The College Football Playoff is almost here, and for the first time in the history of the CFP, it will not include Alabama. Clemson vs. Alabama has been a common theme in the CFP -as it has happened four of the five years the CFP has existed – but it won’t occur this year. With losses against LSU and Auburn, Alabama will have to wait until next year to reach that pinnacle. So, who takes Alabama’s spot? Which four teams will make the CFP? Here is my prediction:
To me, LSU recently has been like Penn State. They aren’t in the upper echelon of current teams like Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State, but they are the next best thing. LSU took major steps forward this season as a program, and they are lethal. They have the presumptive Heisman-trophy winner, Joe Burrow, leading them, and they have plenty of quality wins. With wins over Florida, Auburn, and Alabama, LSU only has one more giant between them and the #1 seed: Georgia. I think LSU will find a way to get past Georgia well enough that the committee will award them the #1 seed.
Ohio State has also been a powerhouse in the CFP, and they even secured the first ever CFP title behind Ezekiel Elliott. They have an undefeated season so far, and I can’t see them dropping this game to Wisconsin, especially since they already beat them 38-7. The Buckeyes have wins against Wisconsin (soon to be twice), Penn State, and Michigan, and their offense is electric and the best in the country. Ohio State has earned the right to play in the CFP, and if you make just one mistake against them, it could be enough to lose the game.
I’m not happy about this pick, but it’s the correct one. I’m not high on Clemson because their schedule is so weak. They have no wins that blow you away, and they barely squeaked out a 1-point victory over UNC. They deserve to be here due to their undefeated record, but not for any other reason. I think Clemson will get beaten badly by either Ohio State or LSU – depending on who gets the #2 spot – and Clemson will be embarrassed. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t been as impressive as the past, and I think that will be Clemson’s downfall.
This spot comes down to a few teams: Georgia, Oklahoma, and Utah. Every team has to win to make it, so there is zero room for failure. If all three win, Georgia will get the spot, and the above rankings will change. If LSU handles them, it comes down to Oklahoma vs. Utah. I want some variety, so I’d love to choose Utah, but they don’t have many noteworthy wins. They definitely have handled their opponents better than Oklahoma, but I wonder how much weight the Big 12 carries over Pac 12. I think Oklahoma’s wins over Baylor twice will be better than Oregon’s wins, and I think they will narrowly get the last spot.
Finals Prediction: Ohio State over LSU
First, this goes against every PSU bone in my body, but OSU is dynamic. Their QB play from Justin Fields is fantastic, and when you add that to J.K Dobbins, I don’t think their offense can be matched. I think plenty more people will be rooting for LSU because they have become “America’s sweetheart,” but I think the big stage will be slightly too much for them. I think OSU will win a close national-title game, and I think J.K Dobbins will be the MVP of the game.