College Football Playoff National Championship: 3 Reasons To Watch Alabama vs. Clemson
Three reasons why you should watch the College Football Playoff National Championship between Alabama (14-0) vs. Clemson (13-1).
Date: Monday, January 9th
Game Time: 8:30 pm
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
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Besides Obviously Being The National Freaking Championship – Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The College Football Playoff National Championship
The sequel should be every bit as good.
At least that’s the hope.
Alabama might’ve won the national title last season, but it was Deshaun Watson who had everyone buzzing, and Clemson fired up to get a shot at a rematch after the epic 45-40 Crimson Tide win.
No, there wasn’t a season-long public outcry for a rematch – most probably would’ve liked the Urban vs. Saban/Ohio State vs. Alabama showdown better – but it’ll probably be given more respect historically no matter how this turns out. These two have earned their place as the two best programs in college football at the moment.
Clemson is 27-2 in its last two seasons with two playoff wins, with two national championship appearances and two ACC championships.
Alabama is 28-1 in its last two years with two national titles, two SEC championships, and three playoff wins.
It’s the first rematch in the BCS/CFP era, and it’s the first one in back-to-back seasons.
Alabama’s ridiculous legacy of greatness could continue.
Yeah, there might be some debates here and there about the historical designations of a few of Alabama’s national titles – the 1964 and 1973 teams lost their bowl games – but the school counts 16 of them. No matter how many hairs you want to split, the place has been pretty good at doing this college football thing.
And Nick Saban has been really, really good at coaching this college football thing.
There’s always going to be only one Bear Bryant, and his record of sustained success and longevity will never be touched by another Alabama head coach, but if Saban wins this, he’ll not only tie Bryant with six national titles – one of Saban’s was at LSU – what he’ll have accomplished at the top of the resume will be far stronger.
Bryant won split national championships in 1965, 1973 and 1978. In a more difficult era, and coaching in the most difficult conference in college football, Saban has a shot at winning his fifth in eight seasons at Alabama, and his sixth in his last 12 years as a college coach.
And all of them were undisputed.
Saban was already entering the Greatest of All-Time discussion after last year’s national title. One more could end the debate.
Clemson is one win away from getting past the bouncer.
Oregon couldn’t do it.
The Ducks have been waiting in line in their fancy outfits and cute shoes, but they haven’t been able to get into the national title club in the BCS/CFP era.
Virginia Tech came close, but hasn’t been able to find the bar since 2000.
Notre Dame, Nebraska and Clemson are the only other programs since the designated national title era started in the 1998 season that played in a championship game without winning one – all three obviously won before the BCS era – while the Tigers would join the Ducks as the only two-time losers without a win in the last 20 championships.
The program took home the 1981 national title with a 12-0 season, but the Dabo Swinney era has been the best run in Clemson football history, and it’s not even close.
Not only has Swinney taken the Tigers to two national title games, but he won three ACC championships, five straight bowl games – the CFP national championship isn’t really a bowl – and cranked out six straight double-digit win seasons, turning Clemson into a superpower NFL prospect factory.
Now, no matter how you want to rank current college football coaches, he’s easily in the top four with Bob Stoops in there somewhere, and behind Saban and Urban Meyer.
All he’s missing is a national championship.