The College Football Playoff is coming our way and the two semifinal games are the Rose Bowl on January 1st at 5pm eastern time and the Sugar Bowl on January 1st at 8:45pm eastern. The Rose features the #3 Georgia Bulldogs taking on the #2 Oklahoma Sooners while the Sugar features the #1 Clemson Tigers taking on the #4 Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Rose Bowl takes place on January 1st at 5pm eastern time between The Georgia Bulldogs and Oklahoma Sooners.
The Bulldogs are 12-1, having lost only to the Auburn Tigers in a late-season blowout before avenging the loss in the SEC Championship Game in December. The Bulldogs are ranked 3rd in Bill C’s S&P+ rankings behind the steady Jake Fromm. Fromm, a freshman, has thrown for 2100 yards and 21 touchdowns. Georgia focuses on the run game and their defense. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combined for 2000 yards on the ground and 26 touchdowns. The Bulldog defense is ranked 8th in the S&P+.
The Oklahoma Sooners are 12-1 and ranked 8th by the S&P+ overall rankings. The Sooners only loss was to the giant slayer Iowa State Cyclones. The Sooners loss was a close one as they dropped the game 38-31. Oklahoma is offense-centric as quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for over 4000 yards and 41 touchdowns in his Heisman Trophy winning campaign. He limits his turnovers, having throw only 5 interceptions. His backfield is less NFL-ready, as Rodney Anderson and Trey Sermon combined for 1600 yards and only 6 touchdowns on the season. While their offense is the S&P+’s top rated squad the defense is ranked 95th by Bill C’s analytics.
The Sugar Bowl will be held at 8:45pm eastern time down in New Orleans, LA. The Sugar Bowl features the #1 Clemson Tigers and the #4 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
Clemson finished 2017 12-1 and ranked 7th by the S&P+. The Tigers lone loss came against the Syracuse Orange with Kelly Bryant out injured. Bryant, the Tigers starting quarterback, had big shoes to fill by replacing Deshaun Watson. Bryant is known for his running prowess and threw for only 2300 yards and 13 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. He added 600 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground as the best back on his offense. The Tigers defense is ranked 2nd by the S&P+ and is as fast as ever. Travis Etienne and Tavian Foster are the two main running backs and have combined for 1400 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2017. The receiving corps is led by Hunter Renfrow and Deon Cain. Renfrow and Cain have combined for 1200 receiving yards and 9 scores in ’17.
The Crimson Tide are ranked 2nd in the S&P+ and their lone loss came to the Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl 26-14. Bama kept it close but their offense looked stuck in the mud against the Tigers. The offense has been through three offensive coordinators in two years which you would think has hurt Jalen Hurts but the experienced veteran QB threw for 1900 yards and a 15:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Hurts added 700 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. The Tide defense is ranked 3rd by the S&P+ as to be expected from a Nick Saban squad with Jeremy Pruitt as defensive coordinator. The Tide used a three-headed monster at running back with Damien Harris (8.2 yards per carry), Bo Scarborough, and Najee Harris combining for 1700 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns on the season. Star receiver Calvin Ridley has 800 receiving yards with only 3 touchdowns.