Will Alabama be challenged for another championship?


NBS Sports

Heiman Kyler Murray scores a touchdown against rival Texas on Oct. 6. The Sooners went on to lose that game 45-48.

Zack Seigel, Staff Writer

The start of December not only symbolizes the holiday season, but also the start of college football playoffs. This is very exciting for football fans all around the country. With the recent wrap up of the regular season, the four playoff teams selected by the college football playoffs committee are Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. 

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, ranked third, are set to play the second seeded Clemson Tigers in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. Notre Dame is coming into the game with a 12-0 record, while Clemson is also undefeated at 13-0. 

“I think that the game will be close but Clemson will pull out with the win in the end,” said freshman Kevin Taylor.

Both teams have dominated their opponents throughout the entire season, and it squares up to be a close game. Clemson recently won the ACC title and is looking to get back into the championship. Notre Dame also had an incredibly successful season winning all 12 of their regular season games. Clemson has played one more game than Notre Dame, as the fighting Irish do not have a conference championship. 

“The Clemson vs. Notre Dame game will definitely be a good game but I think that Clemson will end up winning because they have arguably the best coach in all of college football in Dabo Swinney. Notre Dame also has not faced a lot of tough competition this year since they are not in a conference,” said freshman Andy Feinstein.

On the same day as the Cotton Bowl, the Oklahoma Sooners will play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl. The Sooners, ranked fourth, have a 12-1 record and the Crimson Tide, ranked first, have a 13-0 record. It seems to be no question to many students that Alabama will beat Oklahoma with no problem, as they are the number one ranked team and have excellent players such as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and a great head coach in Nick Saban. 

“Bama all the way. Nick Saban does a tremendous job of coaching and developing his players into superstars. Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts are a dynamic duo,” said freshman Jasper Abrahams. “When one goes out, the other fills-in. Plus, Oklahoma does not have what it takes to upset the number one ranked team in the nation.”

 Recently, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy over Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State University quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Many believe this will increase Tagovailoa’s play and will lead Alabama to victory.

“I believe that Alabama will beat Oklahoma. Tua Tagovailoa will be playing with a chip on his shoulder and try significantly outplay Kyler Murray after losing the Heisman. None of those teams will beat Alabama’s all around high powered team, so I have Bama winning it all,” said freshman Max Garmisa.

Other bowls games are also coming up. The Peach Bowl, also on Dec. 29, pins the Florida Gators, ranked tenth, up against the Michigan Wolverines, ranked seventh. 

“One of my favorite great bowl games is the peach bowl, which is Michigan vs. Florida and I think Michigan is more likely to win because they just lost by a ton, 23 points, to Ohio State on Nov. 24 and I think they will come out angry and have a great defensive game,” said Feinstein.

In addition to games on Dec. 29, New Years Day also has many bowl games. It begins with the Rose Bowl, which features the winner of the Pac 12 conference, the Washington Huskies, against the winner of the Big 10, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Others bowls on this day include the Sugar Bowl, which features the fifteenth ranked Texas Longhorns against the fifth ranked Georgia Bulldogs, and the Fiesta Bowl, in which eighth ranked UCF faces off against eleventh ranked LSU.

“I think Ohio State will beat Washington in the Rose Bowl this year. With Dwayne Haskins Jr. is coming off a record breaking season and it being Coach Urban Meyer’s last game with the Buckeyes, Ohio State has all the pieces to demolish the Huskies,” said freshman Ben Krefetz.

College football playoffs are a fun time for all football fans as they get to watch the best teams in the league compete against one another until there is one champion. There are plenty of games to watch from Dec. 15 all the way to the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 7.