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College Football Playoffs
Updated: September 2018


National Semifinal #1: Goodyear Cotton Bowl

Saturday, December 29th
4:00 or 8:00, ESPN
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX


#1 Alabama vs. #4 Washington
Projection: The defending national champion Crimson Tide return a wealth of talent including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the championship game hero, and Jalen Hurts, the 2016 SEC Freshman of the Year. Running back Damian Harris is back after a 1,000-yard season last year. The defense did lose nine starters but head coach Nick Saban will reload with another crop of NFL-like talent. Washington, if it gets an early win over Auburn, can cruise to an unbeaten season and if it does will likely make the CFP. Once the Huskies meet the Tide though, look out. The Washington defense will be no match for Alabama and Saban’s defense will have the type of speed that will be able to shut down four-year starters QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin of the Huskies. Like Alabama did in the 2016 season’s semifinal, the Tide will roll all over the Huskies… ALABAMA 34, WASHINGTON 17.

 

National Semifinal #2: Orange Bowl

Saturday, December 29th
4:00 or 8:00, ESPN
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL


#2 Ohio State vs. #3 Clemson
Projection: The Buckeyes will have a new quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, but once he gets comfortable the offense will thrive. The Ohio State defense is loaded. Defensive end Joey Bosa had 8.5 sacks last season and he’ll play opposite five-star Chase Young (6-5, 265). The only defensive line in the country better than Ohio State’s is Clemson’s. The Tigers have four NFL draft picks up front and return eight starters to the defense. Quarterback Kelly Bryant is back along with RB Tavien Feaster and WR Hunter Renfrow. Both teams feature a lot of offensive firepower, but the defenses will determine the winner of this one… CLEMSON 17, OHIO STATE 14.

 

College Football Playoff National Championship Game

Monday, January 7th
8:00, ESPN
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA


#1 Alabama vs. #3 Clemson
Projection: Saban and the Tide will be just too much for Washington in a rematch of a national semifinal two years ago. The Washington offense with Gaskin and Browning, will be outstanding, but the defense will struggle to slow down the talented Tide. Saban and company will play for yet another national championship. Clemson, national champions just two years ago, get another crack at the top spot. A loss to Alabama in last year’s semifinals prevented a repeat. With that NFL-ready defensive line and all of their experience, the Tigers will reach this year’s final to face their nemesis, Alabama.

 

This final will be a rematch of the 2016 season’s national championship, a game won by Clemson on the final play. Renfrow was the hero of the game catching a one-yard touchdown pass as the game clock expired. This would be the Crimson Tide’s fourth straight trip to the national championship game. Saban’s defense will be very good, but Clemson’s will be even better. In an upset… CLEMSON 28, ALABAMA 27.



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