close
Breaking news

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Volume 68 of The Panel! With Volume 67’s edi...read more

Alabama Looks to Repeat as Champs in 2016 College Football Playoffs

The 2016 College football playoff matches have been set, as Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington each hope to end the season as national champions.  The College Football Playoff Committee announced on Sunday that No. 1 Alabama will face No. 4 Washington in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the No. 2 Tigers will meet the No. 3 Buckeyes in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl of December 31.  The winners will square off on January 9 for the national championship.

Alabama is the favorite to repeat as title champions; they capped an undefeated season by crushing Florida 54-16 in the SEC conference championship game.  The Crimson Tide have looked unstoppable for much of the season, with a high-powered offense that has averaged more than 40 points a game, and a savage defense that strangles opponents.  Don’t expect Alabama to rest on its accomplishments, as Coach Nick Saban hates the idea of complacency, which he called the day before the game “a blatant disregard for doing things correctly.”

The No. 2 Clemson Tigers secured a spot in the playoffs with a 42-35 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game.  Although the game was closer than many expected, Clemson’s star quarterback, Deshaun Watson, accounted for five touchdowns and probably picked up a couple of more Heisman Trophy votes along the way.

Ohio State started the week as the No. 2 ranked team in the country, but it dropped a spot while taking the weekend off, after failing to reach the Big Ten title game due to a loss to eventual champion Penn State.  The Buckeyes proved their strength throughout the season, capped by an exciting come from behind win against Michigan.  Coach Urban Meyer will have his Buckeyes ready to aggressively defend against Watson and Clemson’s speedy offense.

Washington started the week ranked No. 4 and its pounding of Colorado in the Pac 12 game ensured it place in the playoffs.  While some questioned the strength of the Huskies schedule, the Committee felt that the team was better than Penn State, which finds itself on the outside of the playoffs.  Washington, which finished the season 12-1, will have to get a great game from its strong arm quarterback, Jake Browning, if it hopes to have a chance against Alabama.

 

Predictions:

1.Alabama 35,  4.Washington 17

3.Ohio State 24, 2.Clemson 21

1.Alabama 28, 3.Ohio State 21

Tags: , , ,

Story Page