We can all talk about the purity of college football, and about how it is all about the sport and not about the money in the way that the NFL is. That is a little harder to believe when you have a team that did not win its conference, or even its division, in at #3, seemingly so that we can have a National Championship game that would be a cash cow for the NCAA. In fairness, though, the schedule that Ohio State had to get through during the regular season was a tough one, and they probably do deserve to be in the final four, but the feeling among many is that they should have had the #4 spot, and a trip to Atlanta to face the Crimson Tide at the Peach Bowl. As it is, they got the three spot, and will be in the Fiesta Bowl to face a Clemson Tigers team looking to reach a second consecutive National Championship. Ohio State are a slim 3.5-point favorite for this one.
Analyzing The Week 17 College Football Favorites: Tigers Vs Buckeyes
When: Saturday, December 31 at 7 PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Clemson Tigers
No team with national Championship aspirations ever wants to lose a game, but it can be argued that the loss that Clemson tool to Pitt earlier in the season came at just the right time. This Clemson team had played a dangerous game of cat and mouse all season long, barely getting out of games that they should have won going away. That eventually caught up with them in that loss, and they seemed to become a more focused bunch after that loss. That said, they had to work very hard to take out the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC Championship game. Clemson Tigers only went into one game as an underdog this season, and they covered. It should also be noted that they are 5-1 ATS as an underdog over the past 3 seasons.
Why bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes
There are going to be a lot of people rooting for this Buckeyes team to lose. Some will feel that way because of their ranking, while others will still feel that they got the benefit of a fortuitous call in the Michigan game. Had that call gone the other way, it would be the Wolverines in this spot. All of that aside, this is a very talented football team, and one that matches up quite nicely with Clemson. It is the offense that makes this team tick, but they looked a little off in their last 2 games. Urban Meyer will have worked on that in the weeks leading up to this game, and you can bet they will be primed and ready to go.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is a game that figures to be as close as the bookies predict it to be. This could well come down to a field goal, or perhaps even OT, and I believe it will be Clemson that prevails.