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College Football Playoff: Can #3 Clemson Defend Their Title Against #2 Ohio State?

The Tigers, who played a weaker schedule than the Buckeyes, are looking to repeat as National Champions.

Wake Forest v Clemson
Dabo Sweeney will look to lead his Clemson Tigers to the Championship Game again.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With the first College Football Playoff Semifinal almost in the books, it’s time to look at today’s second Semifinal game. That one pits the undefeated defending national champion Clemson Tigers against the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl at 5 pm PT.

This game is really tough to predict. On one hand, you have the Clemson Tigers whose last loss came in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in 2018. So, it’s been almost two years to the day since the Tigers last loss a game. That’s 28 straight games Clemson has won.

Meanwhile, the Ohio State Buckeyes have won 19 in a row and 26 of their last 27 games. First-year head coach Ryan Day has never lost a game as a head coach. Interestingly, Day played quarterback at New Hampshire and served as the team’s tight end coach when Chip Kelly was the school’s offensive coordinator and he coached with UCLA offensive coordinator Justin Frye at both Temple and Boston College.

Something will have to give this afternoon.

If I had to take a guess, I’m going to pick Clemson for one simple reason: Clemson has been there before. In fact, the Tigers have made the CFP in each of the past five seasons. So, everyone on the Tigers’ roster except the freshman has played in at least two CFP games.

The last time Ohio State made the CFP was in 2016 when the Buckeyes lost to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl, 31-0.

Could history repeat itself today? I think it will, to an extent. I think Clemson wins today, but I don’t think the Buckeyes will be shut out again.

This is your College Football Playoff Fiesta Bowl open thread.

Go Bruins.