New Year’s Eve 2016 is upon us, and while millions of people around the world will be ushering in the New Year with family and friends, many football fans will be glued to their television sets as the New Year’s Eve college football playoff games are set to take place.
Over the years, college football and New Year’s Day have gone hand in hand, however, now that the NCAA has come up with the long needed college football playoff system, this year the bowl schedule is going to be a little different.
According to SB Nation, there are four games on the New Year’s Eve docket today, two of which are playoff games. But with the NFL schedule taking over on New Year’s Day this year, several key bowl games have been moved to Monday, January 2. Nevertheless, football fans will still be able to get their fill of great games all weekend long.
Today’s college playoff doubleheader will start off with the No. 4 Washington Huskies taking on the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 Peach Bowl from Atlanta, Georgia.
Once again head coach Nick Saban has led Alabama to an opportunity to win another national championship. Saban has helped build a dynasty in Tuscaloosa that may not be rivaled in NCAA football for decades to come.
Saban led the Alabama Crimson Tide to BCS and AP national championships in 2009, 2011, 2012, and the College Football Playoff championship in 2015.
The defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide will look to win back-to-back championships for the second time under Saban, but they will first have to get by a tough Washington team.
The Huskies finished 12-1 in the regular season and if they want to pull off the huge upset of the heavily favored Tide, it will start and end with quarterback Jake Browning. Browning, a sophomore, threw for 42 touchdowns and over 3,200 yards this year. He will have his hands full vs. Alabama’s No. 1 ranked defense.
The nightcap will feature Ohio State taking on Clemson.
The Tigers feel like they have some unfinished business to take care of as they look to return to the championship game for the second straight season. Last year, Clemson fell 45-40 to the Tide in the NCAA championship game despite a phenomenal performance from Deshaun Watson.
Watson passed for 405 yards, threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 73 yards in the losing effort.
To get a second shot at a title, Watson and the Tigers will have to defeat Ohio State this evening.
The Buckeyes finished 11-1, however, some fans questioned Ohio State’s credibility to make it to the postseason. OSU’s only loss came against Penn State back in November. The Nittany Lions went on to win the Big Ten championship, yet they finished No. 5 in the college football rankings.
The Ohio State head coach doesn’t mind what the public thinks. In fact, Meyer will use this to his advantage as the Buckeyes will look at this postseason run with the “us against the world” mentality.
No matter what fans think, OSU is here, and they won’t go away easily.
The winner of these two games will meet up in the national championship game on January 9, 2017 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Below is a look at all the information you need to know about today’s games, including the two big New Year’s Eve college bowl playoff matchups.
- Citrus Bowl – LSU (-3) vs. Louisville — 11 a.m. ET – ABC/Watch ESPN
- Taxslayer Bowl – Georgia Tech (-3.5) vs. Kentucky — 11 a.m. ESPN/Watch ESPN
- Fiesta Bowl – Ohio State (-2.5) Vs. Clemson – 7 p.m. ET – ESPN/Watch ESPN
- Peach Bowl – Washington Vs Alabama (-14) – 3 p.m. ET – ESPN/Watch ESPN
Picks – Clemson +2.5, Washington +14
[Featured Image by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]