College football constantly guarantees an entertaining season, and this 2023-24 season has been nothing short of exciting as it has been filled with multiple unexpected outcomes. The college football world saw Deion Sanders completely transform the Colorado Buffaloes, as the team had an incredible start to their season, but the odds quickly changed out of the team’s favor. The Texas Longhorns managed to clinch a win on their road game against SEC powerhouse Alabama, taking the football world by storm. The Michigan Wolverines faced multiple sign-stealing allegations, leading to their head coach’s second suspension of the 2023-24 season.
All of this transpired in the regular season, and perhaps some of the most unexpected developments will occur in the College Football Playoffs following the results of the conference championship games. Let’s look at the most exciting outcomes of the conference championship games this past weekend.
Big Ten Championship Game No. 2 Michigan vs No. 16 Iowa (26-0):
Yesterday, college football fans watched as the Michigan Wolverines claimed their third consecutive Big Ten Championship title at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The conference title game was the first time since November 4 that Michigan’s head coach was permitted to be on the Wolverines’ sideline with his players.
This was Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh’s first game back following his three-game suspension resulting from sign-stealing allegations. In his first game back, Harbaugh coached his team to an impressive shutout victory over Iowa.
Following yesterday’s game, the Wolverines made college football history by becoming the fifth team to start consecutive seasons undefeated, and the team had the second shutout in Big Ten Championship Game history. The only other team to accomplish a shutout was Ohio State in their 2014 Big Ten conference title game against Wisconsin when the Buckeyes won 59-0.
While the team had an undefeated season, the Wolverines faced various difficulties following all the sign-stealing allegations against Michigan’s staff. Despite these allegations, Michigan football persevered and excelled on the field. The Wolverines seemingly secured their spot in the college football playoff following yesterday’s win. As both Michigan and Washington have secured their spots, the remaining two bids are still up for grabs as the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will announce their final decision later today.
SEC Championship Game No. 1 Georgia vs No. 8 Alabama (24-27):
Alabama football handed Georgia its very first loss in three seasons at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, ending their 29-game winning streak. Georgia’s win streak was tied for the third-longest college football winning streak since 1973, and the Crimson Tide put an end to it by securing the SEC conference title.
BAMA SNAPS GEORGIA'S 29-GAME WIN STREAK TO WIN SEC TITLE 🤯 🏆 pic.twitter.com/MNf3VmrHoP— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 3, 2023
Alabama’s win over Georgia will cause the College Football Playoff Committee to face a difficult decision over whether the Crimson Tide should receive a spot in the playoffs or if Texas, the one team that beat Alabama, deserves the bid. The Longhorns had shockingly defeated the Crimson Tide by 10 points in Week 2 of the college football season. This win greatly influenced the Texas team’s rankings for the remainder of the 2023-24 season.
The fate of Georgia Football will be revealed today, as the Bulldogs now have to wait and see the College Football Playoff Selection Committee’s decision before securing a spot in the playoffs. Since the beginning of the College Football Playoffs, the SEC has always sent at least one team to the competition. That streak could be in jeopardy with Alabama and Georgia not having secured spots in the playoffs this season.
Big 12 Championship Game No. 7 Texas vs No. 18 Oklahoma State (49-21):
This is Texas Football’s last season in the Big 12 before the team officially moves to the SEC, and what better way to finish their time in the Big 12 than by winning the conference title? Following yesterday’s game, the Longhorns won their fourth Big 12 Championship title at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, when they clinched a win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The 2023 Big 12 title is Texas’ first conference title since 2009. The Longhorns have spent the past few seasons completely transforming their team following the arrival of head coach Steve Sarkisian from Alabama in January 2021. The past few seasons, Texas seemed to be an unlikely contender for the Big 12 Championship, as the team struggled to find momentum amidst the head coach changes. With crucial additions such as Quinn Ewers and Xavier Worthy, the Longhorns have proven their capabilities this past season as the team is now 12-1.
Following yesterday’s game, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers set a Big 12 Championship Game record. The sophomore player set a new record for the most yards thrown in a Big 12 conference game after throwing 452 yards. This is Ewers’ second season playing for Texas Football, and the sophomore has continuously proven how he is a crucial asset to the team.
Following their 12-1 season and an impressive road victory over SEC powerhouse Alabama, the Texas Longhorns deserve serious consideration by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for a spot in the playoffs.
Celebration scenes 📸 pic.twitter.com/XOyFs6rRWV— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) December 3, 2023
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will announce today at noon ET which four teams will receive spots in the playoffs. College football fans anxiously await today’s announcement, as many are unsure which teams will be chosen for the competition. Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Florida State are likely contenders for the playoff spots, meaning that this could be the first year an SEC team does not make a playoff appearance.