Clemson vs. Alabama take two. Like a great movie, the college football championship was so good last year they decided it deserved an encore. The Clemson Tigers will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide for the second straight season to determine the college football champion for 2016. Tonight’s title bout will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
A win tonight for Alabama will cement them in history as one of the best college football teams of all-time. The Tide will try to claim their fifth championship in the last eight years, and win back-to-back titles for the second time under Coach Nick Saban.
That is just incredible for a college team, especially in this day and age where kids leave early for the NFL.
While Saban and The Tide chase history tonight, Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers are more than ready to spoil the party.
CBS Sports reports that the Clemson junior quarterback was a major pain in Alabama’s side last season in the NCAA title game – and came within a pass or two of pulling off the major upset. Watson was a one man wrecking crew in the title bout as he single-handedly accounted for nearly 500 yards in Clemson’s 45-40 defeat in last season’s national championship loss to the Tide.
This time may be a different story though as Watson and the Tigers are bigger, stronger and faster on both sides of the ball than a year ago. They also have been on a mission since the moment they walked off the field in last season’s title game.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney knows if Watson plays like he is capable of, the Tigers will be in this game until the final whistle.
“Deshaun Watson has played big in every game since he’s been at Clemson,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “I think he’s played great his whole three years. I mean, great.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban has seen firsthand what Watson is capable of and he knows that his top ranked defense will be facing its toughest task of the season.
“I thought he played fantastic against us last year,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said of Watson.
“He may be arguably the best player in college football. The guy is very athletic. He’s got a great understanding of their offense. He does a really good job of executing for his team. He can extend plays. He can run. He can run quarterback runs. And he’s a terrific passer. I mean, he is the complete package.”
So who will win this clash of the football giants?
There is no point of breaking down the numbers between these two because they are just both that good.
Alabama leads the country in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense. You can’t argue with that. Clemson has arguably the best quarterback in the nation, and they also are stout on the defensive side of the ball as they come into this matchup eighth overall in total defense.
Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes (i.e., penalties and turnovers) will win this game.
Las Vegas odds makers have Alabama listed as a 6.5 point favorite with the over/under number set at 50.5.
Hopefully this game is as good as advertised. If it is, the team with the ball last may just win it. Alabama is an incredible team, but the points here are too tempting. The Tigers keep this game close as Watson tries to get his revenge.
Pick – Clemson +6.5
Fans can catch every play of the NCAA championship game live nationally on ESPN. The Clemson vs. Alabama game will also be streaming live online through the Watch ESPN App. Fans on the go can watch every snap through a tablet, cell phone or any other hand held device by downloading the Watch ESPN App through the Google play store.
Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]