No one knows exactly how the 2017 college football season will end up. There are a ton of factors that play into the College Football Playoff and ultimately, the National Championship game. That hasn’t stopped Kyle Bonagura and David M. Hale of ESPN from projecting the bowl games, though.
Yes, we’re talking bowl projections and we’re not even through the second weekend of the season yet. Welcome to the internet in 2017.
The Rose Bowl and the All-State Sugar Bowl will be the two semifinal games for this season’s CFP, and the participants the two pundits see ending up in those games probably won’t be all that surprising.
In the Rose Bowl, Bonagura predicts a matchup between USC and Clemson, last season’s national champion. Hale also predicts USC making the Rose Bowl, but instead of the Tigers, he sees the Oklahoma Sooners playing in that game.
The Sugar Bowl features a matchup between Alabama and Ohio State for Bonagura and the same can be said for Hale. They’re lock-step in that prediction, and perhaps not surprisingly, they both feel the same about the ultimate National Championship game.
Both pundits have USC and ‘Bama making it all the way, and from that matchup, it’s anybody’s best guess as to which squad will win it all.
It could go either way, but it is worth noting that this game would be a rematch of a 2016 contest between the two schools, a matchup that saw No. 1 Alabama destroy No. 20 USC, 52-6. Of course, if these two teams match up this season they’ll be two very different squads in two very different situations. Most notable is the fact that Sam Darnold is a legitimate Heisman contender and will be better prepared and will be the starter this time around.
If USC and Alabama meet this time around it will probably be a much better game, and obviously, there’d be a whole lot more on the line.