Story by Carlos Hernandez, Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of MSU Athletics
On Sunday, December 6, the College Football Playoff top 4 was announced. #1 is undefeated Clemson of the ACC, #2 is Alabama of the SEC, #3 is Michigan State of the Big 10, and #4 is Oklahoma of the Big 12. #1 Clemson will face off against #4 Oklahoma, and #2 Alabama will play #3 Michigan State in the first round.
Clemson became a national sensation when they defeated then #6 Notre Dame and remaining untouched in the top ten, winning almost all of their games with ease.They solidified their place in the top four with a 45-37 win over then #10 North Carolina on Saturday, December 5.
Alabama’s place at number two should come as a surprise to no one. Holding the most National Championships in the current decade at two and placing the season-end top 5 in 2011, 2012, and 2014, Alabama is not a pushover team. This year alone, they took down six out of the seven ranked teams they played. There is not much more to say about Alabama on its own except that Michigan State is in for a real challenge and should not take their practice time lightly.
That being said, Michigan State is no team to scoff at either. Their only loss was an upset by unranked Nebraska, but they also put themselves back into the good graces of the nation the past three weeks when they defeated the previous #4 team Iowa in the final seconds of the game. Two weeks before that, they defeated defending national champion Ohio State with a last second field goal. Although Alabama is in a good position, they also should not see the Spartans as an easy win either.
Which brings us to Oklahoma, who is only number four because the number of top ten teams that played each other on December 5 (Clemson with #10 North Carolina and Michigan State with #4 Iowa.) Otherwise, they hold an impressive three-game streak of top 25 wins these past three weeks.
Now that the teams have been introduced, let’s take a brief look at the semi-final games.
Clemson this season has averaged 288.5 passing yards and 222.2 rushing yards as opposed to Oklahoma’s 307.9 passing and 235 rushing. Oklahoma also seems to score more on average and allow less points against them, this in combination with their rigorous schedule backing them up, Clemson does seem like they in trouble of losing their perfect season and consequently, their hopes of a second national title.
Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide of Alabama average 214.3 passing with 208.2 rushing where State has 236.1 passing, but 160.7 rushing. Though the two teams seem to deal a nearly equal amount of damage point wise (only a two point difference), Alabama has taken less points on average. The teams look very close, though Alabama appears to have a slight advantage in this matchup.
Of course, if there is one thing we have learned in the college football postseason, it is that anything can happen. These are merely predictions based off of past performances. For all we know these games could be total shutouts, or the underdog may pull a touchdown out of nowhere. It is a sure bet that we are in for another suspenseful bowl season as we celebrate the second year of the College Football Playoffs.
About the writer…
Carlos “Eddie” Hernandez is a fourth year student at Aquinas and has been writing for the newspaper for a year and a half. He is an Acting and Music Major and is also a member of AQPB. His hobbies include ponies and Pokèmon. Other hobbies include eating and sleeping.