The College Football Playoff will see orange once again. For the 6th straight year the Clemson Tigers will head to the playoff, the longest streak in the nation. The committee has ranked the Tigers #2 in the nation after an emphatic win against Notre Dame on Saturday. This year the Tigers will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a rematch from last year’s semifinal, this time on New Year’s Day, January 1st. Surprisingly this game will be played in the Sugar Bowl instead of the Rose Bowl as everyone assumed. Kickoff is set for 8pm EST on ESPN.
This will be a very different match up compared to last year. Despite a world of talent in Columbus, the Buckeyes have not been able to find a good rhythm this year, likely because the number of cancellations the team dealt with due to COVID-19 cases. Ryan Day has also had some interesting game plans on offense that have made a normally high flying offense appear stagnant at times.
On defense Ohio State appears to be vulnerable, perfect for a Trevor Lawrence-led Clemson offense, but the Tigers’ offensive line will have to replicate their performance against Notre Dame, and not those from the rest of the regular season, to hold the Buckeyes at bay.
The second semifinal, #1 Alabama against #4 Notre Dame, will take place in what we are formerly calling the Rose Bowl. Originally one semifinal game was going to be the Rose Bowl, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions in California the College Football Playoff has decided to move the game to Dallas, TX. This was done because the Rose Bowl will not be allowed to have any fans in attendance. In particular the inability of family to attend due to this decision became a sticking point for the Playoff officials. At this point it is unknown if the game will be referred to as “The Rose Bowl” in some capacity, the city of Pasadena has to approve using the name in conjunction with a game played elsewhere.
Clemson - Ohio State should be an exciting match up, and likely much more high scoring than previous match ups. We’ll have more coverage on Clemson’s playoff appearance over the next few weeks.