2020 College Football Playoff Championship

Staff Writers Lucas Fahnoe and Matt Nunez share their predictions on the outcome of the College Football Playoff National Championship.

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Welcome to this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship, the sixth in CFP history after the National Championship was introduced in 2015. In this year’s matchup, we will be witnessing the “Battle of the Tigers,” squaring two elite quarterbacks, coaches and teams against each other, as we see almost every year. 

In the left corner, we have the Clemson Tigers, ranked third in the nation and coming into this game with a flawless 14-0 record. This is the (orange) Tigers second-straight championship appearance and fourth in the past five years. They have been a dominating team over the last half-decade and look to continue this reign under Head Coach Dabo Swinney & Co. 

Top players to look out for on the orange side include Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, ranking at No. 4 on ESPN’s Top 50 Players of College Football. Lawrence had 3,431 passing yards, 44 total touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions. Clemson Linebacker Isaiah Simmons (No. 7) leads the team in total tackles at 97 along with 3 interceptions and 7 sacks. Last but not least, Running Back Travis Etienne (No. 13) has rushed for a stunning 1536 rushing yards alongside 18 touchdowns and 4 more on the receiving end.

Then in the right corner, we have the LSU Tigers boasting Heisman Joe Burrow leading their undefeated 14-0 squad to first in the nation and setting records practically every game. LSU has gone 38-9 under Head Coach Ed Orgeron, and that success didn’t stop this year as they look to go all the way and take down Clemson with a star-studded lineup.

I might as well get right to the point – Joe Burrow is the best quarterback in college football this year, and tops ESPN’s list as the No. 1 ranked player. Burrow has completed 77.6 percent of his passes for 1,520 passing yards and 55 touchdowns, alongside 311 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns to match. Wide Receiver Ja’Marr Chase (No. 6) has had a fantastic season as well, raking in 1559 receiving yards (which ranks him second in school history for single season receiving yards) and 18 touchdowns. Last but not least, freshman Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (No. 19) has picked off 6 interceptions with 36 total tackles.

All in all, this game is shaping up to be one for the history books. Due to the fact that I have no personal attachment to either team, all I’m hoping for is a good game. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out like LSU’s last national championship appearance, where they lost to the Alabama Roll Tide 21-0, with Alabama scoring nothing but field goals and cashing in the first shutout in a national championship game in CFP history.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, it’s time to take an in-depth look at this year’s matchup, presented by Matt Nuñez—enjoy.

On Monday Night, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be filled with Clemson and LSU fans alike who want nothing more than to see their team’s confetti rain down as the clock hits zeros. Good thing I’m from the future and I’m here to tell you: Clemson fans, it’s not looking good for you guys. While I think it might be a close game, Heisman winner Joe Burrow will lead his team to their first National Championship win since 2007.  I don’t see how anyone can bet against Burrow, especially after he threw for 493 yards and 7 touchdowns and rushed for 1 touchdown. Ed Orgeron is one of the best coaches in college football right now. With scorching hot Joe Burrow and other weapons like Ja’Marr Chase, Derek Stingley Jr and Justin Jefferson, LSU is simply the more talented team. Like I said before, Clemson isn’t a bad team. Trevor Lawrence wants is starting to prove all the doubters wrong after knocking off number 3 ranked Ohio State. Isaiah Simmons and Travis Etienne need to continue to play the way they have been that got them to a National Championship.

This game will answer a lot of questions. Is LSU as good as they seem? Is Joe Burrow one of the best college players we’ve ever seen? Is Trevor Lawrence a legit QB? Overall, I’m just hoping for a good, high scoring game that college football is known for. 

Sources

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/28232100/re-ranking-best-players-college-football-postseason

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/louisiana-state/2019.html 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LSU_Tigers_football_statistical_leaders#Receiving_yards