The College Football Playoffs take place on New Year’s Eve. The top 4 teams selected by a selection committee will take part to determine who will be College Football’s national champion.
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Sat, Dec 31
Playstation Fiesta Bowl
(3) Ohio State vs. (2) Clemson
Line: Ohio State by 3
This is Clemson’s 12th straight season playing in a bowl game. They lost last year to the eventual National Champion, Alabama. The Tigers got to the playoffs by winning the ACC championship over Virginia Tech. Their lone loss was against Pitt back in October. But aside from that, the Tigers look solid. They’re led by Junior QB Deshaun Watson. He threw for over 3,900 yards, 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions this season for Clemson. He was also the team’s second-leading rusher with 529 yards and six scores. Wayne Gallman is their big running back, he ran for over a 1,000 yards. On the receiving end, Mike Williams is the go to guy, he has nearly 1200 yards and 10 TD’s. On Defense, the Tigers are led by Linebacker Ben Boulware with 105 tackles. Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins led all players with 8 sacks.
As for Ohio State they’ve steam rolled through competitors on their way to a Big-10 championship. The Buckeyes won five straight games. Their only loss this season – a 24-21 nail biter to Penn State on Oct. 22. The player to watch is QB J.T. Barrett, he has done it all for Ohio State this season. The sophomore has thrown for over 2,400 yards, 25 touchdowns and five interceptions and is the team’s No. 2 rusher with 847 yards and nine touchdowns. Mike Weber is their main back he rushed for nearly 1100 yards and scored 9 TD’s. Overall, Ohio State has rushed for 3,100 yards and 33 touchdowns this season. None of Ohio states’ receivers have over 1000 yards among them, but their best guys are Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown, each have 7 TD’s apiece this season. On defense look for Raekwon McMillan, the junior led the team with 78 tackles. Junior Defensive end Tyquon Lewis leads the team with 7½ sacks
The Buckeyes have won eight National Championships; Clemson has just one. Ohio State have never beaten Clemson; their most recent matchup was a 40-35 Clemson win in 2014. The Tigers defensive lineup is much bigger than the Buckeyes front 5 and that may make all the difference. Head coach Urban Meyer has his hands full and will have to get a rabbit out of his hat to solve this problem.
Smooth’s Pick – Clemson (37-22)
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
(4) Washington vs. (1) Alabama
Line: Alabama by 14
Alabama is in search of its second National Championship in a row and fourth in the last six seasons and its 16th overall. The Crimson Tide has won 25 games in a row since losing to Ole Miss on Sept. 19, 2015. Ironically, Ole Miss gave them their only scare this season, with Alabama winning, 48-43 on Sep 17. They’re in the midst of their 12th undefeated season. They’re led by Jalen Hurts. Alabama’s freshman quarterback sensation threw for nearly 2,600 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season and was second on the team with 841 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. Sophomore running back Damien Harris is Alabama’s other ‘threat on the ground, He rushed for nearly a 1,100 total yards and scored 4 TD. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart is questionable for the game with an undisclosed injury. If he does play, he’s a threat in the air with 800+ receiving yards and 7 TD’s. The crown jewel of Alabama is the defense. The Crimson Tide is #1 in the country, giving up an astonishing 63.4 yards a game on the run. They’re led by senior linebacker Reuben Foster with 94 tackles and 4 sacks. Seniors Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams are tied on the team with 8½ sacks.
Washington is in search of its second National Championship since; The Huskies have won three straight games since losing to then-No. 20 USC on Nov. 12. They took the Pac-12 championship by beating Colorado 41-10. Sophomore sensation Quarterback Jake Browning had a tremendous season for Washington, throwing for over 3,200 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sophomore running back Myles Gaskin, a big beneficiary to Browning’s success, grabbing over 1,400 total yards and 11 TD. Wide receivers John Ross and Dante Pettis have 17 and 14 TD’s among them respectfully. On Defense, Washington is ranked 11th in the country, giving up 361 total yards. Junior linebacker Azeem Victor leads the team in tackles with 68. Senior linebacker, Psalm Woo-ching leads the team with 6 sacks.
Washington has never beaten Alabama (0-4), with the most recent loss coming at the 1986 Sun Bowl. This is a monumental task for the Huskies. They have a solid offense and have the potential for keeping the Alabama offense off the field. But defense wins championships, Alabama may be the defense that keeps them out of the championship game.
Smooth’s Pick – Alabama (44-17)
Now with all picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.