College football playoffs and New Year’s 6 Bowls


Carter Landis, Sports Editor

The dust has finally settled and the committee has decided their four best teams. It took a lot of time, a lot of studying schedules, resumes, and championship games, along with a multitude of twitter experts tweeting vulgarities at each other while defending their team’s case for the playoff. The College Football Playoff and New Year’s day six games are set.

CFP Semifinal: Alabama vs. Washington

Fans of the Huskies probably aren’t going to be happy with the outcome of this one, just ask Michigan State fans. Alabama is on another level this year, having not lost a game and blowing every opponent they’ve played out of the water. Future NFL first round draft pick Jonathan Allen has been nothing short of spectacular, recording 8.5 sacks and 56 total tackles on the year. Nick Saban should have the Tide ready to roll right over Washington.

On The Huskies’ side of the ball, Heisman candidate Jake Browning has had a stellar sophomore season, passing for 3,280 yards and 42 touchdowns (he’s sporting a 6-1 TD-INT ratio). Wide receiver John Ross and running back Myles Gaskin have complemented Browning nicely as well. Defensively, Washington is 10th in the country in total defense. This looks to be where coach Chris Petersen will focus, as scoring points on Alabama first and then stifling their defense is the best way to pull an upset. If the Huskies can do this, they’ve got a slight chance.

CFP Semifinal: Ohio State vs. Clemson

Although Ohio State didn’t win their conference, they were easily the best team in the Big Ten, finishing with a 11-1 record with wins over Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Michigan. Quarterback JT Barrett led the way for the Buckeyes, completing 62% of his passes and throwing 24 touchdowns, while rushing for 9 more. Their 4th ranked defense is a force to be reckoned with, and Clemson probably will try to avoid throwing to the side of Gareon Conley and Malik Hooker. Sam Hubbard and Nick Bosa man the front lines, while stud linebacker Raekwon McMillan looks to have a big game. Clemson’s offense is dynamic, so the Bucks would really like to slow down Deshaun Watson if they want to get back to the National Championship.

The aforementioned Deshaun Watson is a Heisman candidate and a projected top ten pick in next year’s draft, and really, really wants revenge from last year’s campaign, losing to Alabama by three points in the championship game. If Watson wants to return to the prominent stage, he’ll need the help of his offense, including future NFL wide receiver Mike Williams and running back Wayne Gallman. Clemson ranks 13th in the nation in total offense and will need to score early and often against the Buckeyes to make a return to the championship game.  

Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin

PJ Fleck and the Broncos are going bowling for a third straight season, but this time boasting a 13-0 record and the first MAC championship since 1988. The Broncos will take on Wisconsin on January 2nd in Arlington. The Badgers own the #7 spot in the country in total defense. Running back Corey Clement is a dynamic runner who WMU must contain in order to have a chance in this game. For Western Michigan, senior duo Zach Terrell and Corey Davis are an offensive fireball. Wisconsin’s secondary is going to struggle against the future first round draft pick and all time leading receiver in college football history in Davis. The key for Western is to score, score, score, and the Badgers need to establish the running game if they want to sink the boat. The Broncos look ready to finish off an undefeated season with a win vs. Wisconsin in their first New Year’s Day Six game in program history.