This season’s College Football playoff is packed with talented squads and polarizing headlines. Will Alabama play up to its standard and win their sixth national championship in ten years? Will the rookie Trevor Lawerence bring Clemson back to its former glory? Will Notre Dame finally prove they are worthy to be among college football’s elite? Will Kyler Murray and Oklahoma upset the best team in the country?

With so many questions still remaining, here is what the ASN team thinks will happen in the first round of the Collge Football Playoff on December 29th.

Joe DeLeone

Too many people choose to discredit Notre Dame’s legitimacy without noticing how weak of a schedule Clemson played. With no real competition or tests, Clemson looks like the most vulnerable team of the four. Notre Dame’s talented defense and explosive offense will be too much for Clemson to handle.

In a battle between two Heisman candidates, you should expect nothing less than a shootout. Both teams have flashed their big-play ability and put up huge numbers in multiple games. In this shootout, it is too hard not to notice the disparity in talent. Alabama’s stout defense will slow down Murray and Oklahoma just enough to sneak by.

Cotton Bowl: Notre Dame 32, Clemson 28

Orange Bowl: Alabama 52, Oklahoma 45

Collin Carofano

The game between two undefeated teams in the Cotton Bowl will be a good one. It will be a battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball as this year’s Irish team has one of the best o-lines in the country and also a great d-line, as well as Clemson. I think the Clemson offense featuring Trevor Lawerence will outweigh this motivated Irish team and take the win.

Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa have both been outstanding this season while their teams have made it to the CFB Playoff. Oklahoma’s defense has not shown up in many games for the Sooners while Alabama shows that every game they can shut the opposing team down. I see Murray getting off to a good start in this game, but the Alabama defense will begin to shut their offense down while Tua tears up Oklahoma’s defense.

Cotton Bowl: Clemson 24, Notre Dame 17

Orange Bowl: Alabama 38, Oklahoma 27

Nick Cardi

The Cotton Bowl is sure to be a good one with two undefeated teams. Sorry too disappoint, but it will not be. Notre Dame is the most unproven team in the field with a very weak schedule and a couple of close calls. Clemson has gone undefeated in the ACC and won the conference championship. The Tigers should handle the Irish and move on with a two touchdown win.

It’s what every college football fan dreamed of. Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa going head to head on the biggest stage. It will be a shootout until the very end. The key in this match up is the Nick Saban defense. The Tide’s defense will come up big when it matters and go back to meet up with Clemson for another Championship rematch.

Cotton Bowl: Clemson 27, Notre Dame 10

Orange Bowl: Alabama 35, Oklahoma 31

Nolan Reilly

Two words. Ian. Book. The Irish finally have a quarterback that can compete with the best of them in the entire country, and Notre Dame’s offense has been humming with Book under the helm all year. The talent of the Notre Dame defense, especially the secondary, can not be understated as well. The explosiveness of the Irish will be too much for a suspect Clemson defense.

Oklahoma very well could give the juggernaut that is Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide a challenge. With the most electric player in the entire country in Heisman winner Kyler Murray, the Sooners offense should have no problem scoring. Defensively is where Oklahoma will lose this game, as Tua Tagovailoa should be able to do what he pleases against the Sooners defense.

Cotton Bowl: Notre Dame 31, Clemson 24

Orange Bowl: Alabama 38, Oklahoma 28

Sean Anderson

Admittedly I am not a major college football fan/analyst. But from what I do know it is now wise to wager against the Crimson Tide come January. This is my favorite matchup that Alabama has faced in the CFB era. I believe Kyler Murray will be exceptional, but not exceptional enough to beat ‘Bama

It pains me to give fellow writer Joe DeLeone the satisfaction of this pick for the Cotton Bowl. But I believe that Notre Dame will take advantage of Clemson’s depleted defensive line in a major way. The thoroughness of Notre Dame’s offense will carry them to victory

Cotton Bowl: Notre Dame 28, Clemson 24

Orange Bowl: Alabama 41, Oklahoma 38

Jack O’Marra

The Cotton Bowl has an interesting narritive now that 3 Clemson players have been suspended including star Defensive Tackle Dexter Lawrence. This shakes things up on the Clemson side. Dabo Swinney has been a coach of prestige the past few seasons and definitely won’t let this speed bump get in the way of a Clemson victory. With or without Lawrence on the D-line, Notre Dame’s offense is too one-dimensional to compete.

This game is going to be fun. Too fun. The top two players in college football
Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa. Heisman winner and runner-up. Oklahoma has relied on their offense a lot this season as the majority of their games have been shootouts. But, Alabama’s offense is just as dangerous, and with a strong defensive side, the tide will roll.

Cotton Bowl: Clemson 27, Notre Dame 14

Orange Bowl: Alabama 45, Oklahoma 35