No. 3 TCU is one half away from pulling off the biggest upset in College Football Playoff history with a 21-6 lead over No. 2 Michigan in the 2022 Fiesta Bowl. The Horned Frogs came into the CFP semifinal as 8-point underdogs, according to Caesar’s SportsBook, and look to become the first Big 12 to win a CFP game.
The biggest upset in CFP history came in the 2014 semifinal between Alabama and Ohio State when the No. 4 Buckeyes were 7-point underdogs to No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl but won 42-35 on their way to a national title. TCU is also considered a far bigger underdog than No. 4 seed Alabama was against No. 1 seed Clemson in 2017 when the Crimson Tide won 24-6 in the Sugar Bowl semi.
Since giving up a 54-yard run to Donovan Edwards on the first play of the game, TCU has taken over in Glendale, Arizona. Safety Bud Clark has a pick six and fumble recovery in the end zone, while the Horned Frogs defense as a whole has held the vaunted Wolverines rushing defense to just 29 yards on 19 carries since the first play. Heisman finalist quarterback Max Duggan has both a passing and rushing touchdown.
Michigan would need to put together the largest comeback in CFP history — the Wolverines were at one point down 18 points — in order to beat the Frogs. However, comebacks have not been in the Wolverines’ DNA during their magical two-year run. Michigan has not trailed by more than one score since its 34-11 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff in 2021. The biggest deficit Michigan has overcome during its two Big Ten championship runs are seven-point deficits to Ohio State and Illinois this season.
Of note, fellow Big 12 school Oklahoma surrendered the biggest lead in CFP history during the 2017 Playoff as Georgia came back from down 17 points to beat the Sooners. Clemson is close behind with a 16-point comeback against Ohio State in 2019.