The College Football Playoff is Set
After a relatively tame championship weekend, the college football playoff is set. Alabama finished the year as the number one team in the nation. This was a team that lost seven day one or day two draft picks from the 2015 team and was as dominant as ever in 2016. The touchdown the Crimson Tide yielded to Florida in the first quarter of the SEC Championship game was the first touchdown scored on Alabama…since October 22nd. Nick Saban’s crew is the definite favorite heading into the December 31st Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl matchup with the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies.
The Huskies had a significant amount of hype heading into the season and lived up to every single ounce of it. Outside of a tough loss to USC in Seattle in November, Chris Petersen’s Huskies left very little to chance throughout the 2016 season. They played two one touchdown games throughout the year and the rest were blowouts. Now, as a frame of reference, the team that beat Washington (USC) lost to Alabama 52-6 in the season opener. Does that indicate a blowout is about to take place on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta? Not exactly, but the Huskies will have to play the perfect game to beat the Tide.
In the other semifinal, the Playstation Fiesta Bowl taking place in Glendale, AZ, the Ohio State Buckeyes (2014 National champion) and Clemson (2015 National champion runner-up) will tangle again, as they did three seasons ago in the 2014 Orange Bowl. Clemson won that night down in Miami in a thrilling game and this one has the potential of being just as exciting. Ohio State do-it-all offensive stud Curtis Samuel might be the most explosive player on the field, but Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watston can put his team on his back as he did in the National championship game v. Alabama last season. In that matchup, Watson threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 73 yards on the nation’s best defense. He’s been a bit more inconsistent this year, but he thrives in big games and this is the biggest one to date.
Bowl season is my favorite time of year and December 31st holds significant meaning due to these two matchups. Calling my shot, Alabama will face Ohio State in the National championship game with the Crimson Tide bringing home title number 17 when the confetti falls on Monday January 9th.
It’s time, well, in a few weeks anyway, but the playoff is on.