Joel Klatt picks winners of Alabama-Notre Dame, Clemson-Ohio State CFP semifinal matchups
New Year’s Day is not far off, and that means the College Football Playoff is just around the corner as well. At AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., top-seeded Alabama takes on Notre Dame, while in New Orleans, Clemson faces Ohio State. Both the Crimson Tide and Tigers are seeking their 5th appearance in the CFP national championship game, while the Buckeyes are in search of their first trip since the 2014 season; the Fighting Irish are seeking their 1st CFP final.
FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt released his predictions for both games on Tuesday, starting with the Rose Bowl Game. And he is high on the Tide making a return trip to the final.
“I think that Alabama is just too good,” he said. “We’ve seen how good their offense is. Their defense is coming along. So I like Alabama in this game; I like them by 10.”
Klatt then shifted to the Sugar Bowl between the Tigers and Buckeyes, which he feels will be “more competitive” and “more interesting”. It’s a rematch of the 2017 Fiesta Bowl that saw Clemson coast to a 31-0 win before a thrilling last-second 35-31 win over Alabama in the championship game in Tampa.
“We’ve already seen the fireworks, right?” he said. “Dabo and Ryan Day going after each other. Dabo putting the Buckeyes 11th in his coaches poll, which is crazy, but to each his own.”
As for the game, Klatt likes the Tigers, setting up a 4th meeting between them and the Tide in the last 6 seasons.
“Ohio State has some weaknesses in that defensive secondary, but the run game, and the ability to protect that defense, is going to be a huge deal in this game.
“I’m going to go with Clemson by 3.”
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 29, 2020