The field for the university football tiebreaker is now established that the selection committee has revealed its final clbadification. Will Clemson vs. Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma vs. Auburn in the Rose Bowl.
Of course, both games are loaded with future NFL stars. Here are 5 conclusions for some of the best prospects that will be competing.
1. Baker Mayfield is the most fascinating player in the playoffs.
If Oklahoma's QB has a good run in the postseason starting with this game against Georgia, it could solidify as a first-round pick, baduming the teams are satisfied. when you examine the concerns outside the field with the quarterback.
Mayfield is expected to win the Heisman Trophy when he is awarded at the end of this week, and the tiebreaker could be a sign of admiration in his sensational year. He already destroyed Ohio State and TCU twice. Now, he has the opportunity to face a superior defense of the SEC in UGA. People beat the Big 12 for its lack of defense, and rightly so, but it will eliminate the argument that he has not played against anyone once he steps on the field against the Bulldogs.
Everyone knows that Mayfield's emotions can make the best of him. This will definitely be an emotional atmosphere. He will have the opportunity to prove himself in that sense.
The difference is that Mayfield has played much more consistently than Watson last fall. Watson took his game to another level once the tiebreaker began. What we discovered about Watson is that once it is put into play, it can find another level. That is what makes it special. My question is: does that level exist for Mayfield and can he find it?
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2. Will Georgia LB Roquan Smith be this year Reuben Foster?
Smith had a great game against Auburn on Saturday (13 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 2 ball recoveries) and is receiving huge marks from the evaluators throughout the League. He is one of the most consistent defensive players in the country. Last year in the postseason, Foster made a show for Alabama and became a first-round selection of the 49ers in the spring. I'm anxious to see how Smith will face what Foster did last year.
The battles between Smith and Mayfield at the Rose Bowl will be fun to watch.
3. Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence is the most talented defensive player in the playoffs. There are some great players in the four playoff teams, but Lawrence has the highest advantage of any defensive player who participates. He has a strange combination of size, speed and the ability to dominate against the race and the pbad. He is just a sophomore, and he keeps improving.
4. Who will intensify and heat Alabama? For the past two years, it was TE O.J. Howard, now a rookie with the Bucs, in the postseason.
I would love to see WR Calvin Ridley step up and be that guy for them this year. He is the Tide player who is best prepared to do it. I think Alabama will be forced to throw the ball more than usual, and that will give us the opportunity to see Ridley make plays. I do not think they can throw the ball down Clemson's throat: the Tigers have the most talented defensive line in the country.
5. Fly a bit below the radar, but Clemson has a really talented group of receivers with Deon Cain, Hunter Renfrow and Ray-Ray McCloud. That's going to put Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick in the spotlight. I compared it to a larger version of Tyrann Mathieu. It's going to have to make an impact for Alabama to win against the No. 1 team in the playoff rankings.
Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks .