Polling Place: Voters pick College Football Playoff, Illinois-Mississippi State winners

How does a Michigan-Ohio State football rematch Jan. 9 in Southern California sound?

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Michigan v Ohio State

Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy drops back to pass against Ohio State.

Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images

How does a Michigan-Ohio State football rematch Jan. 9 in Southern California sound?

It’s only happening if the No. 2 Wolverines beat No. 3 TCU and the No. 4 Buckeyes upset No. 1 Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals Saturday. And that clearly isn’t the outcome most folks expect to see.

In this week’s ‘‘Polling Place,’’ your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, we asked voters to pick semifinal winners.

‘‘Michigan and OSU — payback for all the Big Ten haters out there,’’ @RonaldVoigt commented.

‘‘Georgia is clearly the best team in the country,’’ @JeffreyCanalia offered. ‘‘Michigan has to come through for the Big Ten.’’

We also asked voters to pick the winner of the ReliaQuest Bowl between Illinois and Mississippi State on Monday. Last, we asked which team will have the best 2023: the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs or the White Sox?

‘‘You mean ‘best’ in a Chicago-sports kind of way, right?’’ @RichardBartecki wrote. ‘‘Because no one is making the playoffs.’’

That’s cold, man.

On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: It’s Michigan-TCU and Georgia-Ohio State in Saturday’s College Football Playoff semifinals. And the winners are?

Upshot: Not much respect here for the Buckeyes or the Horned Frogs, who, presumably, will show up to their games and play anyway. But it’s understandable if respondents are expecting a couple of one-sided games, because that’s what we’ve seen in the semis throughout the playoff’s existence. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple of barn-burners instead?

Poll No. 2: Illinois takes on Mississippi State in Monday’s ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa. Who wins?

Upshot: Both teams are dealing with player opt-outs, but the Illini probably have been hit a bit harder than the Bulldogs on that front. Still, it’s pretty much a coin-toss game according to oddsmakers. Where we come from, that means the Illini have a shot.

Poll No. 3: Which team will have the best 2023?

Upshot: Wait, are we certain these are the Chicago Bears who got 42.7% of the vote? You’ve got to hand it to voters for their unrelenting belief in quarterback Justin Fields and what the front office can build around him. Or maybe voters simply don’t have much faith in the other teams on this list.

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