I don’t know to you, but it doesn’t feel like college football playoff day, not at all. It feels like this bowl season is flying by as we are already to the biggest day in college football to this point. I’m probably feeling like that because the huge games in college football always fall on New Years Day. Last season, the first ever college football playoff was held on the day of New Years. However, since the Rose Bowl won’t move off from that day, the college football falls on New Years Eve this season. Next year it’ll be back to last year’s schedule. But anyways, in the meantime, Oklahoma and Clemson square off in the Orange Bowl for the right to go to the National Championship. This is Bob Stoops time. How many times have we witnessed him choke in the big spots. People were waiting for him to choke during the regular season, and other than the loss to Texas, Stoops and Oklahoma avoided the big letdown moment. Entering as favorites in the Orange Bowl, they still have time to choke. It’d be a big uh oh here we go again moment for Oklahoma fans.
Clemson is looking to provide that moment again for Sooner fans. Clemson is entering with a perfect record and have yet to be beat. Consequently, some are asking why the Tigers are the underdog in this game. Reason being, Oklahoma has been pummeling teams of late, they are red hot. Conversely, Clemson has been surviving by a play here and there. In the ACC Championship it appeared North Carolina was going to recover a late onside kick, but NC was ruled offsides and it was nullified. There is the most recent example of Clemson hanging out. But with the choke factor of Oklahoma, and the presence of Deshaun Watson at quarterback, Clemson does not look like underdogs in this game to me.
Looking at the spread, yes of course, Clemson are the underdogs in this game and Oklahoma are the favorites, by 4 points. The Tigers will be down a few guys as a result of failed drug tests. Deep threat wide receiver Deon Cain. Cain had 582 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns on the season, losing their second best receiver statistically. Tight end Jay Jay McCollough who already served a 4 month suspension in the past is out as well. Lastly, kicker Ammon Lakip is suspended, who was already suspended in the spring for possession of cocaine and a DUI. These three guys might have bigger problems to worry about down the road, like jail, if they don’t clean up. Greg Huegel will take be the Tigers’ kicker in this one, who has been 22/25 in 2015. Interestingly enough, no line change occurred as a result of the suspensions. Let’s nail a winner for the Orange Bowl.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Clemson Tigers Orange Bowl Betting Odds:
vs. Clemson +4(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Oklahoma vs. Clemson Pick:
The Sooners will be backed by quarterback Baker Mayfield in the Orange Bowl. Mayfield had a Heisman type season and was definitely worthy of winning the trophy. He is the quarterback that Oklahoma has missed since Sam Bradford left for the NFL. Even then, I feel like Mayfield is more of a leader than Bradford is. Bradford just sort of gets lost in his own mind and does his own thing. Mayfield does have a different step to him than Bradford did. Both productive, just different styles. Mayfield does provide more of a running ability than Bradford did.
Mayfield has passed for 35 touchdowns and 5 interceptions this season. There is a lot of consistency with Mayfield. He also threw for 3389 yards, along with 420 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns. Oklahoma averaged a gaudy 45.8 points per game. Oh and they can run the football too, they don’t just need Mayfield. Oklahoma averages 235 yards rushing and 307.9 yards per game passing. These are two dynamic quarterbacks that will be difficult to prepare for. They both can throw extremely well, they can both run the ball extremely well. Deshaun Watson has thrown for 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 887 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. After watching Watson a couple times last season as just a freshman, I knew the guy was going to be a star. Good luck to the defenses trying to slow these two down. I think it’s going to be a high scoring game, with Mayfield and Watson dueling for the right to go to the National Championship.
PICK: OVER 63.5 POINTS (-110)