There are no more Thursday games in the NFL this season, but this Thursday there are some huge college bowl games going on. Both playoff games will take place this New Year’s Eve. The first game will feature #1 ranked Clemson taking on #4 Oklahoma in the Capital One Orange Bowl, and that will be followed by the Goodyear Cotton Bowl featuring #2 Alabama taking on #3 Michigan State.
I think really OK should’ve been #3, but then they would have played in the Cotton Bowl in Texas, which would’ve been a huge home-field advantage for them, but that is just the conspiracy theorist in me. Clemson finished 13-0- the only undefeated team this year in college football, yet 11-1 Oklahoma is the current 4 point favorite. If Clemson wins, and then wins the Championship, they will be the first team in the current playoff mode to go 15-0 and win the Title.
This game will be a rematch of last season's Russell Athletic Bowl, a 40-6 romp for the Clemson Tigers, a game which helped carry them over to their undefeated season this year no doubt. ESPN has Oklahoma at a 63.1% chance of winning this game. Both teams only give up slightly over 20 points per game, though OK does give up 350+ yards per game. OK scores over a touchdown more per game than Clemson at 45.8 to 38.5. The Oklahoma Sooners are also coming off three big wins in a row against #6 Baylor, #18 TCU, and #11 Oklahoma State respectively.
I think the consensus is whoever wins this game will go on to win the National Championship, regardless if they play Alabama or MSU. The over/under is 64 points, which is a lot considering both teams give up less than 3 TD’s per game. Against the spread, OK has a much better record at 9-3 than Clemson at 6-7. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM PST on Thursday.