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Outrageous Predictions for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game

Author:
Jordan Leggett

Jordan Leggett

It's all set.

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After another roller coaster of a college football season full of twists, turns, controversy and outrageousness, the last two programs standing are the same two that played for a title last year.

Related: National Championship Preview and Prediction — Alabama vs. Clemson

While the uniforms and coaches are the same — make no mistake — these are two very different teams than they were a season ago. As a result, the game is likely to shake out much different this time around as well.

Outrageous Predictions for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game 

Clemson scores at least the first 10 points

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This is not an Alabama team that likes to jump out on teams early and cruise to big wins. These Crimson Tide are methodical, and thrive on wearing teams down as the game moves along. That's going to be a problem against a team like Clemson. The Tigers are every bit as physical as Alabama, and much more explosive on offense. Look for a couple of big plays from Clemson to set the tone and change the outlook of this game early on.

Jalen Hurts throws more than two interceptions

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The phenomenal Alabama true freshman signal-caller has not turned the ball over through the air more than twice in any game all season. That will change against Clemson, as he'll find himself forcing balls that he normally would not as a result of trying to keep pace with the Tigers' offense. For the first time all season, Hurts' inexperience will be detrimental to Alabama's success.

Jordan Leggett catches three touchdown passes

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Clemson's standout tight end had statistically his worst game since September in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. Look for him to have a bounce-back performance in the national title game, capitalizing off the attention paid to Clemson's wide receivers and running backs on passing downs. Normally a safety net for Tiger quarterback Deshaun Watson, expect Leggett to be the primary option in the red zone.

Clemson wins by double digits

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Alabama has a solid rushing attack and a punishing defense. The issue in this game is going to be speed, and Clemson simply has more of it — not to mention a quarterback that has played in this game before. As mentioned, look for Jalen Hurts to be put in a position early where he won't be able to rely on his running backs to control the game. Hurts will be forced to become Alabama's playmaker, and the talented and seasoned Clemson defense will be ready for everything he throws at them. When Deshaun Watson has the ball, look for him to rely on his confidence and poise in the pocket to pick the Crimson Tide defense apart all night.

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.