New Year’s Six recap: what we learned


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Clemson fans gather for a home game in Memorial Stadium. With another championship under their belt, Tigers fans hope next season will produce similar results.

The bowl season came and went with a bang as Clemson throttled Alabama to win their second National Championship in three years. While the national championship was the game to watch, the other bowl games were also helpful in giving us insight into next season. Check out my pregame analysis and predictions here.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Predicted winner: Florida

Actual winner: Florida

After a closely contested first half, the Florida Gators took over and routed the Michigan Wolverines. As I predicted, the Gators were able to win because Michigan was missing key players and coach Dan Mullen had his team ready to step up. The Harbaugh era at Michigan has now taken another blow, which leaves his future and the future of the Michigan football team in doubt. If the Wolverines can’t figure something out over the offseason, they may once again fall victim to Ohio State in the stacked Big Ten East next season. As for the Gators, a big Peach Bowl win has sparked their recruiting and they are once again one of the top destinations for young talent. With a much-improved Felipe Franks, the Gators look promising next season with a chance to compete for the SEC East crown.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl

Predicted winner: LSU

Actual winner: LSU

This game was highly entertaining and was a little closer than I had anticipated. Backup QB Darriel Mack of UCF was still able to give the Tigers a good fight for the majority of the game. However, towards the end of the game, it was evident that LSU’s top players helped them pull away despite a late last-minute attempt from UCF. The Tigers proved they are a football powerhouse and should once again be a competitor next season in the SEC West. As for UCF, the past couple years have been a roller coaster ride and the future could hold more of the same. There is a question to be asked, however, if they are a top tier team that deserves more respect in the rankings. In my opinion, they still have more to prove. But with Milton returning next season, they have a chance to do that.

The Rose Bowl Game

Predicted winner: Ohio State

Actual winner: Ohio State

I had predicted that the Ohio State Buckeyes would overwhelm the Washington Huskies, but I wasn’t expecting the dominance that we saw from the Buckeyes in the first half after they took a 21-3 lead heading into the locker room. The second half saw little scoring from the Buckeyes and a fourth quarter resurgence from the Huskies. But for star QB Jake Browning, it was too little too late. Coach Urban Meyer added another impressive win to his collection in what was most likely his last game as a coach. As of next season, Assistant Coach Ryan Day will take over the Ohio State program. He is well liked by the organization and will surely have the Buckeyes ready to compete for another Big 10 Title. As for the Huskies, replacing Jake Browning will be no easy task. But with two four star quarterbacks and Georgia transfer Jacob Eason, the Huskies might just have another great leader on their hands. If Petersen can improve the Huskies over the offseason, they will be back to their winning ways next season.

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Predicted winner: Georgia

Actual winner: Texas

It was hard to see this coming based off the talent of the squads going into the matchup, but after the first quarter it was clearly evident that Georgia was not even trying seemingly because they were excluded from the College Football Playoff. Still, it’s hard to discredit Texas, they displayed offensive and defensive excellency and had their mind set on winning this game. QB Sam Ehlinger led the Longhorns offense and with the help of the defense they had a 28-7 lead in the fourth quarter. A seemingly recurring theme, Georgia still managed to tack on a couple touchdowns to clean up the scoreboard, but make no mistake this game was all Texas. With Ehlinger returning next season, Texas football is back, which means mark your calendars for when Ehlinger leads Texas against Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma in the Red River showdown. As for Georgia, Kirby Smart will have crucial decisions to make this offseason to keep the Bulldogs in sight of the playoffs.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal #1)

Predicted winner: Clemson

Actual winner: Clemson

In this game I predicted that Clemson’s dominant offense would leadthem the win by two or more touchdowns. With a 30-3 bashing, it looks like I was right. Notre Dame was not a strong enough team to even punch in a touchdown, meanwhile, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence ran up the scoreboard. Many people are beginning to doubt the legitimacy of a Brian Kelly team after another mediocre performance in the postseason.

Capital One Orange Bowl (CFP Semifinal #2)

Predicted winner: Alabama

Actual winner: Alabama

In this game, Oklahoma struggled early against the Alabama defense and only managed to put up 10 points in the first half while the Alabama offense eased to 31 first half points. These first two quarters were exactly as I had predicted, but in the second half there was an element that I didn’t see coming. As Alabama’s scoring was reduced, QB Kyler Murray lead an Oklahoma surge to close the gap to nine points. With Murray declaring for the draft next year,  Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts will take his place and look to continue Oklahoma’s Big 12 dominance. As for their playoff spot this season, it could be argued that Ohio State was more deserving after all.

National Championship Game

Predicted winner: Clemson

Actual winner: Clemson

I said that the more productive offense would take care of business. Clemson was more productive on all cylinders and took care of business. The Tigers, lead by QB Trevor Lawrence, put up 44 points on the Alabama Crimson Tide. This is by far the most dominant college football team in years and is definitely the most talented team to take on the Alabama team during the Saban dynasty. It’s easy to say that we have never seen Alabama get bashed quite like they did on that night in San Francisco. Clemson will surely get a great recruiting class after this win and some are saying it is the start of another dynasty. Clemson will obviously be a big threat next year and it is safe to say that both of these teams will be in the playoff mix once again next season.

With that, bowl season has ended. Next season, more questions will be answered as we watch the newest year of the College Football Playoff era take place, and with it more thrilling games, stunning upsets and all the rivalries college football has to offer.