According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, this year’s Sugar Bowl might as well be the national championship game.
ESPN released the FPI projections for every bowl game this year, including the games that are a part of the College Football Playoff. The projections have No. 4 Alabama defeating No. 1 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl by a projected three-point margin, while No. 3 Georgia has the advantage over No. 2 Oklahoma by a 1-point margin in the Rose Bowl.
The projections also have the winner of the Alabama/Clemson game beating the winner of the Georgia/Oklahoma game in the national championship, regardless of the outcome in either of those two contests. This is thanks to the FPI projections having both Alabama and Clemson above Georgia and Oklahoma.
Alabama is the outright No. 1 team in ESPN’s FPI, which they hold by two points over Ohio State. Alabama was controversially awarded the final spot in the College Football Playoff over the Buckeyes earlier this month. Despite the hubbub surrounding Alabama’s strength of schedule, the Crimson Tide have held one of the top two spots in FPI for almost the entire season.
ESPN’s full FPI rankings can been seen here.