was fumbled by the holder, Paul Tyson, who was then replaced on the next snap.

Paul Tyson is the great grand son of Alabama legendary Paul Bear Bryant.

The CFP

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Much criticism has been directed towards the CFP because of its  exclusionary selection process which has limited a field to small cluster of schools  from the SEC, Big Ten and Notre Dame.

If Alabama does not make it and with Ohio State, Oklahoma, the Pac-12  and ACC almost gone, that should cheange this year.

Right now it looks like Georgia, Michigan, Cincinnati and Alabama are the prime contenders, but no one outside of Georgia looks secure.

Bowl musings

Let's look a little into the future and take a peak at the 6 CFP bowls and potential match ups.

CFP semifinals

Cotton Bowl--Michigan vs. Cincinnati

Orange Bowl--Georgia vs. Oklahoma State 

Other CFP Bowls

Rose--Utah vs. Ohio State

Fiesta Bowl--Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma

 Sugar Bowl--Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss.

Peach Bowl--Alabama vs. Pittsburgh

Play it Forward

Championship games of note

ACC

Pitt vs. Wake Forest

Offensive  display with Heisman implications if Pitt's Ken Pickett has a big game.

SEC

Alabama vs Georgia.

Everyone loves Georgia as they should, but beware of an underdog Bama team. Tide win probably gives Bryce  Young the Heisman

Big 12

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor.

Year of Cowboy in Big 12, but Sugar Bowl is consolation prize for winner

Pac 12

Oregon vs. Utah.

Rematch of a few weeks ago, when Utes won in romp. Look for repeat.

AAC

Houston vs .Cincinnati

Bearcats go 13-0

Big 10

Michigan vs. Iowa

Michigan has a chance to win the national championship if it gets past the pesky Hawkeyes.