In the era of prestige television, penultimate episodes - that is, the episode before a season finale - have tended to be the true climax of the program, with the most action and surprises while the season finale simply picks up the pieces. Many of the best episodes and most memorable moments in television history have been penultimate episodes - Game of Thrones’ Rains of Castemere, The Sopranos’ Long Term Parking, The Wire’s Cleaning Up. Tuesday night was the penultimate episode of ESPN’s College Football Ranking reveal show for the 2022 season. Time will tell if this is the climax of the season’s rankings shakeups, or if there is more drama to come in the season finale.
Spencer Rattler sent his regards at the Garnet Wedding, as his Gamecocks continued to shockingly slaughter Playoff chances, eliminating Clemson a week after taking down Tennessee. LSU’s faint hope at a new life in the witness protection of the Top 4 was dashed as the Tigers got knocked out by the Aggies in College Station for a 3rd loss ahead of the SEC Championship vs. #1 Georgia. The Oregon Ducks were kept out of the Pac 12 Title Game and its distant Playoff chances dashed by close personal friends Oregon State
The TCU Horned Frogs are ranked #3 going into Championship Weekend. It’s a triggering status brings much trauma for Frog fans, as TCU was ranked 3rd in 2014’s penultimate ranking before dropping to #6 when the Playoff field was officially announced. The 2022 season is certainly a different situation, as many national media personalities support the idea that Championship Week should only prove to benefit the teams that earned the opportunity to play for a Conference Championship, with no punishment given for a loss. However there is no way to know what this Committee will do, so TCU would need to lift the Big 12 trophy in AT&T Stadium on Saturday to feel 100% confident for the Playoff Selection Show on Sunday. That Big 12 Championship Game will be a Top 10 showdown as TCU’s opponent in Arlington, the Kansas State Wildcats, moved up to #10 after defeating Kansas.
Even with the move up to #3, TCU has the 4th best odds, equal to the USC Trojans at +1200 to win the National Championship at DraftKings Sportsbook, behind Georgia (-150), Michigan (+300), and Ohio State (+800). TCU Quarterback Max Duggan is now has the 2nd best odds to win the Heisman Trophy at +2000, behind only Caleb Williams from USC who is now an overwhelming favorite at -2500 to take home the award.
The College Football Playoff Selection Show will air on ESPN (and stream on WatchESPN & the ESPN App) on Sunday December 4 at 11:00 AM Central.