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College Football Playoffs Breakdown: Preview and Picks

By Andrew White | December 23
College Football Playoffs Breakdown: Preview and Picks
Picture Courtesy of Mike Meredith and CBS Sports

The College Football Playoffs are set, and there have been some disagreements with the committee’s decision to keep Notre Dame and Ohio State in and leave out teams like Cincinnati and Texas A&M. Notre Dame defeated Clemson earlier in the season in overtime, all other opponents they faced, and then fell way short to Clemson the second time around in the ACC championship 34-10. Ohio State only played 6 game, including the Big Ten Championship’s narrow win.

A tweet from Pete Thamel shows the argument for Cincinnati…

For Texas A&M, QB Kellen Mond took to twitter and gave his frustration

However, every year there are some complications and upset fans. If Notre Dame was left out, a very decent argument can be made that their only lost game came from a split series against a top 2 team in the country. Ohio State could have argued that they did not lose a game at all, and people consider the Big Ten to be a great conference.

And for a team like Texas A&M, it did not help that they lost by 28 to Alabama, considering worse ranked teams like Florida and Georgia lost by a combined 23. And finally, for a team like Cincinnati, although undefeated, having 3-point wins over Tulsa and UCF do not help your case.

Semis Predictions (#1 Alabama vs. #4 Notre Dame)

Opening Line: Alabama -17.5

Overall, the committee makes mistakes a lot, but this year they made the best decision, and here is the breakdown. Alabama has 2 of the top 3 Heisman candidates playing on New Years against Notre Dame. Mac Jones has 3,739 yards in the air this season, 32 Touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions. Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith has 98 receptions, 17 touchdowns, and 1,511 receiving yards which is the most of any receiver in the country by over 300 yards.

Devonta Smith

Notre Dame will be leaning heavily on its top offensive line and pray that Ian Book can have one of his flashy games that he occasionally does. They will also use that line to help add freshman superstar Kyren Williams who has rushed for 1,061 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 195 carries. But its defense will get burned by the Alabama wideouts even if they stop the run of Najee Harris.


Notre Dame has this overall series at 5-2 all time.

Prediction: Bama 49 ND 31

ND UNC
Photo Courtesy of wwlp.com

Semis Predictions (#2 Clemson vs. #3 Ohio State)

Opening Line: Clemson -7

The remaining Heisman hopeful of the 3 mentioned earlier is Trevor Lawrence.

And here we go again, Clemson vs. Ohio State: Take 2. Last year, Clemson came back from being down 16-0 to come back and win with a 34-tard Travis Etienne TD Reception. This year, Ohio State has play 50% of the games that Clemson has played, and both teams in FULL form, have not lost. Clemson lost its lone game to Notre Dame without its start quarterback and running back.

Trevor Lawrence
Photo Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Trevor Lawrence has a 69.2% of his passes this year and is simply a winner. Clemson will also look to pro-ready running back Etienne to lay some of the pressure off Lawrence. Travis Etienne just came off a 124 yard rushing game on just 10 carries against Notre Dame.

For Ohio State, the obvious player to look at is Justin Fields. He has made some mistakes this year as well as last here with interceptions, including a game ending interception last year against Clemson in the Semifinals. Another key factor will be Ohio State’s Offensive line against the phenomenal pass rush of Clemson. Ohio State has the best rushing attack in the Big Ten and that will need to be solidified to take more pressure away from Justin Fields.

Clemson all-time is 4-0 against Ohio State. Is this the Buckeyes time?

Prediction: Clemson 42 Ohio State 35

Clemson OSU
Andrew White

Andrew White

I am a Broadcast Journalism and Economics double major from Quinnipiac University. I am the General Manager of our University’s Radio Station and one of the Play-By-Play announcers for the Sports programs at the University. Being a massive sports fan my whole life has driven my passion for show hosting and broadcasting. Although my favorite team (to be disclosed in the future) came shy of the playoffs again, I have no doubt we will be back!


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