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College Football Playoff: Best Games of All Time

We've now reached ten years of the College Football Playoff era and before the field expands to 12 teams next season, we compiled a list of the five best playoff games from this era.

A number of these games are from the first five years of the playoffs, but a few recent classics were in contention including one that almost topped the list. 

Without any further ado, let's get into the top five College Football Playoff games of all time.

5. 2019 Fiesta Bowl

Clemson 29, Ohio State 23

Most sports fans remember the 2019 LSU team that steamrolled the competition en route to a national championship. However, one game that shouldn't be lost to time is the semi-final game between Clemson and Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. 

Clemson was in the process of being routed, but the Tigers - led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence - rallied from a 16-0 deficit to take a lead in the second half. 

After both teams traded points, Clemson's defense came up big with an interception in the end zone to close out the contest and advance to the title game.

4. 2018 National Championship

Alabama 26, Georgia 23

In a game that doubled as announcing Georgia's presence as an impending college football power, the Bulldogs seemed to have full control of the proceedings with a 13-0 halftime lead. 

It also featured one of the biggest coaching decisions of Nick Saban's career, in which the all-time great benched Jalen Hurts for true freshman Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. 

The enduring moment from this game comes in overtime, where Alabama held Georgia to a field goal on the first series before Tagovailoa tossed a deep touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith on 2nd & 26 to complete the comeback and seal a near-miraculous win for the Crimson Tide. 

3. 2017 National Championship

Clemson 35, Alabama 31

This is one where the sequel lived up to the original - which was the 2015/16 National Championship game in which Alabama won 45-40 - and then some. These two schools have faced off in the title game three times in the Playoff era, and this game might have been the best.

Both teams traded blows throughout what was a very tight game from the opening series, and it all came down to the final quarter. 

Jalen Hurts led Alabama on a clutch touchdown drive in the final two minutes, giving the Crimson Tide the late lead. However, he left Deshaun Watson and Clemson's offense too much time, and Hunter Renfrow caught game-winning touchdown with just one second remaining. 

This was the first title in over three decades for the Tigers and was part of a run of dominance at the top of the sport that included another championship just a couple of seasons later. 

2. 2022 Peach Bowl

Georgia 42, Ohio State 41

In the most recent instalment on this list, we were treated to a classic between Georgia and Ohio State in this College Football Playoff semi-final game last year. 

The Bulldogs were favored by nearly a touchdown in this contest, but the Buckeyes were up to the task, jumping out to an early lead and holding that lead for a large portion of the game. 

CJ Stroud played one of the best games of his career, leading Ohio State to an 11-point lead in the final quarter, before Georgia put up 14 points in the span of 8 minutes to take a 1-point lead with under two minutes to play.

One of the defining moments of this playoff era came on the game's final drive, as Stroud used his legs to lead Ohio State into field goal range in the waning seconds before Noah Ruggles missed the potential game-winning field goal. Georgia would win its second straight National Championship one week later.  

1. 2018 Rose Bowl

Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48 (2OT)

Any list of the best college football games in recent memory is likely going to have this CFP semi-final matchup between Georgia and Oklahoma at the top. 

Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield led the way for the Sooners while Georgia's offense was spearheaded by the electric running back tandem of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

The first half was dominated by Oklahoma, as the Sooners led 31-17 at the break. 

After the half, Georgia immediately put together a 24-0 run in the span of just over 15 minutes of game-time. From there, chaos ensued as the Sooners answered with a 14-0 run of their own to take a 45-38 lead midway through the quarter. 

Georgia would go on to tie the game at 45, forcing overtime in the process. The defining moment of the game came in double overtime, where the Bulldogs blocked an Oklahoma field goal and immediately cashed in with a Michel rushing touchdown on the next play. 

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