2018-2019 College Football Playoff Preview

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2018-2019 College Football Playoff Preview

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) confer during a game against Texas.

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) confer during a game against Texas.

(Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) confer during a game against Texas.

(Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

(Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) confer during a game against Texas.

Brendan Moore, Junior Writer

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Selection Sunday has come and passed, and all football fans are anticipating December 29th. This past weekend the college football playoff committee decided the four teams that will compete for the national championship. The teams were Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. All four teams combined for a record of 50-1, with the only loss coming from Oklahoma at the hands of the Texas Longhorns in which they ended up avenging that loss (beating Texas in their conference championship) rematch to claim their fourth straight BIG 12 Championship.

 

Oklahoma went 12-1 in their season and the committee ranked them at the number four slot. The Sooners only loss was to their rival Texas by a game winning field goal. They met Texas again in the Big 12 Championship Game and put together a good defensive display, and avenged their loss from earlier in the year by winning 39-27. Their defense has been struggling all year long giving up on average 32.4 points per game. Quarterback Kyler Murray has fueled the Sooner offense throwing for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. His favorite target Marquise Brown, who has caught ten touchdowns, was injured against Texas. He is doubtful to play the playoff game. This is Oklahoma’s third appearance in the playoff and second in a row. They will battle number one Alabama Saturday night, December 29 at the Orange Bowl.

 

The number one team in the country, Alabama Crimson Tide, steamrolled through their schedule including two straight shutouts at number 11 LSU and number 18 Mississippi State. This set up a date with the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship. Georgia came into the game with only one loss against LSU. Alabama’s starting Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went out because of an ankle injury. The Tide were down 28-14 during the third quarter.

Bama called to their backup QB Jalen Hurts who ran and passed for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to lead a comeback and win the game for Alabama. This win locked a playoff spot for the Tide as well as the number one rank. Alabama will take on Oklahoma December 29 at 8 P.M.

 

Number three went to the 12-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame had signature wins against number seven Michigan and number twenty Syracuse. After struggling against

Ball State and Vanderbilt, coach Brian Kelly yanked starting QB Brandon Wimbush and started Ian Book. Book was the spark the Fighting Irish needed. The first game Book played he and the offense put up 56 points at Wake Forest. In the Demon Deacons game it was the most points given up in a game by the Irish defense this year (27). Notre Dame has played solid week in and week out which has earned them a spot in the college football playoff. Notre Dame will play Clemson at the Cotton Bowl on December 29th.

 

The last team, Clemson, who holds the number 2 spot, went undefeated as well. The Tigers went 13-0 on the season despite, yet again, quarterback drama. This was Clemson’s biggest bump in the road on the season. Last year’s starting QB Kelly Bryant led the Tigers to a playoff spot, but this year he found himself competing for the starting job with freshman Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence won the job, and in result Bryant decided to transfer schools. This left coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers with only two quarterbacks on their depth chart. Trevor Lawrence got injured during the game against Syracuse, so third stringer Chase Brice was put into the game. He pulled out the win despite being down ten points in the fourth quarter on their home field. Clemson won the rest of their games by at least three touchdowns, including a 42-10 drubbing of Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers next task is a battle against Notre Dame this December 29th at 4 P.M.

 

The two playoff semifinals will take place on December 29th. The Clemson Tigers will play against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a battle of the undefeateds at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, while Alabama will take on Oklahoma in which promises to be a high scoring affair at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The winner of these two games will play for the National Championship Monday, January 7th in Santa Clara, California.

Brendan Moore, Junior Writer

Brendan Moore is a Sophomore at Henry Ford II high school.  He is in his first year of Journalism at high school. He hopes to go to college to study Journalism...

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