College Football Playoff picks after championship week – ESPN

Conference championship week finally came and delivered some much-needed chaos into our writers’ College Football Playoff picks.

It began with Clemson getting its revenge on Notre Dame, following a Nov. 7 double-overtime loss in South Bend, Indiana. The Tigers looked rejuvenated with Trevor Lawrence back under center, and they completely dominated the Fighting Irish on both sides of the ball. After falling behind 3-0 early on, Lawrence & Co. scored the next 34 points to lock up a spot in the College Football Playoff. Due to the big win, Clemson returns as a unanimous CFP selection for our writers.

Alabama once again nailed down its spot as not only a unanimous CFP selection but the top-ranked team in each of writers’ rankings by doing, well, Bama things. The Crimson Tide offense was hitting on all cylinders against Florida and while the Gators offense kept them in the game until the final second, it wasn’t enough in Alabama’s 52-46 victory in the SEC title game.

Ohio State made its mark on Saturday as well, beating Northwestern, 22-10, in the Big Ten championship game. The Buckeyes, who were down 22 players, trailed at halftime, but shutout the Wildcats in the second half to take the conference crown convincingly. Ohio State’s Trey Sermon rushed for 331 yards, breaking the Buckeyes’ single-game rushing record.

Texas A&M also won its regular season game Saturday and it will likely be a tight race Notre Dame and the Aggies for the fourth playoff spot, as seen in our writers’ picks.

The Cincinnati Bearcats, who beat Tulsa 27-24 in the AAC title game, will be a long shot for the playoff while Coastal Carolina will need a miracle.


Andrea Adelson: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Texas A&M, 4. Ohio State
Kyle Bonagura: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Bill Connelly: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Cincinnati
Heather Dinich: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
David M. Hale: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Sam Khan Jr.: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Texas A&M, 4. Coastal Carolina
Chris Low: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Ohio State
Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Ryan McGee: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Texas A&M, 4. Coastal Carolina
Adam Rittenberg: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Alex Scarborough: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Ohio State
Mark Schlabach: 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Ohio State 4. Notre Dame
Tom VanHaaren: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Dave Wilson: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Texas A&M

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