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Roundtable: Early College Football Playoff Predictions, Picks

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Early College Football Playoff predictions and picks from the Campus Insiders team. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington earned berths to the third edition of the CFP.

Jonathan Bass

Peach Bowl

Alabama takes this one, though the game stays tight through the first half. Jalen Hurts will eventually exploit a defense that is hurting at the linebacker position. Furthermore, Jake Browning has been faltering down the stretch and will now face the nation’s top defense. Add in that the Georgia Dome will be 95% Bama fans, and the wave will eventually come crashing down on Washington’s excellent season.

Fiesta Bowl

Deshaun Watson has played like a man possessed and will ultimately be the difference-maker in this one. It’s hard to bet against Urban Meyer in big games, but I like the maturity of the Tigers to win out. Clemson will be just a little bit faster than Ohio State in all three phases, which also doesn’t happen very often with a Meyer-coached team on the field. Dabo Swinney and the Tigers bring their own guts again to advance to the College Football Playoff championship game for another crack at Swinney’s alma mater.

College Football Playoff Championship Game

This is going to feel a lot like last year’s game, just with a different outcome. Jalen Hurts will show his age and falter under a ferocious game from the Tigers’ front seven. Deshaun Watson is the type of talent that deserves to go down as one of the best ever, and he’ll cement that with an unbelievable game, hitting the century mark through the air and on the ground. Adam Griffith misses a key kick early, forcing Nick Saban to adjust his strategy, which ultimately costs the Crimson Tide. Watson scores the game-winner with under five minutes to play.

Dave Miller

Peach Bowl

Chris Petersen’s Huskies are strong in all three phases of the game, just like Alabama. Petersen is one of the finest head coaches in the game, and it will be fun to watch him match wits with Nick Saban. Ultimately, Jake Browning will be overwhelmed by the Crimson Tide defensive front, and ‘Bama pulls away in the second half for the win.

Fiesta Bowl

Which Ohio State offense is going to show up? I would expect the Buckeyes to put forth one of their most complete efforts of the year, but the OSU offensive tackles will struggle containing the Clemson defensive ends off of the edge. Deshaun Watson will continue to overcome turnovers and help the loaded offense overwhelm the Buckeyes defense in a game that comes down to the wire.

College Football Playoff Championship Game

Clemson will try to exact revenge for last year’s title loss, but Watson and Co. will come up short once again against the ridiculous ‘Bama defense. Roll Tide!

Robert Judin

Peach Bowl

Somebody has to do it, and I’m going to be that somebody. I’m picking Washington to win. It’s crazy … just crazy enough to work. Jake Browning will take advantage of Alabama’s secondary with Eddie Jackson still out, and the Huskies will come away with a huge, huge win over the Crimson Tide.

Fiesta Bowl

J.T. Barrett and Deshaun Watson will both have great games, but Barrett will come up big in the clutch just like he did against Michigan. Watson will get picked off late when it matters most, and the Buckeyes will go back to the College Football Playoff title game.

College Football Playoff Championship Game

Still riding the crazy train, I’m going with the Huskies over the Buckeyes in the national title game. I’ve been high on Washington all year long. I had my moment where I wavered once Joe Mathis and Azeem Victor went down, but Browning is spinning the ball beautifully, and he’s got some ballers all around him. In a high-scoring affair, Washington will win the College Football Playoff crown over Ohio State and return the Pac-12 to the top of college football.

Brian Stultz

Peach Bowl

Poor Washington. Not only do the Huskies have to face Alabama in the semifinal, but must do it in Atlanta, where the Crimson Tide fans will flock and outnumber U-Dub fans 10-1. This could be a motivating factor for Chris Petersen’s team, but it won’t matter as the Tide roll into the championship game.

Fiesta Bowl

Can we play a best out of three with this one? The Buckeyes-Tigers could be a classic, with both teams having the ability to put points on the board in a hurry. The difference? Ohio State’s stout defense. The Buckeyes win and set up a mega matchup against Alabama in the College Football Playoff final.

College Football Playoff Championship Game

Alabama. Ohio State is talented, and Urban Meyer is a great coach, but the Crimson Tide are playing at a level above the rest of college football this season. Alabama can score in a myriad of ways, including a defense that lives on turning turnovers into points. Nick Saban wins his 6th national championship, and Bryant-Denny Stadium is renamed Saban-Bryant Stadium in Tuscaloosa.


Alabama vs. Washington Prediction, Peach Bowl Preview
Clemson vs. Ohio State Prediction, Fiesta Bowl Preview

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