Well here we are. It’s the last days of 2020. Thank God. With 2020 thankfully coming to end, that only means one thing. The College Football Playoff is upon us. Last year, LSU won it all with the talents of Joe Burrow and Justin Jefferson. This year, LSU didn’t even qualify for the playoff so there will be a new champion. The four teams competing in the playoff are Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
Alabama season in review
Well, to nobody’s surprise the Alabama crimson tide are back in the playoff after missing it last year. Nick Saban lead the Crimson Tide to an undefeated regular season this year. The SEC champs just straight up dominated everyone this year.
Another 🏆 for @AlabamaFTBL
SEC Inside: SEC Championship | 9 PM ET pic.twitter.com/SOsFxTYbzm
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 22, 2020
So who are the stand outs this year for Alabama? That would be quarterback Mac Jones and wide receiver Devonta Smith. Both Smith and Jones are Heisman finalist this season. In fact, today, Devonta Smith was named AP College Football Player of The Year. This year, Smith had 98 receptions, 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns. It could be very possible that Smith also takes home the Heisman Trophy as well this season. But what about Mac Jones? Jones this year completed 76.5 percent of his passes for 3,739 yards, 32 touchdowns and just four interceptions. These two are the true leaders of the powerhouse offense Alabama has and it won’t be surprising if either one wins the Heisman.
Alabama's DeVonta Smith is the AP college football player of the year 🏆
He becomes the first WR to win the award since it was established in 1998. pic.twitter.com/cW9DGqYsfi
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2020
Clemson season in review
Well here they are once again. The Clemson Tigers are back in the playoff for the sixth year in a row. Trevor Lawrence is looking to win the playoff one more time before he goes pro. But, how did Clemson even get here to begin with? Everything was fine until Trevor Lawrence tested positive for Covid back in October causing him to miss two games. The first game agaisnt Boston College the Tigers took care of business. But then came the Notre Dame game. In a double overtime thriller, Notre Dame beat the Tigers giving them their only loss of the season. Once Lawrence was back, it was full steam ahead. However, it wasn’t just him. Running back Travis Etienne was a meance in the backfield this season.
Travis Etienne becomes the ACC’s ALL-TIME LEADING RUSHER 🏆 @swaggy_t1
— Overtime (@overtime) October 31, 2020
So what did Etienne do this year? On 158 rushing attempts, he ran for 882 yards and 13 touchdowns. But what about his quarterback Trevor Lawrence. how did he do? Lawrence this year completed 69.2 percent of his throws for 2,753 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. Before it goes unmentioned, Lawrence is also a Heisman finalist this year.
Trevor Lawrence has the arm strength to make you pay 💪 pic.twitter.com/SQQu6YfJPz
— ESPN (@espn) December 19, 2020
Ohio State season in review
Ohio State couldn’t avoid controversy this year. Originally it looked like there wouldn’t be a season for the Buckeyes but then suddenly there was. As expected, Ohio State started 3-0 and everything was right in their world. But then, it wasn’t. Games were cancelled because of Covid issues. The Big Ten announced before the season that games will only be cancelled and not postponed. Ohio State had three games cancelled which resulted in them originally not having enough wins to qualify for the Big Ten championship. However, the Big Ten committee changed that rule and Ohio State was in and won the Big Ten title game. This was controversial. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was very critical of this decision and was vocally against Ohio State being in the playoff.
Clemson's Dabo Swinney says a rematch against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff is "easier" to prepare for because the Buckeyes only played a six-game season:
— 247Sports (@247Sports) December 22, 2020
So does Ohio State deserve to be here? They did win all their games this year behind the talent of Justin Fields. They should be here since they went undefeated. If they had lost any of their games, then no they shouldn’t be in. Justin Fields and the rest of the Buckeyes should take advantage of the playoff since they didn’t get many chances to play this year. This year Justin Fields completed 72.6 percent of his passes for 1,521 yards, 15 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Regardless of the amount of games, Fields put together a nice season in what most likley is his last.
Why are people excited about Justin Fields? (@justnfields)
This. This is why. pic.twitter.com/fLvXiTjPuG
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) December 29, 2020
Notre Dame season in review
The team that nobody likes for no reason at all. The Irish almost had an undefeated season heading into the playoff. Their only loss was against Clemson in the ACC title game. Quarterback Ian Book and running back Kyren Williams were the bright spots for the offense this year. For the most part, Notre Dame had no issues (except for facing Clemson).
NOTRE DAME SET THE TONE💥
Kyren Williams 65-yard TD
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 8, 2020
Notre Dame has their answer at running back for the next two years. Williams, who is the ACC freshmen of the year put together an unforgettable season. With 195 rushing attempts, Williams ran for 1,061 yards and 12 touchdowns. Not a bad way to start off your college career. As for his quarterback Ian Book, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,601 yards, 15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) December 29, 2020
The Rose Bowl will look a little different this year. Due to Covid restrictions (and teams wanting families to attend) the Rose Bowl location has been moved. Instead of being in California, the game has been moved to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
No. 1 Alabama football begins practice for No. 4 Notre Dame in the 2021 Rose Bowl
(via Alabama Football) pic.twitter.com/KLAG9DG8u3
— William Galloway (@Wm_Galloway) December 22, 2020
So what’s going to happen? Alabama is coming into this game as 19.5 point favorites in this game. Rightfully so. The Crimson Tide will be too much for the Irish to handle. Excpect Mac Jones and Devonta Smith to have their way in this game. Sports bettors should expect Alabama to cover the spread in this.
This game will have bad blood and heated moments that’s for sure. Dabo Swinney created bulletin board material for Ohio State and Ohio State should use his comments as motivation. Clemson comes into this game as a 7.5 point favorite in this matchup. That seems about fair. Expect Clemson’s offense to roll in this but Ohio State will keep up.
— Pioneer Athletics (@pioneerathletic) December 29, 2020
In the end, expect Trevor Lawrence and company to take care of business. Yes, if these predictions comes true, Trevor Lawrence gets one last shot at Alabama before going pro. Excpect big things from Lawrence as he’s going to want to go out on top.
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-Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan on Twitter)