Romanian pop artist Nicole Cherry is scheduled to perform at halftime during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championships at the Raymond James Stadium in Florida, but what everyone really wants to know is which two teams will be on the field to face off against one another? Will coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide manage to tame the Washington Huskies at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on December 31st?
If they do manage not to wash out, the Tide will have reached the finals two years running. At that point they will face either the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Clemson Tigers. Should they win against whichever side proves the more worthy at the Fiesta Bowl, then it would be for a second consecutive year – a feat Alabama last achieved under the previous championship, the BCS, in 2011 and 2012, also under coach Nick Saban.
Nick Saban is about to enter his tenth year as head coach at the University of Alabama, so it would be a fitting tribute if his players managed to follow his long leadership and gift him with another College Football Championship title after last year’s nail-biting finale against the Clemson Tigers. There is every chance that incredible game may repeat itself, but first the Tide have to somehow surge past the Huskies.
Given that they have enjoyed an undefeated season, the No.1 side have everything to lose, but Washington coach Chris Petersen is sure going to make them try. With his side only suffering one loss this season, a humiliating home defeat to the Trojans, he will be looking to his new superstar quarterback Jake Browning to keep up his impressive record thus far.
If Clemson Tigers are still reeling from their narrow defeat against the Tide in the Championship finals last year, they have yet to show it. They racked up impressive victories this season against Louisville and Florida State, as well as the regular-season finale against their in-state rivals South Carolina, pawing them aside with an impressive 56-7 win.
If anything, the Tigers are simply clawing their way back up the tree, hoping for another shot against Alabama. But will Ohio State be able to throwing a stumbling block in Clemson’s plans? The team’s quarterback J.T. Barrett certainly thinks so, having broken several Buckeye records during Coach Urban Mayer’s tenure.
However, the Buckeyes’ not-so-secret weapon is the consistent H-back Curtis Samuel, with an impressive career average 6.9 yards per carry and 11.9 yards per reception. Between him and Barrett, Ohio State could have the game wrapped up and offered to Mayer as a late Christmas present.
Previous year’s champions, Alabama Crimson Tide, are odds-on favourites to win the playoffs, with 10Bet offering odds of 2/5. However, in a shock twist, it has Ohio State Buckeyes, and not the Clemson Tigers, as second favourites, with odds of 5/1. This is despite Clemson being ranked No.2 in the NCAA, one above the Buckeyes who stand at No.3.
The lower odds could be down to two key points. The Buckeyes won the College Football Championship in 2014 with a comfortable 42-20 win over the Oregon Ducks, however the 2015 team only managed to reach the semi-finals. Now, with a fresh injection of young blood, they will be striving to retain what they feel was lost to them last year.
Whichever team proceeds to the final, they will have to prove themselves against an unbeaten Alabama team that wants to take that title for the second year running, and has the best shot in doing so.
If you wanted to take a long shot on the Washington Huskies, 10Bet is offering 5/1 on them beating the Tide in the semi-finals, as well as 11/1 to win the final game, which, when combined together, could be a very tempting bet.
A more conservative bet would be on the Ohio State Buckeyes, with odds of them beating the Clemson Tigers sitting at 10/17, but winning the final marked at 5/1, which could potentially be a better combination.
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