After a disappointing weekend of NFL playoff football in which none of the four games was decided by less than 13 points, football fans are turning to the college ranks in the hopes that they can provide some more excitement. Fortunately, Monday night’s National Championship showdown features two outstanding teams who figure to play a tight one — it’s No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Clemson in a rematch of last year’s title game.
The Crimson Tide took last year’s matchup 45-40. This one definitely figures to be lower scoring. Alabama brings an outstanding defense into tonight’s matchup. They yielded only 7 points to Washington in the semifinal of the College Football Playoff, which is roughly in line with their average of just over 8 points allowed per game since Oct. 15. If the Alabama offense — which will led by Steve Sarkisian on Monday after departing offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was dismissed following a subpar performance in the semifinal — can put anywhere close to the 45 points on the board that they did last year, they will certainly be on their way to yet another title.
Still, Clemson does figure to score some behind Heisman runner-up quarterback DeShaun Watson. It is the final game of what has been an outstanding collegiate career for Watson, but the big prize has eluded him through his first three seasons. Can the Tigers score enough on the vaunted Alabama defense to get the job done tonight?
Alabama coach Nick Saban, with a win, will tie the legend, Bear Bryant, with six National Championships — the most in history.
Quite simply, this one is not to be missed.
Kickoff for the game is 8:00 p.m. ET. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call the action. The game will air live on ESPN. It will also be streamed online, via WatchESPN, free with a cable subscription. The Watch ESPN app can be downloaded from the iTunes, the Google Play store, and the Windows store.
[image via screengrab]