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The Greyhound

College Football Playoffs: Semifinals and Championship Predictions


Photo courtesy of Steve Grant via

With the college football playoff rankings set, I predict the winners of the semifinals as well as the championship game. Additionally, predicting the Heisman award winner is extremely challenging this year because the candidates have been constantly changing throughout the season. Though I disagree with Michigan or Penn State not being in the playoff, I’ll have to go with what is given.

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #4 Washington Huskies: It’s no surprise that Alabama is #1 considering their perfect record. In my opinion, it is not fair for them to be playing other colleges, especially teams like Kent State and Kentucky. Their defense is always unreal, as defensive lineman seem to be as fast as linebackers. They also have DB Minkah Fitzpatrick from New Jersey, who has taken the SEC by storm. He had three interceptions against Arkansas, including a 100 yard pick-six. Bama’s upcoming game is against #4 Washington and in my opinion, this game won’t be close. I see Alabama winning by at least 2 touchdowns. The Las Vegas bookies seem to agree, Alabama’s opening as a 15.5-point favorite. The defense is too legit to lose to a Pac-12 team, no matter the record of Washington. Washington does have QB Jake Browning, who is a Heisman candidate, but he hasn’t played well against solid teams.

Prediction is Bama 27, Washington 13


#2 Clemson Tigers vs. #3 Ohio State Buckeyes: Heisman favorite, and finalist last year, QB Deshaun Watson and #2 Clemson have to face Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. The Tigers have big wins against Louisville, at Auburn, and at Florida State…yet they have lost to Pittsburgh. Watson does it all for Clemson, yet their inconsistent play worries me. Their defense is usually stout but against an Ohio State team with QB JT Barrett and RB Curtis Samuel, the defense should crumble. The Buckeyes defense is solid and when you have an offense that puts up the 7th most points in football, that’s a formula for success. The Ohio State defense only has to aide the offensive opportunities, not take control of the game. Clemson barely beat Virginia Tech last week, and Ohio State has had more a than week’s rest to prepare. Urban Meyer get the win and Watson and the Tigers have yet another playoff loss.

Prediction: Ohio State 31, Clemson 21


#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #3 Ohio State Buckeyes

In a highly touted showdown, two elite coaches go head to head in Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. I wish I was watching Alabama vs. Michigan, since I believe Michigan is the only team that can take out Bama’. I see Alabama shutting down JT Barrett, as Saban always has a great game plan. I think the talent on Alabama is just too much too handle, for any team in college with exception to the Wolverines. Lane Kiffin will have a trick up his sleeve in a game that will go down to the wire. Yet, the Crimson Tide seem to be the real deal this year.

Prediction: Alabama 26, Ohio State 21

The Heisman Trophy

As for the Heisman watch, my pick would be Deshaun Watson. I do like both DB Peppers from Michigan and Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, even though their teams’ rankings will hurt them. Peppers and the Wolverines are currently #6, and are playing the Seminoles in the Orange Bowl. Louisville on the other hand suffered two tough losses, to Houston and a terrible loss to Kentucky. Being that Clemson is #2 and in the playoff, Watson will win. Not saying his talent alone isn’t worthy, but with success comes recognition and the Clemson Tigers have more than their fair share of success.

In order, my Heisman rankings are:

  1. Deshaun Watson: QB (Clemson)
  2. Jabrill Peppers: DB, LB, RB (Michigan)
  3. Lamar Jackson: QB (Louisville)

Let’s see if any upsets occur—though I wouldn’t bet

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College Football Playoffs: Semifinals and Championship Predictions