(Photo Credit: collegefootballplayoff.com)
In the next edition of my college football predictions, we will look at my College Football Playoff predictions as well as my 2021 Heisman Trophy prediction.
In my most recent article, I gave you my prediction on conference champions from each of the 10 conferences. After plenty of research and not much expertise, I am ready to predict this year's playoffs as well as the eventual national champion.
2021 Cotton Bowl
#1 Georgia Bulldogs vs. #4 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Bulldogs make their return to the College Football Playoff for the first time since their 2018 defeat to Alabama. The SEC is stacked this season with so many dominant teams, and whoever is the eventual champion is going to have an incredible resume. JT Daniels is ready to take this offense to the next level. In his short amount of time at Georgia, he has looked phenomenal. If he can step up and continue to play at a high level, then he can help lead Georgia to the playoff.
If everything goes as planned and they stay focused, Ohio State should walk to another Big Ten championship. The lack of strength of schedule is going to be the reason Ohio State is considered on "the bubble" for the playoff this year. However, like every year they will dominate each team they play. Ohio State has one of the best offenses in college and then add in CJ Stroud into the mix, makes it even scarier. The defense has its fair share of holes, but the high-scoring offense from Ohio State can help push this team into the playoffs.
This game is going to be a lot of fun to watch if it comes true. Georgia is going to be tested a lot during the season with games against Clemson, LSU, and Alabama. Ohio State is not tested as much except games against Oregon and Indiana. On paper, I believe these two teams are very evenly matched. However, when it comes time for the playoffs having veteran experience is key. This game is going to come down to defense. Ohio State has too many holes in their secondary and their linebackers that Georgia will be able to prevail. JT Daniels is going to need a big game, but he is more than capable of doing that.
2021 Orange Bowl
#2 Oklahoma Sooners vs #3 Alabama Crimson Tide
Just like Ohio State, if Lincoln Riley can keep his Sooners focused, they should be able to walk to the Big 12 championship. Star QB Spencer Rattler is poised for a big year and Riley has been better than anyone at producing QB talent. Every Oklahoma hater always mentions how bad they have done in their first 4 playoff appearances. However, their biggest flaw has always been defense. This year's Oklahoma defense is the best Lincoln Riley has ever had. Jalen Redmond returns to lead one of the countries best defensive lines, while pre-season First Team All American LB Nik Bonitto is ready to make his case for this year's Butkus Award. This defense has more talent than any recent Oklahoma team has ever had combined.
Wow, Alabama in the College Football Playoff? Never thought I'd see the day. Alabama's only key loss this season is going to be against Georgia, and that will knock them out of the SEC Championship Game. However, if the playoff committee wants to one day stay true and put the 4 best teams in college football in the playoff, then Alabama will make an appearance. Alabama lost a lot of talent from last year's generational team. In typical Nick Saban fashion, they reloaded not rebuild. Alabama still has plenty of amazing talent and new QB Bryce Young could be the real deal. Alabama might drop a game, but they are still the same dominant team they always have been.
This is the year Oklahoma wins a semi-final game and advances to the National Championship. Oklahoma's biggest downfall has been their atrocious defense. This year's team is the best defense they have had as long as Lincoln Riley has been the coach. Alabama has never lost a semi-final game since 2015, but this could be the year. With Spencer Rattler leading the OU offense with a scary defense on all fronts, Oklahoma can find its way into their first College Football Playoff Championship game.
2022 College Football Playoff National Championship
#1 Georgia vs. #2 Oklahoma
JT Daniels vs. Spencer Rattler could be one of the biggest QB battles we have seen in a long time. Georgia will enter the game with plenty of momentum after dominating victories each week. Oklahoma will be entering with so much confidence entering their first national championship game in over a decade. In the end, Georgia's tough schedule is going to play in their favor. All season long they will be tested more and more. Kirby Smart is ready to avenge his heartbreaking loss in his last national championship game.
Spencer Rattler is the pre-season favorite for the most prestigious award in all of college sports. Since 2016, Lincoln Riley has coached a total of 4 QBs. Baker Mayfield won the Heisman in 2017, Kyler Murray won in 2018, and Jalen Hurts was the runner-up in 2019. You do not need a long explanation on why Spencer Rattler would be such a big favorite. He is going to have a great season this year and will be a finalist.
Since 2009, only 1 pre-season favorite has actually won the award. In 2014 Marcus Mariota was the pre-season favorite and was the eventual winner. Since 2009, only 4 pre-season favorites have been finalists for the award. The odds are not in Rattler's favor for this. The expectations are way to high for him. In 2019 it was expected that Tua Tagovailoa had the award locked up, but injuries and a mediocre season did not even make him a finalist. Eventual winner Joe Burrow exceeded expectations and had one of the best seasons for a college football player ever. That is possible this year as well.
The 2021 Heisman Trophy Winner... JT Daniels QB Georgia
(Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times)
In 4 games in 2020, Daniels threw for 1,231 yards and 10 touchdowns. Now imagine a full season at Georgia. After suffering a torn ACL at USC, he came to Georgia a made it look like he never got hurt. Georgia has one of the toughest schedules in all of college football this year. If Daniels can continue to play at a high level and lead Georgia to the SEC championship, then Daniels can make a case for the Heisman. All the eyes are on Spencer Rattler, and Daniels can have a sneaky good season and come out of nowhere and win the award.
Final College Football Playoff Rankings
Alabama Crimson Tide
Ohio State Buckeyes
North Carolina Tar Heels
Texas A&M Aggies
Iowa State Cyclones
Penn State Nittany Lions
Final Heisman Trophy Voting
JT Daniels, QB, Georgia
Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State
(All Logo Photos Credited To: Wikipedia.com)