Parker Cote, Brevin Scullion, and Kaleb McCloud
After over 12 weeks of college football, the playoffs have been set in stone. The Clemson Tigers end their hot season at 11-1 and finish as the top seed. Clemson will match up against fourth-seeded Alabama on Jan. 1, 2018 in the Sugar Bowl. The second-seeded Oklahoma Sooners will match up against the third-seeded Georgia Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2018.
For the third straight year Clemson will be playing against Alabama, but this time it is not for the championship game. “I feel like it was kind of fate that they played each other this early again,” said sophomore Caleb Patterson. The first year the two played each other Alabama won, the second year Clemson came out with the victory.
Many students believe that the Crimson Tide can pull out yet another College Football National Championship this year. “I think Alabama has a good shot. They’ve done it before,” said Patterson. Alabama has won six national championships including their most recent one in 2015. “They have the most experience in big games,” said sophomore Matt Bradford. Their big wins in the past years have made Alabama a powerhouse in college football.
An unfamiliar face has entered this year’s playoffs. The Georgia Bulldogs have proven themselves to be a real threat and could potentially win it all. “[Georgia] beat a very good Auburn team to win their conference championship. So what they lost to them earlier, it’s the big games that counts,” said junior Eden Shiomos. The Bulldogs haven’t reached a National Championship since 1980, but maybe this year will be theirs.
The Oklahoma Sooners led by Heisman winner senior quarterback Baker Mayfield, hopes in making a run to the big game. “Baker Mayfield plays with energy and has the potential to lead a team like Oklahoma to a national championship,” said sophomore Will Davis. Mayfield has thrown for 41 touchdowns and 4340 yards in the three years he’s played for the Sooners. “Like him or hate him, he is a excellent QB,” said Davis, who is referring to his controversial behavior. Mayfield was benched for a quarter and was demoted from his captain spot for his senior game because he made rude gestures towards an opposing team. “With Mayfield back, nothing can get in their way,” said junior Cece Hatem.
But, some students and teachers around J-DHS want defending champion Clemson to win because Syracuse beat them earlier this season. “Syracuse beat them earlier this year so, it would make SU look really good,” said French teacher Lauren Ludovico. “I want Clemson to win because if they win, it will theoretically make Syracuse the national champions,” said junior Adam Honis. Other students are just tired of Alabama being so dominant and would like to see a new college football powerhouse. “I think Alabama’s time as the premier college football team is over.” said junior Kendale Thompson.
Only four teams get to have the chance to be in the playoff each year. Because of that many teams that may deserve to get in, don’t. “Ohio State deserved to be in. They had one bad loss to an unranked opponent, but playing in and winning the BIG 10, one of the best football conferences, and with quality wins over Penn State and Wisconsin, they deserve to be in,” sophomore Haberle Conlon said. With many dominant teams some students think that this four-team playoff should be extended to an eight-team playoff. “I think it would be cool, seeing more competitive games.” said junior Courtney Burns. “The reason we have so many bowl games is because there are so many deserving teams, making it an eight-team playoff would reward the good teams even more,” said Conlon.