In our first college football preview of Championship Monday, we laid out the statistical particulars for tonight’s College Football Playoff title game between No. 3 Clemson and No. 1 LSU. Now, it’s the CFT staff’s turn to go on record as to how the matchup will play out.
Zach Barnett (Twitter)
Clemson is a team that can very much repeat as national champions. Heck, Ohio State was good enough to win the damn thing, and these (orange and purple) Tigers beat them, ripping off a 29-7 run in the process. And I don’t think they have much of a chance to win this game. This LSU team is on a manifest destiny unlike any we’ve ever seen and, while I don’t think it’s a blowout, I think Joe Burrow, J’Marr Chase and company are simply too much for Clemson to overcome.
LSU 34, Clemson 28
Bryan Fischer (Twitter)
What a great national title game this portends to be and, despite plenty of defensive talent on hand, it would not surprise me at all to see things turn into a shootout at the Superdome. Obviously LSU will have the home-crowd advantage and come in plenty motivated to win one in their own state to cap off one of the best seasons in college football history. That said, Dabo Swinney has to enjoy using that underdog status for a talented team that has won 29 in a row and knows all too well how to play in big games like this. My head keeps saying LSU will take this one after forcing a 4th quarter turnover but the visiting Tigers just can’t be discounted to keep the train rolling. In the end, though, Heisman winner Joe Burrow has the ball last and there’s nothing Trevor Lawrence can do as he watches the purple and gold march down and score the game-winner on a field goal as time expires.
LSU 44, Clemson 41
Kevin McGuire (Twitter)
LSU and quarterback Joe Burrow have been writing a story that is too good to end on a sour note, so it would seem. With one of the top offenses in the game, LSU will face their stiffest defensive challenge yet in Clemson. Even so, LSU will still manage to move the football and put up some points. In a battle of arguably the two best quarterbacks in college football, we are in for a treat. Burrow and LSU get one last scoring drive to edge Trevor Lawrence and Clemson in a back-and-forth game from start to finish.
LSU 41, Clemson 38
John Taylor (Twitter)
Each of the past two years they’ve played in it, I’ve gone with Clemson to win the CFP championship game — they beat Alabama 35-31 in the one following the 2016 regular season after I picked them to win 27-23, then beat Alabama again 44-16 after I picked them to win 34-31. That most recent win over Alabama was part of the current 29-game winning streak Clemson is riding, tied for the 12th-longest in FBS history. This season, 11 of the Tigers’ 14 wins have come by at least 30 points. In the end, though, none of that matters. My history with Clemson doesn’t matter, the streak doesn’t matter. LSU has seemingly been a team of destiny all year long. Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow has been putting up ridiculous passing numbers throughout 2019 in leaving quality defenses in his wake, and Clemson’s top-ranked pass defense will be no different. It’s been preordained by a college football power greater than I that Coach Eaux and Jeaux Burreaux and the rest of the Bayou Bengals claim their first national championship since 2007 — they’re playing in their own backyard for crying out loud. Who am I to geaux against such a storyline?
LSU 44, Clemson 31