WE NOW KNOW WHO’S IN, BUT WHO WINS?

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Michael Markoch

GRAPEVINE, TX- On December 3, 2017, the 13 man College Football Playoff Committee revealed the four teams that will play in the 2017 College Football Playoff.

There was much controversy surrounding the playoff this year, especially with the debate between Ohio State and Alabama for the fourth and final spot in the playoff.  In the end, the committee chose Alabama, who will face the ACC champion, Clemson, in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.  The other semifinal will consist of Big 12 champion, Oklahoma, vs the SEC champion, Georgia, in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

The rankings made some fans happy and others not, like Junior Christian Monconduit, who was upset about the rankings.

¨I was upset that Alabama made it in, because they do not deserve to be in the playoffs, due to them not playing anyone great and losing to a team that had a horrible start to their season. But most of all, Alabama is a team that is always given everything they want and have been given passes unlike everyone else in college football.¨

This is the first year that two teams from the same conference will participate in the playoff as Georgia and Alabama are both from the SEC.  The Big 10 and Pac-12 conference champions are left in other bowl games wondering what could’ve been.

So now that we know who’s in, now it’s time to find out who wins.  Below is my analysis for all 4 teams and my prediction for how the 2017 College Football Playoff will shake out.

 

WHO’S IN?

 

  1. Clemson Tigers, ACC Champions (12-1)- Clemson was announced as the number one team in the rankings this year, and rightfully so, as the Tigers are the defending national champions who are coming off another great season and a 38-3 trouncing of #7 Miami in the ACC championship. This will be the 3rd straight year Clemson is participating in the playoff.  Clemson was ranked 16th nationally in total offense and 8th in total defense, but they got a brutal draw in getting Alabama in their semifinal.

 

  1. Oklahoma Sooners, Big 12 Champions (12-1)- Oklahoma received the 2nd seed in the playoff, led by a strong résumé, that included a Big 12 title and a victory in Columbus vs Ohio State.  Oklahoma was ranked as the #1 offense this year in college, led by Heisman favorite, Baker Mayfield, but was ranked 81st in total defense. Will the lack of defense hurt the Sooners in the playoff? We will find out on New Year’s Day vs Georgia.

 

  1. Georgia Bulldogs, SEC Champions (12-1)- Georgia recovered from a regular season loss to Auburn to beat the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game 28-7.  Georgia is led by a strong defense and a freshman quarterback, Jake Fromm.  The Bulldogs ranked 6th nationally in total defense and 18th in total offense. They don’t have all that firepower that the other teams do, but facing a weaker Oklahoma defense may be in their favor.

 

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide, SEC At-Large (11-1)-  Alabama will make their record 4th appearance in the playoff after receiving the number 4 spot.  Alabama didn’t even win their division in the SEC after a loss to Auburn, but the committee felt they were good enough to get in.  Regardless, the Tide will head to New Orleans to play Clemson for the 3rd straight matchup, pitting those 2 teams.  Alabama ranked #1 in total defense and #22 in total offense, but have their hands full with Clemson in a few weeks.

 

WHO WINS?

 

Semifinal #1: Rose Bowl Game- #2 Oklahoma Sooners vs #3 Georgia Bulldogs

My Prediction: You’ll see great defense with Georgia and great offense with OU and normally defense wins these types of games, but Baker Mayfield is too good and he goes off to lead the Sooners to a tight Rose Bowl win. Oklahoma 38, Georgia 30

 

Semifinal #2: Allstate Sugar Bowl- #1 Clemson Tigers vs #4 Alabama Crimson Tide

My Prediction: Alabama is going to come into this game feeling disrespected and will play with an edge that we haven’t seen them play with, but I think Clemson is clearly the best team and with a great defense that will give Alabama troubles, I think the Tigers win comfortably.  

Clemson 31, Alabama 21

 

National Championship:  #1 Clemson Tigers vs #2 Oklahoma Sooners

My Prediction: This game is so hard to pick; defending national champions against probable Heisman winner.  This game would be so great if it happens, Oklahoma would be facing another great defense in Clemson and the Tigers will slow them down, but the Sooners are different than anything they’ve seen all year and they have the best player, and like last year with Deshaun Watson, that will be the difference.  Oklahoma 35, Clemson 27

 

Works Cited

http://www.espn.com/college-football/statistics/team/_/stat/total/position/defense/sort/totalYards

http://www.espn.com/college-football/statistics/team/_/stat/total/sort/totalYards