At 8 p.m. tonight the number one seed Alabama Crimson Tide will face off against the number three seed Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship. This will be a rematch of last years’ championship, when Alabama defeated Clemson 45-40 in a thriller.
Deshaun Watson, the Tigers’ star quarterback and top NFL prospect was able to torch the Crimson Tide last season with over 400 yards passing; but with Alabama’s revitalized defense now at the top of most major defensive statistics, many wonder if he can do the same twice. Alabama only had one close game this season, in an early-season at The Southeastern Conference showdown against Ole Mississippi. Meanwhile Clemson has played plenty of close games, even dropping one to Pittsburgh at home 42-43 with Pittsburgh making a last second field goal to take the lead.
Alabama enters the game as 6.5 favorites but some believe that the Crimson Tide may suffer due to the recent loss of Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin, who was recently hired as the head coach of the Florida Atlantic Owls. In the semifinal game against the Washington Huskies, the Crimson Tide prevailed in a 24-7 rout. This was, in part, due to the defense as the front seven stepped up in light of a struggling offense.
The Clemson Tigers bring an entirely different challenge with one of the best quarterbacks in college football. Will the Crimson Tide defense be able to hang on with a formidable Tiger offense? That is the top storyline, one that will be tonight’s biggest X-factor.
Alabama coach Nick Saban found recruits no one else discovered and trained them to work excellently within his system. He hopes for his sixth national championship as a college football head coach, which has never been done before. Clemson enters into their second attempt for a national championship and aims to bring home their first national title.
Prediction: Alabama: 24 Clemson: 17