LSU-Clemson National Championship: Fox College Football Panel Makes Predictions

The College Football Playoff national championship between LSU and Clemson is two weeks away, and a panel of Fox college football analysts have made their early predictions.

Three of the four analysts are been-there, done-that kind of experts, including two Heisman Trophy winners and a national championship-winning coach.

During halftime of the Redbox Bowl on Monday afternoon, former coach Urban Meyer made his prediction along with former Heisman Trophy winners and national champions, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.

Brady Quinn: "LSU. It seems like it's that magical season for the way everything's going for them."

Reggie Bush: "I have to agree with you, Brady, I like LSU in this one. I think those receivers are gonna have too much speed in the back end for the safeties."

Matt Leinart: "I'm going with the Tigers. The Clemson Tigers."

Urban Meyer: "Great football game, I'm going LSU."

Leinart was a quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy for the University of Southern California in 2004, the same season the Trojans defeated Oklahoma for the national championship. Reggie Bush was a running back at USC who won the Heisman Trophy—but was later vacated—in 2005, the same season USC lost the epic national championship game to Texas.

Meyer was the head coach at Florida when the Gators won national championships in 2006 and 2008, and he won another national title for Ohio State University following the 2014 season, which was the inaugural college playoff.

Quinn said the national championship will be a matchup of the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft (LSU quarterback Joe Burrow) against the top pick in the 2021 Draft (Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence).

The panel talked mostly about how dynamic the LSU and Clemson offenses are, and how each has great play calling and quarterbacks who don't get rattled.

The clash of the Tigers will happen January 13, 2020, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Clemson is on a 29-game winning streak, including an undefeated 2018 season and thrashing of Alabama in last season's national championship. LSU is 14-0 after a revamped offense shattered SEC passing records. In the national semifinal at the Peach Bowl last Saturday—a 63-28 LSU win—Burrow passed for 403 yards and seven touchdowns on 21-of-27 passes in just the first half.

Lawrence is 25-0 as a starter, and he used his legs for a 67-yard run—something rather unorthodox for the sophomore.

Clemson started the season at No. 1, but gradually slipped to No. 3 despite going 12-0 in regular season and walloping Virginia in the ACC Championship. The first slip came after a narrow win at North Carolina, and the fall to third happened as Clemson cruised through an ACC slate not considered as strong as conference schedules of No. 1 LSU (SEC) and No. 2 (Ohio State (Big Ten).

And though Clemson was ranked one spot lower, they entered the Fiesta Bowl as a two-point favorite over Ohio State. Trailing late in the game, Lawrence led the Tigers down the field to put his team ahead, 26-21, and the Clemson defense held on for the win.

LSU is the early favorite (-5) over Clemson in the early lines, and the over/under is 69.5 as of Monday night.

Clemson Tigers
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers warms up before the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Tigers defeated the Buckeyes 29-23. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images