College Football Playoff Analysis and Predictions


Peach Bowl
Presented by Chick-fil-A
College Football Playoff Semifinal
No.1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington
Atlanta, Georgia
Dec 31, 2016 3:00 PM ESPN
Vegas Odds: Alabama -14


Alabama Washington Advantage
Record13-0 12-1Alabama
Total Offense (yards/rank): 6,127 yards / 22nd 6,203 / 17th Washington
Points per Game (points/rank): 40.5 / 11th 44.4 / 4thWashington
Rushing yards per Game (yards/rank): 245 / 13th 210 / 35th Alabama
Passing yards per Game (yards/rank): 226.3 / 70th 267.2 / 29thWashington
QB: Jalen Hurts / Freshmen Jake Browning / Sophomore Washington
Points per Game (points/rank): 11.8 / 1st 17.2 / 8thAlabama
Rushing Yards per Game (yards/rank): 63.4 / 1st123.5 / 18thAlabama
Passing Yards per Game (yards/rank): 184.5 / 15th 192.6 / 22ndAlabama
Sacks (sacks/rank): 45 - 5th 37 / 20thAlabama
Interceptions (interceptions/rank): 14/ 42nd 19 / 6th Washington
Fumbles Recovered (# recovered/rank): 10 / 42nd 14 / 5th Washington
Special Teams
Field Goals (#/rank): 20 / 20th 16 / 42nd Washington
Punts (yards per punt / rank): 47.7 / 1st 38.6 / 112th Alabama
Kickoff Returns (yards per return / rank): 19.3 / 94th 21.5 / 47th Washington
Punt Returns (yards per return / rank): 16.1 / 6th 12.0 / 13th Alabama

Peach Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal Prediction
Alabama’s Defense has dominated college football all year, while their offense has been average. Washington’s offense has been one of the top offenses in the country with a heck of a quarterback. Washington clearly has the advantage at the QB spot with Jake Browning who has one year of experience over Jalen Hurts. Saban’s team almost resembles Tressel ball with a strong defense and a dominating punter and stellar special team’s coverage.

Washington’s defense, which is 8th in the nation should be able to stop Alabama’s run and get to the rookie QB Jalen Hurts. The Washington defense should be able to limit Alabama’s offense to less than twenty points.

The Big Question: can Jake Browning do enough to score more than 20 points on Alabama? We think the answer is no. Alabama wins 17 to 7, but does not cover the spread.

Fiesta Bowl
Presented by PlayStation
College Football Playoff Semifinal
No.2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State
Tempe, Arizona
Dec 31, 2016 7:00 PM ESPN
Vegas Odds: Ohio State -3


Clemson Ohio StateAdvantage
Record12-1 12-1Even
Total Offense (yards/rank): 6,574 yards / 11th 5,754 / 40th Clemson
Points per Game (points/rank): 40.2 / 14th 42.7 / 9thOhio State
Rushing yards per Game (yards/rank): 173.1 / 65th 258.3 / 9th Ohio Stare
Passing yards per Game (yards/rank): 332.6 / 6th 221.2 / 78thClemson
QB: Deshaun Watson /Junior J.T. Barrett / Junior Clemson
Points per Game (points/rank): 18.4 / 12th 14.2 / 3rdOhio State
Rushing Yards per Game (yards/rank): 125.8 / 22nd117.8 / 14thOhio State
Passing Yards per Game (yards/rank): 188.2 / 19th 164.5 / 6th Ohio State
Sacks (sacks/rank): 46 / 3rd 26 / 62ndClemson
Interceptions (interceptions/rank): 18 / 8th 19 / 6th Ohio State
Fumbles Recovered (# recovered/rank): 6 / 94th 6 / 94th Even
Special Teams
Field Goals (#/rank): 13 / 63rd 17 / 36thOhio State
Punts (yards per punt / rank): 37.8 / 122nd 46.2 / 5th Ohio State
Kickoff Returns (yards per return / rank): 21.2 / 55th 24.1 / 13th Ohio State
Punt Returns (yards per return / rank): 8.1 / 61st 5.1 / 105th Clemson

Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal Prediction
The Fiesta Bowl is between two teams that are very evenly matched per Vegas (Ohio State -3), but if you dig into it there are some clear distinctions between the two teams:

1. Clemson’s passing game and Deshaun Watson are much better than Ohio State’s passing game and J.T. Barrett (in the air).
2. Ohio State’s rushing game and scoring is better than Clemson’s.
3. Ohio State is a better defensive team and is better at special teams.

Basically, other than Deshaun Watson Ohio State is the better team.

The Big Question: can Deshaun Watson carry his team to a victory over Ohio State? We think the answer is no. Ohio State has too many athletes and J.T. Barrett will do enough to win. Ohio State wins by 28 to 17, and thereby covers the spread.

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