Teams & Conferences

Alabama vs. Clemson: College Football Playoff National Championship Final Thoughts, Predictions & Advice

Alabama vs. Clemson: College Football Playoff National Championship Final Thoughts, Predictions & Advice


Check out the final thoughts, a few predictions, and some investment advice for the College Football Playoff National Championship: Alabama vs. Clemson:  Because you have to.


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– CFN CFP National Championship Game Preview, Pick

Game Previews & Predictions
3 Reasons Why Alabama Will Win
3 Reasons Why Clemson Will Win
3 Most Interesting Things About The Game
– Clemson 3 Biggest Keys | Alabama 3 Biggest Keys
Clemson 3 Key Players | Alabama 3 Key Players
Clemson 3 Biggest Strengths | Alabama 3 Biggest Strengths

And here we go with the rematch that should be entertaining and interesting, at least compared to the duds the College Football Playoff Semifinals provided America, and far, far better than anything the horrendous NFL Wild Card Weekend served up.

Will this finally be the time someone beats Alabama in a national championship, or will this be yet another title to throw on the pile?

This is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only. However, just in case you dabble …

Tampa has been cold. It’s not Green Bay cold, and it’s obviously not snowing, and it’s not all that bad by the normal standards of most reasonable and rational individuals in early January, but it’s chilly enough to be sort of annoying. I have no real clue what this means for the two warm-weather teams, but it’s not going to be what they’re used to.

Dabo Swinney likes his team. He’s saying it wasn’t quite right in last year’s loss in Glendale, but this time around, the health is good, the mindset is right, and everything is super.

Nick Saban likes his team. He’s saying it wasn’t quite right in last year’s win in Glendale, but this time around, the health is good, the mindset is right, and everything is super.

Okay, for whatever it’s worth, here’s my super-duper, expert, I’ve been around these teams for a week, gut-feeling take. As I tweeted, Clemson is super cocky, and Alabama acts and sounds like a team about to apply a beating.

Several Tiger fans were ripping on me, wondering what the difference was between being cocky and seeming ultra-confident.

Clemson talked and acted like a team that thinks it can win this. Alabama talked and acted like a team that knows it can. Fine, what’s the difference? Alabama has been there before. This is about the most business-like Crimson Tide team you’ll ever come across.

I have no clue whether or not any of this makes a lick of difference. I’m totally aware of how kooky this comes across.

The Steve Sarkisian/Lane Kiffin storyline jut doesn’t matter. If Alabama’s offense goes into the tank, it’ll be because Clemson’s defense was that good, not because Sark couldn’t figure out what plays to call.

It’s almost as if Nick Saban wanted this Kiffin thing to happen like this. Without anyone coming out and saying it, the Sark/Kiffin angle seemed to take the pressure off what would’ve been a relatively dry, storyline-less week.

The No. 2 most overplayed angle here in Tampa? Clemson is out for revenge. Ooooooooh, scary. Like the Crimson Tide aren’t used to teams trying really, really hard to beat them.

If Clemson wins this, revenge will have nothing to do with it. Clemson won’t win because it was more out to make amends for Glendale. It’ll win because it’s the better team.

But here’s the thing, I sensed that Alabama’s defense is angrier that it got lit up last year, than Clemson is about losing that game.

Again, sort of the difference between being cocky and confident. I know, I know, I know, I hate the “it feels like” analysis more than you do, but if feels like Alabama has the glitch fixed.

And let’s say that it doesn’t. Let’s say Clemson’s offense goes off and Deshaun Watson does that again. Remember, Bama couldn’t stop Johnny Manziel in the rematch after losing the year before, and it couldn’t slow down Chad Kelly after losing to Ole Miss last year.

And Alabama won both games. It’s possible that Watson is great again, and Alabama wins easily.

Or it’s possible that Watson has his Vince Young moment. That was the analysis before last year’s game, and Watson came darn close.

While we’re at it, enough with saying that Alabama was dead without the onside kick. I’ve heard that almost as many times as I’ve listened to people complaining about being chilly. Saban was overloved for that. The Bama D wasn’t slowing down Watson anyway, and if it didn’t work, Clemson would’ve had about 25-to-30 yards of better field position. Yippee. It was a good gamble to take, but it wasn’t as risky as many made it out to be.

And there was still a long way to go. Remember, this is going to be a really, really, really long football game. There will be several moments when this game looks like it’s over.

How will the landscape of college football change if Clemson wins? It won’t. Not a lick. It’ll be a self-contained, national championship season for the Tigers. Florida State won the national championship a few years ago. Did that make Alabama any worse? Nah. Auburn won a national title. Alabama was still pretty good after that. A win would take Swinney to a whole other level, and yeah, it would be terrific for the Tiger program, but Ohio State will still be good. Alabama will still be good.

But beating the two monster programs to take the national championship would be very, very tasty.

Would Clemson beating Alabama be good for college football? Yeah, maybe. But unless this is an all-timer of a game, Clemson winning won’t mean the sport will bring in a whole slew of new fans.

Would Alabama beating Clemson be boring? Yeah, maybe. This week I’ve heard the comparisons to Tiger Woods when he was Tiger Woods, the New England Patriots, and the 1990s Chicago Bulls in terms of dynasties. But the one big difference is that those three had charisma. Woods, Brady and Jordan were personalities you had to watch because they were – or are – Woods, Brady and Jordan. Alabama doesn’t have that like the old school Miami Hurricanes, or the flashier of Bobby Bowden’s Florida State teams, or the Pete Carroll USC juggernauts.

Two years ago, I tried to scream to everyone who’d listen that Ohio State was going to destroy Oregon.

Last year, I tried to scream to everyone who’d listen that Alabama was going to destroy Clemson.

This year, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit shocked if Clemson was fantastic and made a massive, all-timer of a statement on the way to winning the national title. I would’ve been floored if last year’s team won it, or if Oregon had beaten the Buckeyes.

But you don’t pick against Alabama in the national championship. Again. You … don’t … pick … against … Alabama … in the national championship.

Yeah, I picked Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl because you don’t pick against Urban Meyer in a big game with time to prepare. The difference was that I thought Clemson was the better team. It was a stupid pick with stupid reasoning.

Completely and totally aware that losing Colt McCoy had a lot to do with this, the comp for me is the 2010 BCS Championship. I picked Texas to beat Alabama because it was better and more talented in several areas. And then Alabama went Alabama. This Alabama team – at least defensively – has a defense that’s just as good.

Alabama will win the national championship. And it’s going to do it by more than six points. However …

AND FINALLY … I’m not going to argue with you in any way if you think Clemson will win. I would’ve – and did – last year, but not this time around. This is an amazing team, and purely as a fan, I’d love to see Watson go off. It would be a whole lot of fun if the Tigers won and would be fantastic for a team and a fan base that has more than paid their dues. But this Alabama team might just be that special – even in the cold.