As we enjoy the festive season, a new year approaches, one with exciting opportunities both in sports and the real world. One of the headlining sports events in January, 2017 is the college football playoffs.
Let’s delve into the matchups between the top 4 teams:
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs #4 Washington Huskies
- Boasts a 13-0 record (one of two undefeated records in college football)
- Coached by Nick Saban for 10 years
- Quarterback Jalen Hurts passed for 2563 yards/21 touchdowns and rushed for 841 yards/12 touchdowns this year. He represents a formidable task to opponents with his ability to both run and pass
- The best defense in the league allowing opponents only 3.94 yards per play and 15 touchdowns (both best in college football). Additionally, they have kept the opposition to 63.4 rushing yards per game, 33.5 less yards than the second strongest team!
- Winner of 16 national championships…enough said
- 12-1 overall record including a dominant victory over #8 seeded Colorado
- Wide receiver, John Ross, has 76 catches for 17 touchdowns and 1122 yards
- Quarterback Jake Browning passed for 3280 yards and 42 touchdown…twice the amount of Jalen Hurts!
- Ranks in the top 20 in rushing defense, scoring defense and passing defense
- Who doesn’t like the underdog?
#2 Clemson Tigers vs #3 Ohio State Buckeyes
- Heisman finalist Deshawn Watson threw for 3914 touchdowns and 37 touchdowns. He has 26 wins in the last 2 seasons! (most in college football)
- The Tigers have been a consistently strong team as of the last few years; they are not just a “fluke”
- Top 15 in first down offense, total offense, and team sacks
- Passing completion rating of .677
- Went 3/3 vs opponents in the top 25 this year (Louisville, Florida State, Virginia Tech)
- Faced a difficult conference in the Big 10. Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin were all top 10 teams in the final week of the year
- Speaking of division matchups…BIG win over Michigan in the final regular season week preparing them well for Clemson
- Top 5 in scoring defense, turnover margin, and time of possession
- Successful coach in Urban Meyer who has won two national championships
- Returned 7 interceptions for touchdowns!
Edge: Ohio State
Thanks for reading! Tune in for more articles in the future
Sources: College Football Playoff Image, Alabama vs Washington, Alabama Game Stats, Nick Saban Stats, Alabama Player Stats, NCAA Stats, Washington Stats ESPN, Clemson vs Ohio State, Clemson Stats ESPN, Championship Titles