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College Football Playoff predictions, viewing info, open thread

Happy College Football Playoff day everyone

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It's New Year's Eve., which means the College Football Playoff is upon us.

The festivities get started at 2 PM MST, when the Clemson Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners meet in the Orange Bowl. Then at 6 PM MST, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan State Spartans will set the second spot in the National Championship Game when they get together in the Cotton Bowl.

Both games will be broadcast on ESPN. There will also be special Spanish broadcasts on ESPN2. If you're looking to stream them, there's always the WatchESPN option.

You can come discuss the games down in the comments section with us. You can also leave your predictions here, as we give our predictions below.

Mike C. Paulus: The first semifinal matchup pitting Clemson and Oklahoma is the more exciting of the two. Both teams sport high-caliber offenses and athletic, powerful defenses. This is the first time in my memory that Clemson didn't suffer an unexplainable loss followed by a complete unraveling of the team. I like how hungry they are. On the other sideline is a Stoops. I'm not a fan of his game preparation and planning. The edge goes to Clemson by a touchdown.

Alabama-Michigan State: I might be the only person in the Midwest who thinks this will be a slaughter. My opinion is that the Big Ten was grossly over-weighted with poor offensive football teams. It just so happens that Michigan State is the best of a poor bunch, which is a lot like being the safest driver in Sun City. It just doesn't mean much. Alabama remains Alabama, and Saban the best coach in the game. The Tide win this one by 20+ points behind the strength of their offensive and defensive lines.

Gabe Encinas: I'm very excited about this Clemson-Oklahoma matchup, and I'm kind of torn between who I want to win. I've been a huge fan of Deshaun Watson and Clemson this season. But at the same time, I love Baker Mayfield's talents and story, and I want to see the Stoops brothers and Tim Kish win it all. This game to me is a toss up, and the winner will go on to win the championship, I believe. I've seen a lot of people pick Oklahoma to win it all, and Oklahoma is a 3.5 point favorite. But for right now, I'd have to take Clemson. Final Score: 44-38 Clemson

I'm not really putting much stock into Michigan State and I was never really a believer in them. I don't think they have the offense to outduel Alabama, but they could keep Derrick Henry limited when it comes to his 20+ yard runs. I don't think Henry should have won the Heisman, simply because he's a product of the system. But he has carried the Crimson Tide this season, and he's virtually unstoppable. Alabama's rush defense is also unreal, and I just think there are any matchups on the field that Michigan State can win. Michigan State is the underdog by 9.5 points, and that's tough, but I might take Alabama. FInal Score: 27-16 Alabama

Alec Sills-Trausch: First and foremost I'm stoked for these games. Without any allegiances going into the College Football Playoff, I just hope to have close games into the fourth quarter. However, I'm still under the impression Clemson, though ranked first, is the "worst" of the bunch. (If it wasn't for hurricane-like conditions, I believe Notre Dame beats them...but I'm a slightly bitter Irish fan so I digress.) With Oklahoma, I feel they have a more complete team with a considerably better offense thanks to Baker Mayfield leading the charge. Currently, Vegas gives the Sooners a four point edge, which is the closest of the major bowls. If this game gets into the 40's, look for Oklahoma to pull it out.

On the other side, the 6pm local time kickoff, is Michigan State-Alabama. Every part of me wants to say Bama is going to lay another brick but I don't think so. The way Derrick Henry has been running the ball this year and the stifling defense the Crimson Tide rolls out is remarkable (I feel we can say this every year though...). Other than the obvious, this will show the power of the two individual conferences. Did beating two top-five teams in their last three games do enough to prepare the Spartans? Or will Alabama, after making it through another arduous SEC slate, run over the team from East Lansing like Vegas currently predicts (10 point spread)? I'm not sure it'll be that big, but I'm ready for an old school, Oklahoma - Alabama, National Championship.

Jason Bartel: I'm going to keep it short and sweet here. Clemson will beat Oklahoma, let's say 34-30. And then Alabama will crush Michigan State, 47-24.