PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – AUGUST 27
By Leo Haggerty

LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL

This week, I’ll throw out my predictions for the four teams that I believe will end up in the College Football Playoffs.  Next week, I’ll make make my prognostications for the teams I believe will be competing for the 2022 Lombardi Trophy at palatial SoFi Stadium in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

The first two teams that you’ll see are no strangers to the CFP landscape.  Alabama, with five, and Clemson, with four, have the most appearances in college football’s Final Four with the Crimson Tide winning three titles and the Tigers capturing two championships.  I don’t expect that to change considering both school don’t rebuild but reload.  Bama with the #1 seed and CU #2.

So, that leads us with two spots left.  The logical assumption would be to take Ohio State and the winner of the SEC East which should be Georgia but I’m going against conventional wisdom.  First, I believe Oklahoma is going to win the Big XII and that will propel the Sooners into the the dance and the #3 seed.

Now, I’m going to take a flyer on the last team into the playoff and that’s Indiana.  The Hoosiers were a touchdown away from taking Ohio State to overtime at The Horseshoe and a win over the Buckeyes would have sent Indiana to the Big Ten title tilt.  The good news is that IU returns the most experienced and dynamic quarterback in the conference in Michael Penix.  The bad news is he’s coming off an ACL tear late in the 2020 season so his return for the opener at Iowa as questionable at best.

That puts Indiana against Alabama in The Cotton Bowl and Oklahoma playing Clemson in The Orange Bowl.  The winners, who I believe will be the Crimson Tide and the Tigers, will face off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Who’s my choice to win?  That’s easy.  No one has won back-to-back CFP Championships so I’ve got CU over Bama 38-35 with a late score.

There you have it.  Now, buckle up and let’s see how this college football plays out because it will be a wild ride.