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The 2022 college football season has reached the finish line with Championship Weekend giving us all the clarity we needed to project the College Football Playoff, New Year's Six bowl games and the final CFP Rankings of the year. That does not mean that the CFP Selection Committee has an easy job ahead if it, though; it's just that many of them are cut and dried.

Before we get to the rankings themselves, here's a refresher listing some of key points the committee members consider when deciding a team's ranking beyond their on-field record:

  • Strength of schedule
  • Conference championships (when decided)
  • Head-to-head
  • Results vs. common opponents
  • Results vs. ranked opponents

Thankfully, the committee's definition of "ranked opponents" is different than what you're used to seeing. The rankings they use are the prior week's CFP Rankings. They do not consider where teams are ranked when the games were played either in the CFP, AP Top 25, etc. Using game-time rankings is the most worthless way to determine "ranked opponents;" in fact, the committee specifically forbids the use of any poll that has a preseason starting point.

Notice that "game control" is not listed in the criteria. It never has been considered despite the term (or similar concepts) coming out of the mouth of the committee chairman at times the last few full seasons. (The CFP does not have a way to measure "game control" -- I've seen the data the committee uses -- but let's not kid ourselves: They do talk about it.)

With all that in mind, here is how the final CFP Rankings will look. Remember: This is not necessarily how I would vote if I were on the committee. I am merely predicting what they will do Sunday afternoon.

Check out Jerry Palm's complete 2022-23 bowl projectionsFollow along with CFP and bowl game announcements throughout the day here

College Football Playoff Rankings prediction

The Bulldogs finished a dominant season with a 50-30 win over LSU. There is no doubt that Georgia will be the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff as it attempts to defend its national championship. Last week: 1
Michigan got a fight from Purdue in the first half but went on to win the Big Ten championship 43-22 and secure the No. 2 seed in the CFP. Last week: 2
The Horned Frogs overcame a late deficit again against Kansas State but fell in overtime to the Wildcats in the Big 12 Championship Game. Even with the loss, TCU should still be the third seed in the CFP, though there is a slight chance Ohio State could jump the Frogs for this spot. Last week: 3
Did not play on championship weekend. The Buckeyes benefit from the USC's Pac-12 Championship Game loss to Utah and slide into the final playoff spot. Last week: 5
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 6
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 7
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 8
The Tigers beat North Carolina to win the ACC championship and earn a berth in the Orange Bowl. Clemson returns to a New Year's Six game after seeing its six-year CFP streak broken last season. Last week: 9
The Wildcats are Big 12 champions after an overtime win against TCU. They may not get much of a boost in the rankings, but it does not matter. KSU is off to the Sugar Bowl. Last week: 10
Utah hammered USC in the Pac-12 title game and swept the two games between the teams. The Utes will play in their second straight Rose Bowl. Last week: 11
It will be hard to justify keeping the Trojans ahead of Utah despite a better overall record. They should still get a spot in the New Year's Six, most likely the Cotton Bowl. Last week: 4
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 12
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 13
The Tigers lost their second game in a row to end the season. Falling to the Bulldogs is not nearly as bad as the prior loss to Texas A&M. The committee has always been kind to underdogs that lose conference title games, so I do not expect LSU to fall, but they will miss out on a New Year's Six bid. Last week: 14
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 15
Did not play on championship weekend.Last week: 16
The Green Wave dominated UCF 45-28 to win the American and advance to a major bowl game for the first time since 1939. Not only that, they retained coach Willie Fritz despite interest elsewhere. Look for Tulane in the Cotton Bowl, likely against USC. Last week: 18
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 17
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 19
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 20
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 21
The Knights could not repeat the feat of beating the Green Wave. Rhyming aside, UCF should get a good bowl assignment. Last week: 22
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 24
Did not play on championship weekend. Last week: 25
The Tar Heels lost their third straight game to end a season that started 9-1. UNC could drop a bit from last week. Last week: 23