The Breakdown: AJ predicts the results of the College Football Playoff


AJ Forbes, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Rose Bowl: Oklahoma (31-17)

The storyline of the 2017 Oklahoma season is centered around Heisman-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield. Probably the most polarizing figure in college football this year, Mayfield orchestrates an explosive offense that averages 583 total yards per game (leads FBS) while also leading the FBS in scoring. While Baker’s stats are impressive (46 touchdowns and 4,650 yards) he is surrounded by playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.

Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson burst onto the scene in Week 6 against Kansas State with almost 200 total yards and two total touchdowns. Anderson has accumulated 1,281 total yards and 16 total touchdowns with no sign of stopping. Tight end Mark Andrews also has had an impressive season with 906 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

It’s safe to say that Georgia’s fourth ranked defense will have their hands full with an Oklahoma offense that is so unique and dynamic. If the Sooner offensive line can hold it down against All-American linebacker Roquan Smith

While everyone talks about their offense, Oklahoma’s defense hasn’t been something to ignore.While they have given up 25 points per game on the season, they have been able to hold the opposition enough for the win. Georgia’s offense is relatively one-dimensional, relying on the three-headed monster in the backfield with Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and D’Andre Swift. Granted those three have been highly effective this season, look for Oklahoma to pack the box and make their freshman quarterback Jake Fromm win the game.


Sugar Bowl: Alabama (14-10)

Almost every college football fan has some disdain for the modern day dynasty that is the Alabama Crimson Tide. I am one of those fans. Even half of Alabama hates Alabama. But let’s be honest, you can’t keep them out of the championship game–especially when matched up against the Clemson Tigers.

I am nowhere near trying to knock Clemson and head coach Dabo Swinney here. When looking at the match-ups, both teams have elite defenses that rank first and second in scoring defense. Clemson’s front seven on defense is the best in the country, led by defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Alabama needs to key in on this man and gameplan around him due to his ability to penetrate into the backfield.

If they can take care of Williams, then Alabama will be doing really well offensively on New Year’s Day.

Speaking of offenses, this is where ‘Bama separates itself from Clemson. Led by sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts, this Crimson Tide offensive attack prides itself on running the football and they’ve been able to do that. While Hurts is essentially a running back that throws the ball for 2,000 yards, he also has backfield-mates Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough. Those two have combined for 1,613 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns.

Oh yeah, by the way, Alabama also has one of the top NFL draft prospects in junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

While Clemson’s offense is no slouch, Alabama’s defense is just the superior unit.


Championship Game: Oklahoma (28-24)

The old saying goes: offense wins games, but defense wins championships. Not in this case. Alabama’s defense may be elite, but Oklahoma’s offense is a level above prestigious. It doesn’t matter if have a kevlar vest if you’re looking down the barrels of a gatling gun. The Sooners might not score 50, but they will continue their dominance that has gotten them to this point.

In the history of the College Football Playoff Championship Game, there has never been a game that hasn’t scored at least a combined 62 points. I would bet that Oklahoma has the potential to score at least 35 points by themselves since they have so much time to prepare for the Tide defense.

What should be noted is that the Oklahoma defensive gameplan for Georgia and Alabama aren’t too dissimilar. Both teams favor the running game over gaining yards through the air and both teams rely on three backs to carry that running game (Hurts, Harris, and Scarbrough for Alabama). The only difference is that Nick Saban for Alabama likes to use the read option and the quarterback run game a whole lot more than the Bulldogs.

When push comes to shove, Oklahoma’s offense will do what they usually do: make big plays, score touchdowns, and dance all night long.

Baker Mayfield will plant the Sooner flag at midfield following their first College Football Playoff Championship.