The college football bowl slate started with 40 games, but now it’s down to just one; the national championship. Will Clemson be the nation’s top team for the third time in the last four years, or will Ed Ogeron and Joe Burrow’s dream season at LSU end with a victory?
No. 1 LSU Tigers (-6.5) vs. No. 3 Clemson Tigers
And then there were two. LSU and Clemson have both been dominant all season; LSU enters the championship game with a 14-0 SU and 11-3 ATS record and an average margin of victory of 27.2 points per game while Clemson is 14-0 SU and 9-3-2 ATS with an average margin of victory of 33.8 points per game. These were clearly the top two teams in the nation in 2019, and now all that’s left to determine is which Tigers deserve to be champions.
Quarterback battle for the ages on Monday night
Joe Burrow’s historic performance in the Peach Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners has everyone wondering what the Heisman Trophy winner has in store for the Clemson Tigers. Burrow racked up 493 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns in LSU’s 63-28 win over the Oklahoma Sooners; incredibly, 403 of those yards and all seven touchdowns came in the first half alone. With this remarkable game, Joe Burrow now has 5,208 passing yards, 55 passing touchdowns, and only six interceptions this season.
It’s a testament to how incredible Joe Burrow has been that Trevor Lawrence is a clear underdog in this game. Lawrence hasn’t lost a game since high school; since taking over as Clemson’s starting quarterback as a true freshman last year, the 20-year-old has led the Tigers to a national championship last season and a 26-0 SU and 20-6 ATS record over his last 26 games.
LSU is the more battle-tested team this season
Clemson can’t help it that the rest of the ACC was terrible this season, offering the Tigers very little resistance in their march to a second straight perfect regular season. And the team did prove its toughness in the Fiesta Bowl against the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes, erasing a 16-0 deficit thanks to gutsy performances from Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne on offense and a defensive unit that held Ohio State to just seven second-half points.
But that 29-23 instant-classic win over the Buckeyes was just the third ranked opponent Clemson has played this season and the first one ranked inside the top ten. Ohio State is also the only team Clemson faced that wrapped up the regular season ranked in the AP Top 25.
LSU, on the other hand, ran the gauntlet this season. Including Oklahoma, the Tigers have played a staggering six games against opponents ranked in the top ten with three of those games coming against teams ranked in the top five. Joe Burrow and the Tigers passed all of those tests with flying colors, crushing the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs 37-10 before this recent drubbing of the Oklahoma Sooners. But to immortalize this amazing season, LSU still needs one last win.