As a result of Notre Dame’s 47-40 double-overtime upset victory over Clemson, the race for college footballs ultimate prize is starting to heat up.
Here are the top three contenders for the 2020/21 NCAA National Championship:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0)
National Championship Odds: +175
Despite not taking the field this weekend, Alabama has become the favourite to win the 2020/21 College Football National Championship as a result of Clemson’s loss to Notre Dame. Even without their star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, Alabama’s offense has scored 40+ points in their past five games to remain undefeated this season.
Since allowing 24+ points in three consecutive matches (including 48 points vs Mississippi) the Crimson Tide’s defense has also found form, only allowing a combined 17 points in their past two matches. Including most recently holding Mississippi State scoreless last weekend.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0)
National Championship Odds: +225
With Trevor Lawrence sidelined due to Covid-19, Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields is doing everything possible to close the gap as favourite for the Heisman Trophy. Fields threw for 315 yards with a completion percentage of 87.3 to go along with six total touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) in the Buckeyes 49-27 win over Rutgers.
314 pass yards
6 total TDs
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 8, 2020
On defense the Buckeyes have been better than their recent scores suggests. Despite allowing 25 points (vs Penn State) and 27 points (vs Rutgers), the Buckeyes have given up a combined 30 points in their last two fourth quarters performances alone. This is a habit that they would like to eradicate, however only allowing 22 points in the other six quarters, Ohio State’s defense is getting the job done when the game is on the line.
3. Clemson Tigers (7-1)
National Championship Odds: +300
Having just suffered their first ACC / regular season loss since 2017, Clemson are going into their upcoming bye week looking to reset health-wise. First string quarterback and Heisman Trophy favourite Trevor Lawrence along with defensive starters Tyler Davis, James Skalski and Mike Jones Jr. all missed the Tigers 47-40 double overtime loss this weekend. Freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei impressed again, completing 29 of 44 for 439 yards and two touchdowns.
However, Uiagalelei was sacked twice on the double-overtime possession. It took a variety of injuries, a positive Covid-19 test to their Heisman favourite quarterback as well as clutch play after clutch play from Notre Dame to beat Clemson, with the Tigers still forcing the game to 2OT. If Clemson and Notre Dame should meet for a rematch in the ACC Championship Game next month, I’d be surprised if the outcome were the same as Saturday night.
NCAAF Championship Odds:
1. Alabama (+175)
2. Ohio State (+225)
3. Clemson (+300)
4. Florida (+1300)
5. Notre Dame (+2000)
6. Texas A&M (+4000)
7. Cincinnati (+5300)
8. Oklahoma (+7000)
9. BYU (+7000)
10. Georgia (+8000)
*Odds correct at the time of publishing.
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Image by: Highsmith, Carol M.