Written by David Rosenthal
The Crimson Tide has been spectacular the entire season. There are fans that argue that Blake Sims, among other players, are not up to Alabama’s normal talent level; I say that is a load of crap. Sims has managed to win 12 games, in a tough SEC schedule, and only lost to Ole Miss, in a one score game. All he has needed to do is hand it off and get in near Amari Cooper,which he executes very well. The Defense is still good, but it is definitely not where Bama was a few years ago. Still, they are good enough to clean up one or two of the offenses mistakes. This team is great, but winning this College football playoff isn’t about being the best, it’s about playing better than Ohio State, Florida State, and Oregon.
Alabama starts the playoff by playing The Buckeyes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Ohio State just destroyed a Wisconsin team that boasts the Nation’s best running back, in Melvin Gordon. Alabama should still be pretty confident, because OSU is playing with a third string QB. I know he is good, but there was a reason he played THIRD STRING, and that also means that he has very little experience, and barely any big game snaps. If Bama gets the ball moving early, and Saban throws in some of his classic late season wrinkles into the offense, they will be very successful. My offensive strategy would be very simple; THROW IT TO AMARI COOPER! When they get him the ball, good things happen. plain and simple.
Then it comes to either Florida State or Oregon. Both have great defensive backs, but if you can put up 200 yards and 3 TDs against Vernon Heargraves III, you can do it against anyone in the Country. Both defenses have been gashed, but their offenses also do a great bit of gashing themselves. If, for arguments sake, all three teams are equal talent wise, Alabama’s trump card has to be Nick Saban. He has done it, and continues to do it, on the biggest stages of College Football. Jimbo has a championship, but still has no where near the resume of Saban. Helfrich is a great up-and-comer in the college football world, but has a long way to go before he brings Oregon a long awaited championship. These reasons are why The Alabama Crimson Tide win it all.
Written by Eli Rosenthal
There are 2 simple reasons why Oregon will win the Rose Bowl against FSU and proceed to win the National Championship vs either Alabama or Ohio State.
Firstly: Royce Freeman.
I know what you’re thinking, shouldn’t Marcus Mariota be the #1 reason this team will win?
Yes, Mariota is the Heisman frontrunner and the best QB in CFB, but RB Royce Freeman will be the difference maker in the game vs FSU and then against whoever they would play in the Championship.
Royce Freeman, only a freshman, emerged as the starter early on and hasn’t slowed down a bit. Although he is only a freshman, at 6′ 1″ 230 lb, he is the size of a man and he sure as hell plays like it. He has tallied up almost 1300 rushing yds and 18 total TDs on the season. FSU’s weakest link on defense is their rush defense, especially now that starter Eddie Goldman is injured and questionable to play in the game. Oregon will need to lean on Freeman a little more now against FSU’s above average pass defense. Look for Oregon to exploit this weakness as Georgia Tech did last week vs FSU, and run all over FSU’s defense. Look for Freeman to put up close to 140 total yds and 2 TDs vs FSU.
Second: This is the best Oregon team we’ve seen in years.
Their offense is the best in the nation and Marcus Mariota is the best QB in the nation. He has accounted for 52 total TDs, yes FIFTY-TWO TOUCHDOWNS.
This Oregon offense is putting up video game like numbers every week. Their only loss was to Arizona early in the season, but now they are on a roll and destroying everyone in their path. This is one of the most consistent defenses we’ve seen from Oregon in a while led by lockdown corner Ifre Ekpe-Olomu. This offense will outscore FSU and any other team it has to face in their pursuit of the National Championship trophy.
Written by Korey Burdman
For years now, the Big Ten has been viewed as the weakest of the major conferences in the NCAA, light years behind the SEC and still significantly behind conferences like the Big 12, Pac 12, and ACC. While the Big Ten as a whole still isn’t elite, they have one elite team this year – the Ohio State Buckeyes.
This Buckeyes team is the true definition of resilience and grit. A few weeks before the season, they lost Heisman candidate Braxton Miller for the season, and some people questioned if the Buckeyes would even be able to make a bowl game.
They plugged in freshman QB J.T. Barrett, and after struggling the few first few weeks of the season (including a home loss to Virginia Tech in week 2), Barrett led the Buckeyes to a blistering 12-1 season, winning all of their last 11 games. Their two most impressive wins of the season, by far, were their 49-37 prevail over Michigan State on the road, and their 59-0 demolition of Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship.
In that championship game, they did not have J.T. Barrett, after he broke his ankle in the regular season finale against Michigan. After questions of how effective Cardale Jones would be, he came in and had arguably the best single game performance of any player for Ohio State this season (which is saying a lot, considering Barrett was in the hunt for the Heisman before his injury). With a month to prepare, Jones should be outstanding. The rest of the Buckeyes offense is outstanding. They have play makers all over the field and a rock solid offensive line that has come together very well this season.
On defense, they have great players throughout, but their defensive line is top notch. Led by the future first round pick Joey Bosa, this Buckeye line is one of the best in the country and will give Alabama problems. If they can disrupt Blake Sims’ rhythm, they can give Alabama’s offense a lot of problems.
Also, Ohio State has one of the best coaches in the country in Urban Meyer. Meyer has been on this kind of stage before, which can’t be understated when dealing with a younger team like Ohio State. He has recruited a lot of good young talent that is on the roster now, and will have them as motivated as anyone in the playoffs. Behind Cardale Jones, Joey Bosa, and Urban Meyer, Ohio State has a fantastic chance to win it all.
Written by Max Marcovitch
Football is not a beauty pageant, as much as the selection committee would like it to be.
Nobody can ignore a team that has won 29 games in a row, the longest such streak in over a decade. Jameis Winston has never lost a football game as the starting quarterback at FSU. Winning 29 straight games does not happen by accident – and they’re going to win two more.
Until this year’s Florida State team, no team since the 2005 USC Trojans had gone undefeated in a regular season following a national championship. Yet Jimbo Fisher has gotten his team ready to play week-in, week-out for everybody’s best shot. Say what you want about Heisman winner Jameis Winston, but he is inarguably one of the best quarterbacks in college football, and an even better leader (dare I say Tebow-like?).
Make no mistake; this is not a one-dimensional offense by any means. The two-headed backfield of Dalvin Cook and Karlos Williams has averaged 5.2 yards per carry and has at times carried the team on the rare occasion that Winston is off.
Jimbo Fisher doesn’t agree with the general consensus that this year’s team is worse than that of last year. “Last year’s team was dominating, this year’s team is more amazing,” Fisher said. “It is really is. … They compete together. They have had some struggles together and I think that’s what makes them so tight.”
But what might be the ultimate factor in FSU winning its second straight championship is not the coaching, the winning culture, or even Winston, but their kicker Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo, a future pro, is 3/3 on the season from 50+ yards and has not missed from under 40 yards all season. Aguayo provides Fisher and FSU a real luxury in that they will not have to rely on an inconsistent kicker in crunch time like the other three teams. After all, games often come down to one kick.
This FSU team has been counted out in more than a couple games and has been doubted by the public, the selection committee, and even Vegas (they come in as 8-pt. underdogs); yet through it all they just win.
And continue to win they will.