College Football Playoff: National Championship
(2) Alabama (13-1) at (1) Clemson (14-0)
Alabama: It’s no surprise that they are here once again and they entered the semifinals this year with a big chip on their shoulder especially after losing a close game in the playoffs last year to eventual champion Ohio State. That loss fueled them entering the regular season. Their down moment was a loss at home to Ole Miss and after that, they didn’t look back whatsoever. I think their true shining point was when they faced LSU and the then front-runner for the Heisman Trophy in Leonard Fournette. As a Nick Saban team does so well, they shut that kid down and Derrick Henry went on to make his case for the most prestigious award in College Football and he did indeed win it. The spotlight doesn’t affect this football team one bit and they will look to win their fourth title in seven seasons tonight against a great Clemson team.
Clemson: I’ve come to the defense of the Clemson Tigers all season long. Throughout the season, one of my radio associates consistently bashed them and here they are, in the biggest game of the season and the best season in school history. I was so happy that DeShaun Watson bounced back and put together the type of season he did in 2015 after tearing his ACL the year before and I love his game. He displays excellent footwork to mix with his style of play and if he were shorter than his height that’s listed (6’2), I think he would still be an effective quarterback. Watson is the engine of this offense and it all goes through him and the front four of the Clemson defense for that side of the football. What more would a National Title mean to such a great season? Dabo Swinney was named coach of the year and DeShaun was a Heisman finalist. There would be nothing sweeter than to hoist that trophy.
Prediction: It’s all come down to this. The two best teams in the country on the biggest stage of them all. There are so many match ups to look out for in this one. The biggest will be the Alabama offensive line against this stingy and athletic defensive line of Clemson. It’s key that Alabama wins that battle at the line of scrimmage early and get Derrick Henry established early on because when he gets going, he’s difficult to shut down once he’s in a rhythm. Alabama needs to enter this game with the mindset “Yes, you’re the number one team in the country so now come on and show it”. Also if I’m Alabama, I’d force Clemson to load the box and get Calvin Ridley going and make Mackensie Alexander work and defensively, make Watson show why he’s such a dangerous runner by running through a physical front seven. For Clemson: If they can get some pressure on Jake Coker and slow down Henry along with Watson running it effectively, they will be just fine. I like the Crimson Tide to win yet another championship tonight. Alabama 31 Clemson 24