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Predicting the 2019 college football playoff

Following Clemson’s dominating 44-16 win over Alabama, many college football fans are wondering if there will ever be a year of playoffs without those two juggernauts facing off.

Photo via USA Today

Following Clemson’s dominating 44-16 win over Alabama, many college football fans are wondering if there will ever be a year of playoffs without those two juggernauts facing off.

Liam Belan, Multimedia Editor

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Following Clemson’s dominating 44-16 win over Alabama, many college football fans are wondering if there will ever be a year of playoffs without those two juggernauts facing off.

Bama and Clemson have seen each other every year since 2015, with only last year’s matchup not being for the national championship. So this begs the question: Will anyone ever step in and take the crown from either team?

Let’s take a look at some way-too-early 2019 college football playoff predictions, starring many of the same teams with some changes in personnel or schemes.

First, there is the obvious fact that Clemson should be in the playoff next year and could be the favorite to earn the No. 1 seed.

Clemson will return quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the same kid who just picked Bama apart for 347 yards and three touchdowns, along with star running back Travis Etienne. The offense will remain firepowered, and while the defense will send many players to the NFL, there are hungry recruits waiting in the fold.

Alabama, meanwhile, should repeat as SEC champs and playoff representatives.

The Crimson Tide have an easy schedule in 2019, with Texas A&M, LSU, and Auburn posing their only threat to lose in the regular season. Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will return with a vengeance following his subpar championship performance on Monday.

Coach Nick Saban will have his players more than ready for next year’s revenge tour, and anything less than a championship win for them will be a disappointment.

Now, this is where things get interesting. There are several teams that could fill the other two spots in the playoff.

Georgia returns quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D’Andre Swift, and they carry a loaded recruiting class into 2019, ranked second behind Alabama. If they can withstand a feisty Florida team, which they should be able to do, the Bulldogs could face Alabama in the SEC championship game as a play-in to the playoff.

Ohio State will be loaded once again, and while losing quarterback Dwayne Haskins to the NFL will hurt, the Buckeyes just landed the No. 2 quarterback of the class of 2018, Justin Fields, as a transfer from Georgia. He will try to find a way to play next season, due to NCAA transfer rules,  but Tate Martell will not give up the starting spot easily. Regardless of who lines up behind center for the Buckeyes, they will be a formidable foe that could be a threat in the playoff.

The winner of the Big 12 will also look to get into the playoff, with the possibility of Texas or Oklahoma sneaking in as a four seed very high. With the departure of Kyler Murray, Oklahoma could fall to rival Texas in the Big 12 race. Texas already beat Oklahoma last year, and the return of stud quarterback Sam Ehlinger along with the Longhorns’ beatdown of Georgia in the Sugar Bowl will bring high expectations.

Among the long-shot possibilities, Florida took a huge leap under new coach Dan Mullen and will look to challenge Georgia for the SEC East title. Meanwhile, Texas A&M took Clemson to the wire last year and will look to use a top five recruiting class to their advantage under Coach Jimbo Fisher.

About the Writer
Liam Belan, Multimedia Editor

Multimedia Editor Liam is a senior and this is his third year on the Purbalite. He plays soccer and is constantly watching or playing sports. He also enjoys...

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Predicting the 2019 college football playoff