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College Football Playoff Preview

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As a new year comes so does the College Football Playoff.

As a new year comes so does the College Football Playoff.

Courtesy of YouTube

Courtesy of YouTube

As a new year comes so does the College Football Playoff.

Matthew Cornfield, Sentry Staff Reporter

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As a new year comes so does the college football bowl season, and most importantly the College Football Playoff. This year the bracket consists of two teams from the Southeastern Conference (SEC), one from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and one from the Big 12 conference. Each team has what it takes to be crowned champions this year, but only one will emerge victorious.

The first of the three playoff games will take place on New Year’s Day at 5 p.m. The matchup will be between the number two ranked University of Oklahoma Sooners and the number three ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs. At this point, the rankings mean nothing; each team that has made the playoff has an equal shot at winning because there is so little to separate them, and every team has proven that they deserve to be in the College Football Playoff.

Oklahoma and its high-powered offense are led by star quarterback Baker Mayfield. He just received the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the best player in college football. Mayfield, a senior, will provide poise and experience for Oklahoma as they face one of the best defenses in the country.

Georgia, known for their defense, will have their hands full with the passing attack of Oklahoma. Star running back duo Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will have to step up in order for the Bulldogs to move on. Chubb and Michel are both seniors and provide much-needed experience for this young Georgia team led by freshman quarterback Jacob Fromm. Georgia is not a team that can put up 40 to 50 points a game like Oklahoma can, but they can wear an opposing defense down with their versatility and depth on offense. Not only do they have two star running backs, but they have freshman D’Andre Swift whose big-play ability can provide much-needed points.

The second matchup of the semifinals of the College Football Playoff will take place at 8:45 p.m. on New Year’s Day. The matchup will be between the number one ranked Clemson University Tigers and the number four ranked University of Alabama Crimson Tide. This is the exact matchup of last years championship game where Clemson came away as champions. It is safe to say that last years game will be on the minds of all the fans, coaches and players.

The Clemson Tigers are led offensively by junior quarterback Kelly Bryant and are backed up by their stifling defense. Bryant and the Clemson offense are well-rounded: they can throw the ball, and even their quarterback can run the ball. This versatility and well-roundedness will be tough for any defense to stop. Speaking of defenses, Clemson has one of the best in the country. Their front seven are able to stop any running back and will provide heavy pressure on Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts. Clemson has been on a tear as of late, destroying the University of Miami 38-3 in the ACC Championship game. However, Alabama is not Miami, and no matter how hot a team is, Alabama is an opponent where statistics and win streaks do not matter.

The Alabama Crimson Tide, always a contender for the National Championship, are not led by a singular player but rather an entire defense. From top to bottom Alabama may have the most complete and unbeatable defense of any team in the country. We know that they will show up regardless of the pressure; however, it is hard to say the same for the offense, which is full of weapons such as wide receiver Calvin Ridley, quarterback Jalen Hurts and running backs Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris. Alabama is not a team that utilizes the throwing game, but in order to win against Clemson, they are going to have to.

You can watch all of these playoff games on ESPN at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

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College Football Playoff Preview