The NCAA Tournament will hit its climax this weekend with the Final Four, pitting the best teams in the nation against each other with a national championship on the line. Though it isn't quite as expansive as its basketball counterpart, the College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams for the 2024 season. 

So, though making the "Final Four" was once a given for teams that earned a berth in the previous format, a trip to the semifinals moving forward will involve playing through at least a couple of rounds. That creates an air of unpredictability around the College Football Playoff that we haven't yet seen. 

With March Madness still in the air, though, and several college football teams reaching the end of their spring practice sessions, it felt appropriate to take a stab at predicting the Final Four for the 2024 season; in other words, the college football writers at CBS Sports each took a stab at picking which four teams will be the last ones standing.

There are the obvious powerhouses to choose from, like Ohio State and Georgia -- two teams that are looking to make it back to the playoff after missing out in 2023 -- and some dark horses, such as Ole Miss and Notre Dame, that could benefit from an expanded field to make a deep run. Here's how we think the "Final Four" will play out during the 2024 college football season. 

Chip Patterson 

Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Oregon

While the ACC and the Big 12 champions will have an advantage in the 12-team playoff by getting a pass directly to the quarterfinals, I wonder if the rest/rust debate breaks the other way when they have to play a first-round winner that might be a betting favorite. I think the likes of Texas or Oregon could be coming off victories in front of their home crowd and primed to take aim at a quarterfinal opponent who hasn't played since the conference championship game. I've got Georgia and Ohio State projected to win their respective conferences, and the on-paper advantage that they carry over most of the competition makes it difficult to imagine either team not making it at least to the semifinals.

Tom Fornelli 

Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, LSU

After watching Alabama lose to Michigan in the Rose Bowl last season and seeing two Big Ten programs (eventual, anyway) square off in the title game, the SEC answers by putting three programs in the final four this season. My thought process isn't complicated. We don't know who the best quarterback in the country will be this year, but when I look at these four programs, I'm confident each will be solid at the QB spot. They also boast talented rosters outside the position. In other words, they're the type of teams we typically see in the title picture come the end of the season.  

Shehan Jeyarajah 

Ohio State, Texas, Georgia, Oregon 

I'm rarely one to go chalk, but a few programs are just in title-or-bust range heading into next season. Between its easy path and roster strength, Ohio State should be the No. 2 seed at worst. Anything less than an appearance in the Final Four would be a major disappointment. Texas and Georgia are also poised to battle at the top of the SEC and the loser of the conference title game is well-positioned to defeat the Big 12 or ACC champion. That leaves an opening for the fourth team. With Kalen DeBoer gone from Washington and Jim Harbaugh off to the NFL, Oregon has an opening to rise to the No. 2 team in the Big Ten. With all the attrition among top Big 12 and ACC teams, it's difficult to see which champ can knock off a top-end team. 

The CFP Committee will have some leeway to tinker with the rankings -- especially when deciding if they'd prefer conference title game rematches in the semis or title game -- but the gap between these four teams and the field feels significant entering April. 

David Cobb 

Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ole Miss

Ohio State has amassed a supremely talented roster and will have the physicality required to steamroll into the Final Four. Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be able to motivate his team with the fact that it missed last year's College Football Playoff. Notre Dame will have more dynamic quarterback play than it has had in years if Duke transfer Riley Leonard can stay healthy. Ole Miss is all in on 2024 with major additions to its defensive front that should help the Rebels maintain or build upon its program record of 11 victories. Texas and Oregon are omitted largely out of skepticism that they will be able to withstand the grind associated with moving to tougher leagues.

Cameron Salerno 

Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, Ole Miss

It feels weird picking a "Final Four" with two teams from the SEC and Big Ten, but here we are. After missing out on the CFP last season, Georgia will return to the big stage. Carson Beck should be one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy, and Kirby Smart's defense is elite. Ohio State went all in this offseason by landing star safety Caleb Downs from Alabama and running back Quinshon Judkins from Ole Miss. The Buckeyes will have a quarterback battle heading into the fall, with Kansas State transfer Will Howard looking like the current favorite. Ryan Day has lost to Michigan for three consecutive seasons, and this will be the year the Buckeyes get over the hump. 

The Ducks landed former Oklahoma and UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel to pair with highly-touted wide receiver Evan Stewart from Texas A&M. Ole Miss is my wildcard pick. The Rebels have a favorable schedule, and like others on this list, they went all-in via the transfer portal to upgrade the roster. The 12-team CFP will benefit Ole Miss tremendously.  

Will Backus 

Ohio State, Georgia, Oregon, Texas 

Ohio State and Georgia seem like fairly obvious picks, and there's a reason they're consensus selections here. The Buckeyes loaded up ahead of Ryan Day's sixth season at the helm, adding Chip Kelly as offensive coordinator and welcoming arguably the nation's most impressive transfer class. Day is certainly in win-now mode, and anything short of the "Final Four" will be a huge disappointment. Georgia is Georgia. Kirby Smart has built an absolute Death Star thanks to his ability to recruit and develop, so the Bulldogs will be around the top so long as he's patrolling the sidelines. The other two spots were hotly contested. Oregon seems like a solid choice. Though it might take some knocks in the Big Ten conference, the Ducks are easily the second-most talented team in the conference and should be in the race all year. Multiple teams could occupy the fourth spot, but this far out from the actual season, it boils down to the eye test. Texas passes with flying colors, given that quarterback Quinn Ewers returns and the Longhorns strategically plugged any holes on the roster with high-impact transfer additions.