Welcome to the third year of the College Football Playoffs (CFP). This year sees familiar faces in Alabama and Clemson back from last year’s championship game with Washington making its first appearance and Ohio State back for the first time since winning it all two years ago.
All four teams have been tested during their long road to reaching the semi-final games this year, with Alabama, Clemson and Washington being crowned conference champions. However, controversy surrounded the selection of Ohio State as they lost to the eventual Big Ten Champions Penn State on a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown in Happy Valley. But key wins, including a double OT thriller against Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines, were ultimately enough to secure their second playoff selection despite not playing for their conference title.
So now that the season is over and the big games are finally here, let’s take a look at how it’ll all go down.
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Prediction
The Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl features #4 Washington vs. #1 Alabama at 3:00pm on ESPN.
Alabama Wins 42-17.
Washington snuck their way in to the CFP and their reward is having to play one of the best college defenses the country has ever seen in Alabama, boasting ten defensive touchdowns. Washington’s highlight win on the season came in the Pac-12 Championship against Colorado. The only top-tier defense the Huskies played was a loss, 26-13, to the USC Trojans. Alabama is undefeated and seemed to play on a different level than every team this year. Ultimately, superior experience, size and coaching are going to cause this game to be too much for the Washington Huskies.
Play Station Fiesta Bowl Prediction
The Play Station Fiesta Bowl Features #2 Clemson vs #3 Ohio State at 7:00pm on ESPN
Clemson Wins 31-24
Ohio State and Clemson are the most intriguing matchup of the semifinal round with both teams having suffered only one loss this season. Clemson is on the verge of back-to-back appearances in the National Championship game. Last year they lost an instant classic to Alabama 45-40. Ohio State is back in the playoffs after losing their spot last year to surprise Michigan State, but QB J.T. Barrett is looking to add a second National Championship to his resume. Deshaun Watson Followed up his 4,000 yard passing/ 1,000 rushing season with another Heisman worthy year, needing only 86 passing yards on Saturday to break 4,000 for the second consecutive season. This game is going to be close for the most part, but Deshaun Watson is a special kind of player, and look for him to use his legs to create and capitalize on scoring opportunities late in the game.