With the conclusion of the December 8th Army vs. Navy game, college football’s regular season officially comes to an end. The bad news is that we won’t get to relive the drama of the conference championship games again for another year. But the good news is that bowl season and the College Football Playoff is right around the corner. Let’s get into the stories to watch, players to keep an eye on, and last but not least, our picks.
The College Football Playoff
Who are the top NCAA football teams in 2018? Look no further than Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma – the four teams that will compete in the College Football Playoff. What are the NCAAF odds that a team other than Alabama will win the National Championship? At the time of this writing, Alabama was a 14-point favorite over Oklahoma, and we’d bet that the Crimson Tide would be favored should they advance to the title game. However, keep in mind how Alabama was down two touchdowns to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game just a few weeks ago. So, while the Crimson Tide are mighty, they’re not invincible.
Headlines to Watch
Outside of the College Football Playoff, there are a lot of players, teams, and even coaches to watch. Here’s a look:
- Urban Meyer: Following Ohio State’s Rose Bowl game, Urban Meyer is retiring (again), with current OSU offensive coordinator Ryan Day set to take over. How much will the Buckeyes take a step back with the coaching change (if at all)? That’s really a question that will be answered over the coming years.
- Players sitting out games: Though it may affect college football bowl game predictions, we don’t begrudge players for sitting out during the postseason to eliminate injury risk and focus on the NFL draft. For this reason, one of the big stories of bowl season is the top college football players who won’t be playing. At the time of this writing, Rashan Gary (Michigan), Will Grier (West Virginia), N’Keal Harry (Arizona State), Ed Oliver (Houston), and Deebo Samuel (South Carolina) have already decided to skip their respective teams’ bowl games.
- Can UCF win? A victory over LSU in the Fiesta Bowl will spell back-to-back undefeated seasons for UCF. And while that’s an accomplishment in and of itself, it could be enough to garner serious consideration for a College Football Playoff berth should the team do it again.
Our Pick for National Champion
Here’s who we like in the College Football Playoff and National Championship:
- Alabama over Oklahoma: As much fun as it is to watch Kyler Murray and the Sooners offense, the defense is another story. We think Alabama will be able to score at will, while managing Murray and the Sooners’ offense.
- Clemson over Notre Dame: The Irish have been impressive this year, but they’ve yet to meet anyone like Clemson. Give us the Tigers in a rout, and a rematch of the 2017 and 2016 National Championship Game.
When it’s all said and done, we like Alabama to repeat. The Tide are just too good to be able to take a punch and punch back. What are your NCAAF picks?
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