Crowning a champion in college football’s 2023 64-team playoff

The old survive-and-advance expression, the football version anyway, has us down to 16 teams.Yep, the Sweet 16 awaits in ESPN’s 2023 imaginary NCAA football tournament.The early rounds have already supplied a couple of shockers, not to mention some unforgettable minutes and games. Both veterans and freshmen have actually stepped up to steer their teams to this point. All 4 No. 1 seeds are still alive: Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and Alabama. The lowest staying seed is No. 10 Pittsburgh.To wrap-up, the initial seeds were based to some degree on ESPN’s most current SP +projections going into the 2023 season. We’re long previous seeds implying anything. All that matters now is how a group plays on game day. So let’s finish football’s version of a 64-team tournament.We’ll commit it to the late Mike Leach, who suggested a decade back when he was at Texas Tech that college football ought to go to a 64-team competition like basketball. SOUTH REGION Michael Penix Jr. is at the leading edge of UW’s dream season. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports SEMIFINALS(1)Georgia 34,(4)Ole Miss 24: Back in the day, Kirby Smart and Lane Kiffin utilized to go at it on the Alabama practice field when they were working under Nick Saban. Both had elite players, too. Kiffin has actually considerably updated the Rebels’lineup, however the Dawgs are still too strong on the defensive side of the ball and get a two-sack performance from Mykel Williams to ward off Ole Miss drives in the 4th quarter.( 3)Washington 38,(2 )Oregon 35: Kalen DeBoer and Washington take a massive step in DeBoer’s second season in Seattle. The Huskies’ balance on offense and defense is on complete display screen against longtime rival Oregon, which takes the lead midway through the fourth quarter on Bo Nix’s 67-yard goal pass to Kyler Kasper. Michael Penix Jr. responses, however, in the final seconds with his fourth goal pass of the game to send the Huskies to the Elite Eight.REGION FINAL(3)Washington 24, (1)Georgia 23: Georgia’s quest to win a third straight national championship comes to a bitter end when Washington defensive end Bralen Trice bats down a fourth-down pass at midfield inside the last minute to keep the Dawgs from moving into field-goal variety. Georgia tight end Brock Bowers has a big game with a pair of goal catches, however Washington receiver Rome Odunze has the greatest catch of the game, a 24-yard touchdown in traffic that puts Washington ahead to stay and keeps the Huskies’dream season alive.HOW WE GOT HERE First round:(1) Georgia over (16) East Carolina, (2) Oregon over (15)Syracuse, (3)Washington over(14)Washington State, (4)Ole Miss over(13 )Houston,( 12)Nebraska over(5)TCU,(6)Mississippi State over (11 )Michigan State,(10)Maryland

over (7 )Oregon State,

(9)Oklahoma State over (8) Arkansas 2nd round: (1) Georgia over (9 )Oklahoma State, (2) Oregon over (7) Maryland, (3) Washington over (6) Mississippi State, (4) Ole Miss over (12) Nebraska MIDWEST AREA Brian Kelly has to face off against his former squad in Notre Dame in the Elite 8. Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports SEMIFINALS(4)Notre Dame 30,(1)Michigan 27:Would love to see these two Midwest blue bloods still playing every year, however a marquee postseason face-off will do for now. Blake Corum and the

Wolverines’ running game set the tone early, and the Irish do not get many offending belongings. However then Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman heats up, and with some exceptional security from his offensive line, he picks apart the Michigan secondary and leads the Irish into the Elite Eight.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated(2) LSU 37, (6) Wisconsin 20: One of the most popular groups in the tournament, LSU does a bit of everything right in racing previous Wisconsin. The Tigers pass for more than 300 yards, rush for more than 200 yards and hold the Badgers to just one offending goal. If that’s insufficient, defensive tackle Maason Smith develops a strip-sack goal to offer LSU a cushion too steep for Wisconsin to overcome.REGION FINAL(2 )LSU 31,( 4)Notre Dame 27: Brian Kelly left Notre Dame after a highly effective period in South Bend to chase after championship games at LSU. As fate would have it, Kelly has to go through his old school in Year No. 2 on the Bayou to get to the Final

4. It’s not

easy, either, as Marcus Freeman’s club has fun with self-confidence and swagger, and even with some early errors, Notre Dame handles to hang around. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels isn’t sharp to open the game, but he’s clutch when it counts and leads a game-clinching goal drive in the final minutes.HOW WE GOT HERE Preliminary:( 1)Michigan over(16)Western Kentucky,(2 )LSU over (15) UTSA, (3)Clemson over(14 )Kansas,(4)Notre Dame over Wake Forest(13 ),(5)Oklahoma over( 12 )Cincinnati, (6) Wisconsin over(11 )Miami,(7 )North Carolina over(10)Baylor,(8)Missouri over( 9)Minnesota 2nd round

:(1 )Michigan over(8)

Missouri, (2) LSU over (7) North Carolina, (6) Wisconsin over (3) Clemson, (4) Notre Dame over (5) Oklahoma EAST AREA Joe Milton III is lights out in

the Sugary food 16. David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire SEMIFINALS (1) Ohio State 40, (4)Texas A&M 31: Ohio State’s protective secondary play has received its share of heat the previous couple

of seasons, and theBuckeyes once again quit a lot of huge plays in the passing game. The Texas A&M mix of

Conner Weigman-to-Ainias Smith is particularly efficient, and Smith does a great deal of his damage after the catch. The Buckeyes are able to hold up against the Aggies ‘offensive attack with a running game that wears down Texas A&M’s defense with a rotation that goes 4 deep.(2)Tennessee 44,(3)USC 41: It’s always enjoyable when a football game becomes a tennis match, and that’s what happens with these 2 high-powered offenses as they go back and forth. USC quarterback Caleb Williams is vibrant (as typical ), and Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III plays

like he has something to prove with everyone hyping Williams prior to the game. An unique groups play, however, turns the game in the Vols’favor. Dee Williams returns a punt 66 lawns to set up the consent touchdown.REGION FINAL(1)Ohio State 37,(2)Tennessee 31: The Vols have actually come a long way in 3 years under Josh Heupel, and their offense is a complicated challenge for any defense to stop. The Buckeyes don’t necessarily stop the Vols, however they’re successful in limiting their ownerships on offense. Among the ways they do

that is by feeding the ball to running back Dallan Hayden, who runs for 131 lawns and churns out one initially down after another to keep drives alive. It’s a big day for the entire Hayden household. Dallan’s dad, Aaron Hayden, was a star running back for Tennessee in the early 1990s. HOW WE GOT HERE First round:(1)Ohio State over(16)South Alabama, (2) Tennessee over(15 )BYU,(3 )USC over(14)Duke, (4)Texas A&M over (13) West Virginia, (5) UCLA over (12 )Iowa State,(11) Illinois over( 6)Kentucky,(10)Louisville over(7 )Iowa, (8)South Carolina over(9 )Texas Tech 2nd round:(1)Ohio State over( 8)South Carolina,( 2)Tennessee over(10 )Louisville,

(3) USC over (11)

Illinois, (4) Texas A&M over (5) UCLA WEST REGION Trey Benson is a huge reason that FSU is relevant in 2023. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports SEMIFINALS (1) Alabama 29, (5)Texas 21: These two teams played a year ago

in the 2nd week of the season with Alabama squeaking by on the road. Now, it’s win or go house, and with Bryce Young taking his wizardry to the NFL, the Crimson Tide return to

their roots with a bruising running game under first-year coordinator Tommy Rees. 3 different Alabama runners rush for more than 60 lawns, led by Jam Miller’s 130 yards, to keep the Tide’s national championship hopes alive.(3)Florida State 38,

( 10) Pitt 17: Pittsburgh’s outstanding run into the Sweet 16 pertains to an end, and despite the fact that the game isn’t close, it’s a suggestion of the task Pat Narduzzi has actually finished with the Panthers ‘program. It’s also a tip that Mike Norvell has Florida State back in the national conversation. Trey Benson hurries for a season-high 184 backyards, and the Seminoles are 3 wins away from their very first nationwide title considering that 2013. AREA FINAL(1)Alabama 33,( 3)Florida State 28: Quarterbacks make their names in huge games

, particularly when champions are at stake. Ty Simpson, following in the enormous steps of Bryce Young, goes from a great player to the very best player on the field in a legendary game that sees the two teams trade leads, game-changing plays and remarkable minutes. Simpson’s capability to rush out of difficulty and discover open receivers is the difference, and Alabama’s running game helps open some things for Simpson and the passing game.HOW WE GOT HERE Preliminary:(1)Alabama over(16) Colorado,( 2) Penn State over (15 )SMU,(3 )Florida State over(14)Troy,(4) Utah over(13 )Purdue, (5)Texas over NC State(12),(6)Kansas State over (11 )UCF, (10)Pitt over (7) Florida,(8)Auburn over(9)Tulane Second round: (1)Alabama over( 8)Auburn,(10)Pittsburgh over (2 ), (3)Florida State over Kansas State(7 ), (5)Texas over( 4)Utah LAST 4 Can Ty Simpson be the brand-new face of Alabama? Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports (1)Alabama 31,(3 )Washington 23

: Training turnover has actually

been absolutely nothing new for Nick Saban, and with 2 new planners this season, everyone was seeing to see how the modifications would affect the offense and defense. On defense, the Crimson Tide force more turnovers under Kevin Steele and create more unfavorable plays. Outside linebacker Dallas Turner earns a living

in the Washington backfield, and tackle Jaheim Oatis stonewalls anything the Huskies attempt to get inside and collapses the pocket. Defense has specified Saban’s profession, and it’s the defense that

leads Alabama’s trip to the national championship game.(1)Ohio State 30,( 2) LSU 28: The last time LSU won a championship game, it did so with a quarterback that started his profession at Ohio State, a guy by the name of Joe Burrow. The Tigers again have a transfer quarterback. Jayden Daniels pertained to the Bayou by method of Arizona State, and he depends on the obstacle versus an Ohio State defense that rolls the dice with its pressure. The Buckeyes don’t quit any big plays, however Daniels moves the chains with short passes and key conversion runs. Ohio State gets one swan song after a brief LSU punt, and the Buckeyes ‘best player advises everyone why he’s the very best receiver in college football. Marvin Harrison Jr. turns a slant route into a 56-yard touchdown, and Brutus Buckeye breathes a substantial sigh of relief.NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP(1 )Alabama 35, (1)Ohio State: 28: We’re down to 2 of the real powerhouses in college football, two programs that have defined quality for a very long time. A few of the names have actually altered, however new ones emerge at the most crucial time of the season. Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord takes the Alabama defense’s best shot and simply keeps returning up and making plays. The list of terrific receivers who have actually come through Alabama over the previous few seasons is staggering, but it’s a junior college transfer, Malik Benson, who makes the play that changes this game. He gets behind the Ohio State secondary for a 72-yard touchdown, and Alabama ends its”lengthy dry spell”with

its very first national championship given that the 2020 season. It’s Saban’s seventh national title at Alabama, and under his management, the Tide have never gone more than 2 seasons without a title.

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