The transcendent Tide

The+transcendent+Tide

WUFT News

Jeremy Johnson, Sports Editor

After one of the most chaotic seasons in recent memory, college football finally has its last four teams standing: Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma.

Clemson (13-0) held off a high-scoring North Carolina team 45-37 in the ACC Championship game to punch their ticket.

They’re led by QB and Heisman contender Deshaun Watson who has thrown 3,512 yards and has 41 total touchdowns this season.

Clemson ranks 15th in total offense thanks to a polished, balanced attack.

With that being said, the team goes as Watson goes, which is a big reason why they’re still undefeated.

The Tigers not only enter the playoff as the only unbeaten team but they’ve also been the most consistent.

They will face off against the hottest team of the group in Oklahoma (11-1).

The Sooners have won their last seven, outscoring their opponent by an average of 33 points.

Last season, these two teams faced off in the Russell Athletic Bowl with Clemson winning in dominant fashion, 40-6.

This isn’t last season.

One key in this game will be if Oklahoma can stop Clemson in the red-zone.

The Tigers score on 90 percent of their red-zone trips while the Sooners give up points in that territory 80 percent of the time.

Oklahoma also needs to put together long drives to keep Clemson off the field, and keep its own potent offense on the field.

I expect a shootout, but in the end Clemson will prevail 37-31.

In the other semifinal matchup, we have a clash of dynasty vs. destiny: Alabama vs. Michigan State.

Alabama HB and Heisman frontrunner Derrick Henry is plowing through everybody, running for 1,986 yards and 23 TDs in the regular season.

Michigan State ranks seventh in run defense so something has to give.

The improvement of Alabama QB Jake Coker over the course of the season will play a vital role in this contest.

I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see the Spartans win this game but Alabama will start off fast and prevent any late-game heroics from Sparty.

The Tide will roll, 24-13.

That puts Clemson and Alabama, the top two seeds in the playoff, against each other in the National Championship.

In the Tide’s lone defeat to Ole Miss, they gave up 43 points, 433 total yards and committed five turnovers.

Sure, Clemson has an explosive offense but they’re not scoring 40+ points on Bama and they’re definitely not going to force five turnovers.

In a battle of the two leading Heisman candidates, Henry and the Tide will come out on top and Nick Saban will win his fourth national title in seven years.