College Football Playoff - National Championship Preview


If you're a fan of the NBA, over the last couple of seasons, I am sure you got burnt out by the Golden State Warriors vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers Finals matchups.  At least I did.  That burnout was different though.  It was the fact that Lebron James had next to no competition in the Eastern Conference.  It was the fact the Warriors built a super team by signing Kevin Durant.

Alabama vs Clemson Part IV should not give you that same feeling.  Yes, if you're a fan of a specific school you'd wish your team was in the Championship.  And if you're a fan of Georgia or Ohio State, you probably wanted your shot at either of these teams.  But after sitting through another endless Bowl Season, and witnessing blowout win after blowout win, one thing is clear.  Alabama and Clemson are in fact, the two best teams in the country.  They deserve to play in this game.  And be honest with yourself, do you really want to see Notre Dame get steamrolled by Alabama?  Or UCF get the embarrassment they may or may not deserve by playing this Clemson team?  No, you don't.

Some have stated that the first two times these two met in the College Football Playoffs National Championship Games, they were the greatest games ever played.  And as powerful as Alabama has been through the years, it took a storybook ending for them to beat Georgia last year.  And each time they square off with Clemson, regardless what they did all regular season, the games are epic.  This year should be no different.

The casual college football fan may look at Alabama's body of work this season and just expect them to take home another National Championship.  But in the infamous words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend.  Let's start out with some head to head stats.  While Alabama takes the edge in points with 47.7 per game to Clemson's 44.3 per game, Clemson takes the cake in the rest.  Clemson out gains the Crimson Tide 530.4 yards to 527.6 yards, but the real difference comes on the ground.  Clemson racks up nearly 260 yards on the ground per game to Alabama's 200.

On the defensive side, the once vaunted Alabama defense is not the stronger one that will be on the field come Monday night.  Clemson limits its opponents to only 276.7 yards per game while Alabama gives up just shy of 300.  Again, where Clemson is stronger is on the ground as they allow less than 100 yards per game.

That right there is how Clemson makes this a football game.  Travis Etienne ran for nearly 1600 yards this season and, in the Cotton Bowl, he racked up 109 yards on only 14 carries.  We have heard for a while now that everyone keeps expecting Trevor Lawrence to have his "freshman moment."  While he has shown no signs of that ever taking place, I think Clemson will take to the ground to avoid that potential, and to keep Tua and the Bama offense on the sideline.

Regardless of how strong this Clemson defense is, Alabama will score.  There is no question about that.  You saw their quick strike potential on Saturday against Oklahoma.  And while that was against the worst defense ever to step foot in the CFP, there is still no stopping it, just the ability to slow it down.  If Clemson can have a successful ground game for four quarters, they can slow it just enough to win this game.

I like this game to be closer than the 6 point spread it sits at with Alabama being the favorite.  Alabama can win this game, clearly.  That is why they are a touchdown favorite.  However, if you recall back in the SEC Championship game, it took a miracle comeback via a Cinderella story (Jalen Hurts), and some questionable plays by Georgia (the 4th quarter fake punt) for Alabama to win that game.  Georgia was easily the strongest defense, and overall opponent, the Tide faced all season, and they gave them fits for 60 minutes.  Here is a little newsflash - Clemson is better than Georgia.

I am going to say it.  You ready?  I'm doing it.  Here it comes.  Clemson will be your National Champions.  31-28

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Boston Sports Syndicate: College Football Playoff - National Championship Preview
College Football Playoff - National Championship Preview
Boston Sports Syndicate
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