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College Football Playoff Final Prediction

by Big Al

Did I really say that Alabama will beat Clemson in the CFP final? Well, I was wrong. Alabama is going to beat Ohio State in the CFP final.

Why? Well, lots of reasons.

Ohio State

Ohio State is coming off of a hard-hitting game against Clemson. Justin Fields is coming in with hurt ribs of some kind, though the actual injury is still not known, and won't be known until after the game.

Even if that weren't the case, they are apparently having diffculties with COVID, and lost more players. Some may have returned, but you need to be at full strength if you want to take on Alabama.

Plus, they still have a suspect secondary. And now they are going up against an excellent quarterback with excellent receivers, including the Heisman Trophy winner. If DeVonta Smith had had a normal Heisman celebration of going all over the country eating meals and addressing crowds rather than practicing with his team, I would give Ohio State more of a chance. But he is coming off of a Heisman win that was about as exciting as if he had been sent a letter of congratulations.

And all that is ignoring the fact that Najee Harris is ready to make Ohio State pay if they unload the box to stop the pass.

Ohio State is very good, and I think they can make a game of it. And I can't shake the feeling that they will win. But coming in weak is no way to come into this game.

Alabama

Does anyone really think that Jaylen Waddle is not going to play? Even if he is limited, he is still an absolute burner that Ohio State can't keep up with. Alabama doesn't need to be complex with him, he only needs to run the fly route and some deep outs and square-ins to keep Ohio State honest. But those aren't necessary: Waddle has the speed to outrun any coverage.

Alabama's offensive line is excellent. They can keep Mac Jones safe against Ohio State's defensive line, even if they are rotating 8 players up front. The Ohio State pass rush is not what it has been in the past few years.

Finally, Alabama's defense does have its weaknesses, but they can also shut down other teams when necessary. And with Justin Fields limited and probably unable to run and make plays that way, Alabama can mostly focus on a standard offense. That plays into the hands of the Tide.

I'm sure that Alabama will give up some points to Ohio State. But not nearly enough for Ohio State's liking. Alabama wins.

Columns

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