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Defending champ Georgia vs. Cinderella TCU to vie for College Football Playoff national title

Bulldogs, Horned Frogs won semifinal bowl games Saturday
CFP Peach Bowl Football
Fiesta Bowl Football
Posted at 11:43 AM, Jan 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-01 11:46:26-05

After the best semifinal day in the nine-year history of the College Football Playoff, the title game will match the defending national champion against the closest thing the sport has had in years to a Cinderella team.

It will be No. 1 Georgia (14-0) looking for its second straight championship against upstart and No. 3 TCU on Jan. 9 at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

The four-team playoff has been littered with lopsided semifinal games, but Saturday's delivered two thrillers and a combined 179 points.

The Bulldogs came from 14 points down in the second half to beat No. 4 Ohio State 42-41 in the Peach Bowl and advance to the CFP championship game for the third time.

The Bulldogs and Buckeyes played a classic that came down to a missed field goal by Ohio State with 3 seconds left. Amazingly, it was even better than the wild opener of the semifinal doubleheader between No. 3 TCU and No. 2 Michigan.

The Horned Frogs (13-1) upset the Wolverines 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl, the second-highest scoring CFP game ever.

TCU, the first Big 12 to win a playoff game, will be looking for its first national title since 1938 in a season it started unranked.

Georgia, No. 1 for most of the season, is looking for its third national title, trying to become the first back-to-back champions in the CFP era and the first since Alabama won the BCS in 2011 and '12.

It will be a matchup Heisman Trophy finalist quarterbacks, with TCU's Max Duggan and Georgia's Stetson Bennett.

The Bulldogs opened as a 13 1/2-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, against the Horned Frogs in what will be the fifth meeting between the schools.

Georgia has won them all, including the last in the 2016 Liberty Bowl.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com

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