The last time we saw the Pac-12 represented in the College Football Playoff was back during the 2016 season, when Washington earned a spot in the national semifinal. Now, after that league's final-ever championship game, we'll be seeing the conference back in the national title race again in 2023. That's after Washington downed rival Oregon in Vegas to finish as undefeated conference champions.
The series could have hardly been closer, although the Huskies own the 2-0 overall edge against the Ducks this season. The first meeting was a 36-33 win for UW, and Saturday's result was 34-31 in its favor. Washington outscored Oregon, 70-64, in the two meetings this season, two crucial building blocks towards making the playoff.
Where do things stand right now? Here's our prediction for the updated CFP rankings after the events of the Pac-12 Championship Game.
4. Florida State. The Seminoles have been winning some close games of late and an injury-induced change at quarterback should ensure the results get closer. Nothing's a sure thing against Louisville in the ACC title game, but we still predict a narrow victory for FSU, and no undefeated conference champ has ever missed the playoff.
3. Washington. The Huskies built a lead over Oregon, withstood the Ducks' comeback bid, and mounted one of their own to finish off their rivals with a statement fourth quarter drive to build a 10-point lead and win the Pac-12. Undefeated through 13 games, there's nothing to keep the Huskies out now.
2. Michigan. After running through the Big Ten with arguably Jim Harbaugh's most talented roster, the Wolverines should do likewise to Iowa and its famously-awful offense for the conference title and stay put at No. 2 in the final rankings.
1. Georgia. College football's consensus No. 1 team is a narrow favorite against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and while the Crimson Tide will present a challenge on the defensive line and with Jalen Milroe playing some of his best football, the Bulldogs have just enough more to come out ahead here.
Rose Bowl Semifinal Game: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Washington
Sugar Bowl Semifinal Game: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Florida State
National Championship Game prediction: Georgia vs. Washington
College Football HQ national champion: Georgia