The Alabama Crimson Tide never really left. However, in the last couple of seasons, they haven’t looked as dominant in the SEC as they did for pretty much the last decade.
But the Tide is rolling and could close out a perfect season. They went 11-0, beating the No.7 Florida Gators in a close SEC Championship Game. Now, they’ll head into the Rose Bowl on January 1st. against the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The CFP Outlook
I read a funny first line on ESPN that said, welcome once again to the Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff invitational. Is that what we’ll see for the National Title game this year? Or can Ohio State get past Clemson this time around and make a run at the title?
It’s tough to say. The ladies and gentlemen in Las Vegas have the Ohio State Buckeyes as 7.5-point underdogs to Dabo’s Tigers. It’s interesting because Dabo Swinney didn’t have the Buckeyes in the top ten of the coaches poll at the end of the regular season. For that matter, neither did Nick Saben. Both Clemson and Alabama’s head coaches had the Texas A&M Aggies at the No. 4 spot. But hey … the committee likes to put Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and then a wild card in … It just would be the CFP without those three teams … that’s the way it is.
Aggies fans are pissed. Heck, even fans that grew up hating the Aggies are pissed because it’s still competitive sports, and the Aggies got the shaft. They are a better team than OSU. That said, perhaps all of this talk of being undeserving will kick the Buckeyes in the rump and set them on course to upset the Tigers.
Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Speaking of teams that receive CFP favoritism to keep the money rolling in, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish shouldn’t be here. I mean, I get it, I guess … both Saben and Swinney had the Irish as their No. 3 team … but I think that’s just because they were hoping the coaches poll would impact the selection, and they would get that matchup. Case in point, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are nearly 20 point underdogs to the Alabama Crimson Tide. With odds like that, you might as well check the parlay calculator to see how you can add up a couple of props to actually make some money betting on this matchup.
Alabama vs. Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl.
The last time these two met ? pic.twitter.com/ylf2RcHwNP
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 20, 2020
We have a Bama offense that averages 49.73 points per game going against a Notre Dame offense that averages 35.18. On the flip side, the Alabama defense allows 19.45 points per game, and the Irish defense allows 18.64. Don’t let that confuse you, though. With the exception of Clemson, the Irish haven’t faced even close to the same type of competition as the Tide. So, just to make it clear, yes, the Irish allow a point fewer per game, but Alabama has a better defense. They gave up 46 to a tough Florida Gators team in Florida, which moved the needle on that defensive stat.
I’m sorry to say that this one will get real ugly quick. Notre Dame is going to get crushed. I might have a different frame of mind if the Irish were able to close out the season with another win over Clemson. You might say, well, they beat Clemson earlier in the year. Yeah, that was with DJ Uigalelei under center, not Trevor Lawrence, and Clemson still put up 40 on the Dame D. With Lawrance under center for the Tigers, the Irish lost by 14 points. So, Nick Saben and his Tide are going to roll past the Irish. Mac Jones put up 418 yards and 5 TDs in the Swamp … imagine what this Bama offense is going to do to Notre Dame.
If Clemson and Alabama meet, it will be the 5th Bama-Clemson National Title game in just six years. Talk about hoarding the money.