Jan. 02, 2017
CFP creates little excitement, but sets up super title matchup
Yes, we got two bad games today on the biggest day of the year in college football. The entire season climaxed with 2 boring, dull, one sided blowouts, as Alabama and their incredible defense suffocated the life out of the upstart Washington Huskies, 24-7, and the nightcap saw Clemson thoroughly embarrass THE Ohio State University, 31-0, as an Urban Meyer team was shut out for the first time in 194 games as head coach in his illustrious career. This was particularly shocking to see, as usually when Meyer gets a month to prepare for such a big game, his teams come out guns ablazing. Well, not tonight.
The early game saw the Crimson Tide more or less cruise to a 17 point victory, and the scary thing is, they didn't even play very well. The offense was poor most of the game, as the only thing to save them was the bruising running of super sophmore, Bo Scarborough, who rushed for a whopping 180 yards on 19 carries, with 2 td's. Included in this was the play of the game where he ran through tacklers, and reversed field 68 yards early in the 4th quarter to ice what had been a stagant game. Led by questionable play calling where Lane Kiffin stubbornly stuck to the pass when his true freshman QB Jalen Hurts was clearly struggling, the offense never really found its footing, gaining only 326 yards, and will have to be much better if it hopes to repeat as national champs next Monday Night.
No matter, the defense was amazing as usual, holding the high powered Washington attack to a mere 194 yards, as Jake Browning continued to look in over his head in the big games, despite a great year. John Ross, the electric WR, was invisible the entire day, and much of that credit should go to the 'Bama secondary, particularly Minkah Fitzpatrick and Anthony Averett. A much needed play came when Ryan Anderson, their stud DE, picked off Browning after he was rushed into a bad decision by the blitzing Reuben Foster and returned it 26 yards for a TD. Other defensive standouts including Jonathan Allen, Tony Brown, and Ronnie Harrison.
In the primetime game, Clemson just annihilated OSU. The defense gave the Buckeyes nothing, as they put pressure on JT Barrett all night, and rushed him into inaccurate passes. Their only real dynamic threat is Curtis Samuel and he was held in check until a meaningless 64 yard run early in the 4th quarter. Clelin Ferrell, freshman DE, had a breakout game with 3 TFL, including 1 sack, and announced to the college football world that he is a force to be reckoned with. Overall the defense had 3 sacks and 11 TFL's, and were simply terrific all night. The total yardage differential was 470-215. In other words, total domination
On offense, despite 2 early picks, Deshaunn Watson was in control, throwing for 259 yards, with a TD and running for 2 more, and a solid QBR of 76.3. Wayne Gallman also had a decent night with 85 yards on 18, with a TD. Mike Williams was his usual ridiculous self with 6 receptions for 96 yards, and a few highlight reel catches to boot.
This all sets up the rematch from last year's title game of Alabama and Clemson, an I expect this year's game to have a different result. Yes, I'm picking the upset, and that's what you have to call it, with Bama's recent reign of terror. Clemson just appears to have the more complete football team, with a huge edge at QB, particularly the experience level. Once thing is for sure, this should be a classic football game, and the payoff for having to sit through 2 duds on New year's Eve. Prediction: Clemson 27, Bama 23