College Football Playoff Preview


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The 2018 College Football Playoff will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29 in Miami, Florida and Arlington, Texas. 1. Alabama faces 4. Oklahoma and 3. Notre Dame faces 2. Clemson.

Justin Ballou, Reporter

Every year when the college football regular season comes to an end, teams that won six or more games get the opportunity of playing in a bowl game. The elite teams—usually the ones that finish within the top 10—get to participate in the New Year’s six games, while the teams that finish within the top four in the country advance to the college football playoff. It’s a big event, as the elite teams battle against other elite teams for the luxury of hoisting the national championship trophy, crowning them as champions on Jan. 7. Here’s what to watch out for and my predictions for this year’s college football playoff.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, Texas: 2. Clemson vs. 3. Notre Dame

Many sports analysts questioned whether or not Notre Dame should be in the playoff. Besides their victory over Michigan in week one of the season, they really haven’t had any other high-caliber wins. They did go undefeated, which got them into the playoff, but since they are an independent, they did not win their conference. It will be interesting to see how they play against Clemson, a team that has been in the championship game two years in a row and won in 2016. The teams both have explosive offensives that can put up high numbers of points each game. Clemson freshman QB Trevor Laurence has had a record-breaking year for the Tigers and will have to continue his success against the Fighting Irish’s defense. Both defenses are good too, but have had their fair share of struggles in the year. Clemson has proved themselves as a championship caliber team and Notre Dame has not. Clemson will advance to San Francisco and play for a national championship for the third straight year. I predict Clemson wins big, 38-20.

Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida: 4. Oklahoma vs. 1. Alabama

For the fourth straight year, the Alabama Crimson Tide are in the playoffs. Alabama comes in at 13-0 and SEC Champions. Early in the year, fans and experts were angry that the Tide only played “powder-puff” teams such as The Citadel and Arkansas State, but proved their worth by shutting out the then number three team in the country LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. They also won the Iron Bowl against their nemesis Auburn and came from behind with their backup QB against Georgia to win the SEC. Oklahoma, however, is a completely different team. After losing to Texas in the “Red River Rivalry” back in October, they defeated the same Longhorn team in the Big 12 Championship game, which ultimately granted them a spot in the playoff. Their offense has been unstoppable all year, led by future MLB player and Heisman Trophy winner, QB Kyler Murray. Their defense struggles to contain opposing offenses, which is typical for Big 12 teams. They must come prepared to defend the mobile Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and prevent him from scrambling for big gains. I believe the Alabama defense will shut down Oklahoma superstar QB Kyler Murray. The Tide has been here before and playing in playoff games is familiar territory to them; they’ve been in every College Football playoff since it began in 2014. I predict the Tide rolls over the Sooners 38-34 and will advance to play Clemson for the National Championship.