The BCS Bowl Series was kicked to the curb in 2013 and the College Football Playoff was created in 2014. A four team playoff format with one winner in the end. Ohio State, Alabama, and Clemson have all claimed a CFP trophy in the infant years of the new format, and the road to crowning another champion begins tomorrow. #1 Alabama will play #4 Oklahoma and #2 Clemson and will face #3 Notre Dame for two spots in the College Football National Championship at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California
Here are the games, start times, channels/radio networks, predictions, and other info
Orange Bowl – No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
Game time: 8:00 PM est
TV Announcers: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor, and Tom Rinaldi
Radio: ESPN Radio
Radio Announcers: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe, and Ian Fitzsimmons
Spread: Alabama -14
Oklahoma getting into the playoff sparked a lot of debate. Many people thought Georgia should’ve gotten in, but others, including me, thought Oklahoma deserved the last spot in the playoff. We saw Alabama look out-of-sorts for the first time really all season, but Jalen Hurts, in hero fashion, brought the Tide back after Tua hurt his ankle, and won the SEC Championship for Alabama.
Kyler Murray might be Oklahoma’s second straight Heisman winner, but the Sooners are definitely underdogs in this one. Alabama is just two wins away from the sixth national championship in the Saban era.
Alabama has an explosive offense and Oklahoma doesn’t offer up much resistance, on paper.
I think Alabama is too much for the Sooners and covers easily.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl – No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame
Game time: 4 PM est
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe, and Ian Fitzsimmons
Radio: ESPN Radio
Spread: Clemson -12.5
Clemson has the chance to win two titles in three years, while Notre Dame looks to get back to the national championship game for the first time since 2013, where they were embarrassed by Alabama, 42-14.
This game will make history when it kicks off as it will be the first time that two undefeated teams will meet in the semifinals in the CFP era. If Alabama beats Oklahoma, history will be made as well, as it will be the first time two undefeated teams square off in the CFP National Championship.
Clemson’s defense took a punch to the gut as All-ACC DT, Dexter Lawrence, was ruled out of the game after failing a drug test. This leaves a gaping whole in Clemson’s defense. While Notre Dame didn’t take any gut punches this week, they’re are facing the pressure of finally defeating an elite opponent in a meaningful game.
Both teams have switched QB’s since the beginning of the season, both teams have explosive offenses, but I think Dexter Lawrence being out really hurts the Tigers and Notre Dame pulls of the upset.
Should be fun.