Champ Week recap: CFP gets it right, Heisman watch, bowls we love

John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 college football regular season was a hell of a journey.

It began with Northwestern getting Nebraska's Scott Frost all but fired in Ireland. It gave us App State's all-time trio of incredible September games -- the 63-61 loss to North Carolina, the 17-14 win over Texas A&M, the Hail Mary win over Troy with "GameDay" in town. It gave us Alabama's road travails -- the Tide barely beat Texas, then lost to Tennessee and LSU, all in down-to-the-wire classics.

It gave us Jalon Daniels' September Heisman run as Kansas -- yes, Kansas! -- stole the hearts of the college football public. It gave us an all-time Saturday in Week 7, with fans rushing the field in Knoxville, Fort Worth, Salt Lake and Syracuse. It gave us San Jose State's win for No. 6. It gave us a November as topsy-turvy as most in recent memory.

And in the end, it gave us the most straightforward College Football Playoff race one can imagine, one that was sewn up before most of Saturday's conference championship games had kicked.

Once USC got thumped by Utah on Friday night -- opening the door for Ohio State to get a mulligan after last week's loss to Michigan -- and once TCU didn't get blown out by Kansas State, that was that. We ended up with two unbeaten power-conference champions and two one-loss non-champions, and those are the four teams with a shot at the national title.