by Bradford Brooks
Last Saturday was the culmination of another exciting college football regular season, and just like many other years, this season did not leave without depositing some controversy.
This past Sunday the College football playoff committee did a few things that it had never done before in its 3 year tenure by selecting two teams from the same conference and by not selecting a Big Ten Team.
Ohio State, who defeated Wisconsin this past Saturday in the BIG 10 Championship Game 27 to 21 was left out of the playoff picture when the committee ranked the buckeyes at number 5 Sunday afternoon.
Instead the selection committee decided to Select ACC champion and defending national champion Clemson as the 1 seed, Big 12 champion Oklahoma as the 2 seed, SEC champion Georgia, and finally Alabama who didn’t win it’s conference, but was seen as the better team and more worthy team for that final spot.
This is the second year that the College Football Playoff selection committee has put a team into the 4 team playoff that did not win its conference. Although Ohio State was able to defeat Wisconsin and capture the Big 10 title, the committee really took their 31 point loss to Iowa on the road as a heavy factor.
Alabama will face off in a championship rematch when they face Clemson January 1st in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
No. 3 Georgia vs No. 2 Oklahoma (January 1st, 5 p.m. ET on ESPN at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California)
For the first time in 12 years the Georgia Bulldogs are the champions of the SEC, Kirby Smart’s team is led by their stout front seven as the defense ranks number 4 in the country in total yards will be facing off against the Oklahoma Sooners who are led by Heisman trophy front runner Baker Mayfield who have the number 1 offense in college football and are averaging 44.9 points per game.
Georgia has been dominant all season only dropping one game to Auburn in the regular season, who they were able to dominate in their rematch in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs will be facing an Oklahoma team that is giving up and average of 385 yards per game and 144 rushing yards per game.
The Bulldogs will have a stable of running backs with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and freshman signal caller Jake Fromm who should have plenty of opportunities to make some plays in the air. But in this game the Sooners will ultimately still find a way to win as they have been able to do all season.
Baker Mayfield has shown up in every test thrown at him this season and I predict that trend to continue as he plays on this big stage. Plus, in the three years of the CFB playoff the number 3 seed in the playoff has never won a game. Oklahoma wins a very good game against Georgia.
Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Georgia 38
No. 1 Clemson vs No. 4 Alabama (January 1st, 8:45 p.m. ET on ESPN at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans)
The trilogy continues as the Clemson Tigers will face the Alabama Crimson Tide for the third consecutive time in the playoff.
This will be a clash between two great programs, both of these teams have defenses that rank in the top 10 of college football and two great coaches in Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney.
The Tigers defense is anchored by playmakers on the defensive line and will look to contain Bama and their dynamic rushing attack. Both of these programs have dealt with injuries this season over the past couple of weeks and Bama will look to rebound after being defeated in the Iron Bowl.
Alabama has dealt with offensive struggles this season and I think Clemson will have to ultimately stop the run and force Jalen Hurts to try to win the game with his arm.
In this trilogy I believe it will be another heavyweight fight till the very end, but Clemson has proven to be the best team in college football this season as they have been clicking on all cylinders on both sides of the ball.
In a tough game I think Clemson wins for the second time in a row and will play in their 3rd consecutive National championship.
Prediction: Clemson 27, Alabama 21
College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T
No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (January 8th, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
The nation’s most complete team and the nation’s best quarterback square off, but Clemson knows what it takes to finish the job. Clemson DL Christian Wilkins will shine in his final college game as the Tigers become the first team to repeat since Alabama in 2012.
Prediction: Clemson 38, Oklahoma 35