We have our four teams that will vie for the College Football Playoff national championship.
Here are the final CFP rankings:
We'll start with LSU, which clinched the No. 1 spot with a decisive 37-10 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship game. There's no arguing with the Tigers' resume. They beat Alabama and Texas on the road, Auburn and Florida at home and Georgia on a neutral field.
The offense, which has been a weakness for LSU in recent years, is dominant. Joe Burrow capped off his Heisman resume with a 349-yard, four-touchdown performance against one of the best defenses in the country on Saturday. Burrow has 48 touchdown passes to six interceptions on the season and hasn't really had a bad game all year. LSU has to be feeling supremely confident going into the Playoff.
That brings us to Oklahoma, LSU's opponent, which snagged the No. 4 spot thanks to a win over Baylor and Utah's loss to Oregon. It will be fascinating to see the Lincoln Riley-led offensive attack go against the LSU defense, which has been a bit up and down in 2019. The Tigers balled out on that side Saturday, holding Georgia to 10 points and just 286 yards of offense. But LSU has been vulnerable on defense this year, allowing 37 points to Ole Miss and 41 to Alabama in the last month.
Oklahoma earned a gritty overtime win over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship game — gritty is rarely a word that's been used to describe Oklahoma over the last half decade. But that's what it was. The Sooners threw the ball 24 times in comparison to 50 rushes, uncharacteristic of a Riley offense. But the Oklahoma defense played well, holding the Bears to 1.2 yards per carry. In previous years, you'd expect a quarterback like Burrow to absolutely torch the Oklahoma defense. And he's still capable. But it's not a foregone conclusion, and that speaks to the improvement the Sooners have made on that side of the field.
© 2019 thepunctuationguide.com
© 2019 thepunctuationguide.com
Ohio State and Clemson earned the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively, and this would be a national championship-caliber game in most years. We can't say enough good things about the Buckeyes. Justin Fields is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, J.K. Dobbins is a complete running back, and there's so much depth on defense that the second stringers could probably form a top-10 unit on their own. That said, Ohio State struggled a bit (by its standards) against Wisconsin on Saturday, needing to come back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to win.
But boy, did it ever. The Buckeyes won the second half 27-0, and while LSU has the most impressive resume in the country, Ohio State looks like the most talented team if you're going by eye test. It will face Clemson, the reigning national champions who have weirdly coasted through this season without a ton of publicity. That's mostly because the ACC is down this year, but that's beyond the Tigers' control.
There seemed to be a bit of a championship hangover early in the season, but it's safe to say that has passed. Since a Sept. 28 scare against North Carolina, no team has come within 30 points of the Tigers.
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Trevor Lawrence hasn't quite taken the step many expected after posting what was arguably the best freshman QB campaign ever, but he's been better lately, and the running game is outrageously good. Travis Etienne has 1,500 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on the season, and the offensive line is opening up plenty of holes for him. Etienne is averaging 8.2 yards per carry. The Buckeyes defensive line may be the best in the country, so it's going to be fascinating to see who controls the line of scrimmage in that one. There are studs everywhere you look on both sides of the ball.
This is a loaded College Football Playoff field. Both games are happening on Saturday, Dec. 28, and we can't wait to see how they unfold.