Cannon Fodder: New Year’s Six bowls and CFP predictions

Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Cannon Casey at cannon.casey@colorado.edu.

With the season over for us University of Colorado football fans, all there is to do is watch bowl season for yet another year, hoping that next year will be different. Luckily, there are some great matchups to keep our minds off of the disappointment, especially with the New Year’s Six bowls and College Football Playoff semifinal games.

So let’s lay them out and see if we can predict what will happen.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

No. 18 Houston vs. No. 9 Florida State
Atlanta | Georgia Dome | Dec. 31, noon on ESPN

Houston is one game away from being undefeated with wins over three ranked teams in Navy, Memphis and Temple. The Cougars’ rush defense, which is allowing an average of 116 yards per game, will be put to the test against Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. But, Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. is an amazing athlete. He’s leading the Cougars in rushing and passing yards. I’m seeing shades of Boise State vs. Oklahoma in 2007 for this one. Houston with the upset over Florida State.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl

No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Clemson
Miami Gardens, Florida | Sun Life Stadium | Dec. 31, 4 p.m. on ESPN

Oklahoma has won seven in a row; Clemson sits undefeated at 13-0. Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield could have arguably been a Heisman finalist; Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson is a Heisman finalist. Something has to give. Oklahoma made it through a daunting schedule in the last three weeks, going 3-0 against (at the time) No. 6 Baylor, No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 18 TCU. I don’t see the Sooners slowing down. Oklahoma over Clemson.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Alabama
Arlington, Texas | AT&T Stadium | Dec. 31, 8 p.m. on ESPN

Big Ten champion vs. SEC champion. Get ready for some grind-it-out football. Michigan State somehow found a way to pull out wins when it seemed like all hope was lost this year. Alabama running back and Heisman finalist Derrick Henry is 14 yards away from amassing 2000 rushing yards this season. As I see it, Bama’s second-ranked defense keeps it close, and Henry grinds out the win as the Tide roll against Michigan State’s team of destiny.

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl

No. 8 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Ohio State
Glendale, Arizona | University of Phoenix Stadium | Jan. 1, 1 p.m. on ESPN

Ohio State fell victim to one of Michigan State’s miracles this year, and was left on the outside looking in. Notre Dame’s two losses came at the hands of No. 1 Clemson and No. 6 Stanford — both in the final seconds of the game. The Buckeyes are coming off of a dominant 42-13 win over Michigan. Both these teams feel like they should be in the playoff. I’m taking the defending national champion Buckeyes over the Irish.

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual

No. 6 Stanford vs. No. 5 Iowa
Pasadena, California | Rose Bowl | Jan. 1, 5 p.m. on ESPN

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, current Heisman frontrunner according to the ESPN experts’ poll, recently broke the NCAA single-season record for all-purpose yardage. He’s caught, thrown and ran for a touchdown this season — and he did it all in one game. This McCaffrey kid is really good. We should have known this considering he played high school football just an hour away from Folsom Field, but we’re not talking about CU — we’re talking about the Rose Bowl game. Iowa’s 12-1 record isn’t as strong as it looks, and Stanford’s 11-2 record is stronger than it looks. Stanford over Iowa.

Allstate Sugar Bowl

No. 16 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Ole Miss
New Orleans | Mercedes-Benz Superdome | Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Oklahoma State looked like it was going to be the Big 12 champion, but two straight losses saw the Cowboys crash and burn. Ole Miss is incredibly talented, and Oklahoma State is reeling after giving up 1,224 yards of offense in two weeks — 700 against Baylor and 524 against Oklahoma. Let’s not forget Ole Miss got obliterated by TCU in last year’s Peach Bowl after all the talk about SEC vs. Big 12. Possible motivation for the Rebels as they face another Big 12 team in Oklahoma State this year? Ole Miss over Oklahoma State.

College Football Playoff Championship presented by AT&T

No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Alabama
New Orleans | Mercedes-Benz Superdome | Jan. 11, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Everyone is talking about Oklahoma being hot, but where’s the love for Alabama? They’ve won 10 in a row — and will have won 11 in a row if they make it past Oklahoma. I see Henry and the defense coming up big again, and the Sooners’ hot streak ending here. Alabama over Oklahoma. Head Coach Nick Saban and Alabama return to their usual throne at the top of college football.

Cannon Casey

Cannon Casey is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Colorado and a Boulder native. He is a copy editor and sports writer for the CU Independent, a baseball coach for Fairview High School, and an intern at CHSAA.

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