Alabama Should Roll To Fourth Title Under Saban


CFPII Should Be Competitive Matchup

By John Ventola

The night is finally here. The second College Football Playoff championship game will be played in Glendale, Arizona between No. 1 ranked and unbeaten Clemson and No. 2 Alabama, clearly the most dominant teams of the 2015 football season.

Clemson versus Alabama. Nick against Dabo. Perennial versus newcomer. Flash against Smash. The Heisman Trophy winner versus one other finalist.

Alabama will be looking to bring home its fourth national championship in Nick Saban’s


Fourth Tide Title Under Saban Will Return SEC To Superiority

nine years in Tuscaloosa while Clemson will attempt to garner its first title since 1981. Oddly, the last time the Tigers won the championship a former Tide player, Danny Ford, was the Clemson coach. Former Alabama receiver Dabo Swinney will be calling the shots on the sidelines tonight.

Both teams won semifinal games in dominating style, Clemson whipping Oklahoma 37-20, and Alabama suffocating Michigan State 38-0.

Clemson parlayed the talents of mercury-quick quarterback Deshaun Watson to score 21 second half points to put the Sooners away. The Tigers passed for 312 yards and ran for 218 additional yards while playing enough defense to harness Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. Clemson will attempt to become the first team to finish 15-0 in FBS history.

Alabama (13-1), hitting on all cylinders since being upset by Ole Miss early in the year, made pretenders of Michigan State with its awesome defensive line play and the passing of quarterback Jake Coker. The Florida State transfer completed 25 of 30


Henry Will Get His But Coker And Bama Line Play Will Be Keys

passes for 286 yards and showed the Tide was not one dimensional offensively. Heisman winner Derrick Henry ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns against a Spartans defense stacked to stop him.

Look for Henry to have a banner night as Coker has shown he can open up the field with long throws to outstanding freshman receiver Calvin Ridley. He scored two touchdowns against MSU when he caught eight passes for 138 yards. While not as big as former Alabama receiving stars Julio Jones and Amari Cooper, Ridley appears to have more speed and jumping ability.

Make no mistakes folks, as important as pizazz is to these two teams, the game will be won in the trenches. Alabama’s defensive line, which rotates as many as eleven players (none under 270 pounds), can plug holes with the best of them. Their assignments to keep Watson contained and not give him freelance running attempts will be key.

The Tide’s underrated offensive line has improved all year long, opening gaps for Henry to run through. If Alabama’s defensive backs can maintain coverage as Tide rushers pressure Watson, the game could turn lopsided early.

Clemson is not without talent themselves. While Watson is the engine that makes things


As Watson Goes So Goes Clemson

go, he is surrounded by talented runners and receivers. The Tigers defeated five teams by 10 points or less in their unbeaten streak (Notre Dame by 2, Louisville by 3, South Carolina by 3, North Carolina by 8, and Florida State by 10). The Tigers defense is solid, but not outstanding. If Watson is forced off the field without much success, Bama should be able to grind away and wear down the defense.

SEC, SEC, SEC. After winning seven consecutive national championships and coming with in thirteen seconds of the eighth (Auburn lost game to Florida State in final BCS matchup for 2013 title), Ohio State’s upset of Alabama in last year’s CFP semifinal Sugar Bowl showed there could be a shift in conference superiority.

Saban has done another masterful coaching job and assistants Lane Kiffin (offense) and Kirby Smart (defense) have put the talent to good use with creative schemes.

Last season Ohio State rode the running of Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback play of third stringer Cardale Jones to the championship. Henry and Coker were at home watching. Tonight they get to showcase lessons learned.

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