Alabama-Oklahoma & Clemson-Notre Dame Winners (And Why)
The appetizers have been laid out on the table – the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Cheeze-It Bowl, even the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl among the offerings – but these are mere pre-party snacks while we all await the main course.
Some people may get stuffed on these morsels like impatient folks at a New Year’s Eve house party but others are waiting until the big feast of the College Football Playoff to indulge in the American tradition of bowl season.
The championship format has reduced most other bowls to the equivalent of a bowl of potato chips on a table. And not just for the fans, also for the players. Several are not even bothering to suit up for the ‘ol university, opting instead to “prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.”
So let’s get on with the big hootananny.
All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Clemson vs. Notre Dame (Cotton Bowl, 1 p.m., ESPN)
The Fighting Dabos are cat scratchin’ to get after somebody and are likely to pounce on the first thing they see move, while the Domers are trying to fight the stigma that this isn’t 2013 when they were blown out by Alabama after having an undefeated regular season. Luck of the Irish wins against Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh have done little to dispel this perception and the lads could be ripped to pieces before their fans have finished their first pint of Guinness.
Trevor Lawrence gives the felines a downfield passing threat and the defensive line is as deep as the Mariana Trench. This would seem to give the Tigers such an advantage that they will be taking cat naps by the fourth quarter.
But traditionally the Leprechauns have a habit of waking up more than the echoes in big bowl games. As a result, they tend to hang around like that former girlfriend you just can’t get rid of, sort of like chewing gum that sticks to the bottom of your shoe. She always seems to be there every time you turn around and the next thing you know, you’re standing next to the alter with because she’s worn you down and defeated you.
The Tigers may not quite wind up walking down the aisle but they may be close enough to see the church. Winner: Clemson
Alabama vs. Oklahoma (Orange Bowl, 5 p.m., ESPN)
The Tua Tsunami took a break – quite literally – in the SEC Championship game but the waves are churning again and the forecast is for the coming of another high Tide.
The breakwall that is the Oklahoma defense could get crushed like a sandcastle in rising waters. If the Tide gets on a roll, wave after wave will be crashing over the barrier that will have the Boomers hoping for the days of the dustbowl.
The only hope for the Okies is that the Heisman Trophy voters got it right and Kyler Murray plays like Desawn Watson did two years ago against Bama. But the diminutive quarterback must throw over the giants on the Bama defensive line, which are football’s equivalent of the huge ocean waves at the upcoming Mavrick’s surfing event. He’s also going to get a good refresher course in an SEC defenses and an Alabama one at that, so he could be running around as if he’s chasing doubles into the gap for the Oakland A’s.
In the end, the Sooners will be saying what every other team has been saying about the Tide: there’s just too much Bama. Winner: Alabama