Monday January 11th 2016. The night of the National Championship game at the College Football Level. The biggest game on the College Football schedule and the last real game before the NFL Draft buzz begins. Unusually for a College Football Playoff National Championship the two best teams are competing for the ultimate prize.
The number 1 and number 2 ranked teams, Clemson (1) and Alabama (2), also provides us with an intriguing battle of the new and the old. Clemson have won just ONE national championship and until this year they were defined by the phrase ‘Clemsoning’ according to Urban Dictionary that is ‘The act of delivering an inexplicably disappointing performance, usually within the context of a college football season.’ They represent the new face of College Football behind the arm (and legs) of Heisman Candidate QB Deshaun Watson. He has the ability to throw and run providing Defensive Co-ordinators with a difficult task of keeping him contained. The Passionate Head Coach of Clemson, Dabo Swinney, has inspired this team with great leadership and getting talented players, which is something they haven’t lacked, to finally believe they are an elite team.
Alabama are one the college football powerhouses. 15 National Championships to their name and one of the most dominant teams in the last half-decade under Legendary Headcoach, Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide are looking to continue their domination of College Football having fallen in the 1st College Football Play-Off Semi Final, to eventual winners Ohio State, last year. In tonight’s game they are seeking their fourth national title since 2009. A feat that only a few elite teams have achieved. The key player for Alabama is Heisman Trophy Winner, Derrick Henry, who ran the ball better than almost everyone before him. The Running Back is an important position with controlling the clock, maintaining possession and tiring out the opposing defence as the game plan. Then using their own dominant defence to win them the game. It is a formula that has worked for Nick Saban and he always finds a way for his teams to get double digit wins. Despite a loss at home to Ole Miss earlier in the year they are the best team in the US right now.
Tonight’s game makes for a good game but what is the key battle?
Can Alabama’s number 3 total Defence contain the explosive Deshaun Watson?
Clemson are ranked sixth in total offense and Alabama ranked number three in total defence. It is the finesse of a great offense versus the hard hitting, dominant defence of Alabama. This is the key battle that will decide the game. If Clemson can get going offensively then Alabama could get left behind but if they can’t then Alabama will take advantage. This game will be won on the Offensive and Defensive lines.