2 Alabama 35
1 Clemson 38
Tonight, arguably two of the best programs in college football will face each other for the right to hold up the College Football National Championship Trophy when it’s all said and done. Head Coach Dabo Swinney has the Clemson Tigers in a position to win a National Title for the first time since 1981 under former Head Coach Danny Ford. The Tigers also have the opportunity to become the first FBS college football team to finish the season with a 15-0 record.
For Swinney and the Tigers to accomplish that, they must take down the most successful college football program for over the last seven years in the Alabama Crimson Tide coached by Nick Saban. Even though the Crimson Tide has not won a National Title since 2012, they are considered heavy favorites to win this ball game. If you paid attention to recent history in regards to Alabama, their Achilles heel has been their inability to rattle dual-threat quarterbacks.
We saw it earlier this season when they struggled with Ole Miss Quarterback Chad Kelly, who led the Rebels to an upset victory over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. However, Chad Kelly was the last dual-threat quarterback to be successful against the vaunted Crimson Tide defense. Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 300 yards against them, but the Bulldogs failed to score a touchdown. The final score was Alabama 31 and Mississippi State 6.
Now the Crimson Tide must deal with another quarterback that is capable of torching opposing defenses with both his arms and legs in Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson, who finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Christian McCaffrey and eventual winner Derrick Henry, will be the Crimson Tide’s biggest challenge of the season.
Alabama’s defense must not allow Watson to leave the pocket and create plays that will keep the chains moving in this contest. If not, it could be a long and miserable night down in “The Desert” for the Crimson Tide. We saw the headaches that Chad Kelly caused Alabama earlier in the season; Watson could probably do more damage to that defense than what Kelly did.
My prediction for this ball game is that Clemson will win, its first National Title since 1981 on the abilities of quarterback Deshaun Watson. Alabama will keep the game close, but will fail to deliver at the end. Deshaun Watson is not Vince Young, but he isn’t far from him talent wise.
Photo credits by oddshark.com