CFP 2020 Predictions

The+bracket+for+the+2019-20+CFP.

The bracket for the 2019-20 CFP.

Jacob Myers, Preston Oliver, and Chris Shutrump

Welcome to the 2020 College Football Playoffs!

Here are the boys’ predictions for the first round, national championship predictions will be out after these games.

 

Peach Bowl- 1 LSU (13-0)  vs 4 Oklahoma (12-1)  December 28, 2019 4:00 p.m. 

 

Jacob: LSU 31 – 27 Oklahoma

Just like the man below me, for the first time I do believe that the committee got all four teams correct, although the decision was pretty easy to be honest. Besides that, let’s focus on the game at hand here: the early Heisman favorite vs. the clear front-runner for the Heisman currently. LSU by far has the better resume between the two, beating five top-ten teams (at the time the games were played) including two top-four teams by a combined 32 points. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has put up five 100-yard games so far this year, and Joe Burrow has thrown for over 350 yards five games as well. When the LSU offense is rolling, they’re unstoppable. But, the same can be said for Big 12 champions Oklahoma. Beating four ranked teams themselves, the Sooners, when they have it all rolling, can be dangerous. And unlike many other years, the Sooners defense has had moments of being elite, stopping high-powered offenses for long stretches of playing time, whereas LSU’s defense has struggled at times. Against their highest-ranked opponent (Alabama), the LSU defense let up 41 to a backup QB. They may be the first #1 overall seed with a very exploitable weakness on their team. Their defensive back crew is remarkable, but everywhere else they do lack. Expect the Hoosiers to try to get the running game going. But, Joe Burrow and his great offensive line will shut down the Oklahoma defense, allowing many big plays, which will kill the Sooners. LSU will take the win somewhat unconvincingly, and Oklahoma will fall to 0-4 all-time in the CFP. But, will the Tigers be able to take it all? That there is the question.

Chris: LSU 41 – 20 Oklahoma 

This is the first year in the Playoff’s history where I think the committee got all four teams right and in the correct order. I believe that this system is going to flourish in the coming years if they keep giving the right teams a chance to win the national championship. With that being said, here we go! Oklahoma has not had much luck on the grand stage posting an (0-3) record in the CFP, while the Tigers are crashing the Playoff for the first time in their history. This is a showdown between two of the nation’s best offense’s in the sport and the surefire Heisman trophy winner: Joe Burrow. Both teams will come out firing  and able to light up the scoreboard early. The job that Lincoln Riley has done at Oklahoma bringing in three different quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts) consecutively to the Playoff in his first few seasons, has been incredible to say the least. Meanwhile, LSU has taken a trip back to the 21st century taking a fullback out of their backfield and have ruled CFB with their vertical passing game. The Sooners will play the Tigers tough in the first half, keeping it down to a one score game at the half. But, with how talented Joe Burrow there is no way that Tigers fall. At least not yet… This will be an awesome game to watch and one that will feel much closer than the scoreboard will indicate when the clock hits triple zeros. LSU runs away with it after an Oklahoma upset bid. 

 

Preston: LSU 45-31 Oklahoma

People are already counting Oklahoma out, and some are calling them the “other team” in this years playoff. I’m looking forward to seeing these two offenses tee off in what should be a high scoring game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Oklahoma jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead. Jalen Hurts is a beast, and will shred this average defense early. But that Oklahoma defense will not be able to hold off Joe Burrow for long. They will make some mid-game adjustments and start to take over the game. Oklahoma will make the final score look closer than the game will actually be. I expect the Tigers to control this game after being down early.  

 

Fiesta Bowl-  2 Ohio State (13-0) vs 3 Clemson (13-0) December 28, 2019 8:00 p.m. 

 

Jacob: Ohio State 27 – 24 Clemson

I really want to not be a homer and not pick OSU. Originally, I had Clemson just off of the fact that they see themselves as the underdogs and that they haven’t lost in way too many games. But for the same reasons you could pick Clemson, you could pick Ohio State as well. One could argue that Clemson has been beating up on teams recently, winning games convincingly every time, but so has Ohio State. Clemson beat a ranked team 62-17 last week, but OSU has beaten three straight top-15 teams by a combined 53 points, with two of those being top 8 at the time. Clemson hasn’t let a team put up more than 20 on them, Ohio State hasn’t let up 30 to considerably better teams. Ohio State has the defensive player of the year, Clemson the best linebacker. On paper, Clemson and OSU are almost identical in every stat. All except for level of competition. It’s obvious when you look at Clemson’s schedule that it isn’t close to the level that OSU’s competition was. Clemson has had scary games this year, Ohio State really hasn’t, and handled two teams (one twice) that were at one point in the top 4. Even though I may be an Ohio State fan, I believe they are the better team and have a better will to win. They will fight on both ends of the ball, escaping Clemson and facing their ex-QB in the title. I expect Chase Young and J.K. Dobbins, as well as Travis Etienne and Tee Higgins to have a breakout performance regardless of result

Chris: Ohio State 33 – 27 Clemson 

To be honest, this was truly a very hard decision for me to make an unbiased evaluation of the game. The deal breaker for me in this one was Clemson’s lack of ranked opponents on their schedule, which I understand they should not be at fault having planned ten years ahead. The main difference between the two is that they are both winning in style, but the Buckeyes are beating top 25 teams while Clemson is rolling over mediocre opponents. I also believe that the Buckeyes have more NFL talent on their team giving them the edge in yet another category, although it is close. This is one of the most evenly created matchups that the committee has ever come up with. Both teams boast a top pick at quarterback come next year’s draft (Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence). This one will come down to the wire as many expect veering away from the annual blowout that has drawn many away from their seats during past Playoff games. 

Preston: Ohio State 38-35 Clemson

Like the other two, I want to keep this prediction unbiased. This is a matchup between two powerhouse programs stocked with NFL talent. This will easily be the better game out of the two for sure. There are matchups all over the place. Justin Fields versus Trevor Lawrence. Jk Dobbins versus Travis Etienne. Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross versus Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette/Shaun Wade. This may be a game that comes down to a critical special teams play or a crucial turnover late in the game. Trevor Lawrence will throw a late interception to Jordan Fuller that sets up a game-winning 42 yard field goal from Blake Haubeil.