The university Football Playoff nationwide Championship is ultimately here and also now the it has actually made its arrival, we"ve perfect our navigation through one of the most distinctive college football periods in memory. Completing this journey, despite every one of the issues, interruptions and also problems -- both real and also potential -- have to be regarded as quite as an accomplishment itself. And also now, No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State will take the field one last time to identify the nationwide champion for among the wildest seasons in the background of the sport.
While play for championships is familiar territory for both programs, just how they obtained here couldn"t have been more different. Alabama play close to a complete schedule v the SEC opting for a conference-only slate. The Crimson Tide gained in every 10 SEC gamings plus 2 postseason matchups. That wasn"t a fully smooth effort -- coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 and also missed the Iron bowl -- but all things taken into consideration it could have been worse.
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Ohio State, on the other hand, practically didn"t have a season. The large Ten initially eschewed a autumn season for another crack at football in 2021 yet eventually walk an about-face with a to reduce eight-game slate starting in so late October. Due to the fact that of assorted cancellations, Ohio State only played five games, yet the large Ten walked ago its six-game minimum to enable the Buckeyes to play in the big Ten Championship Game. Playing only six times, Ohio State was subject to intense scrutiny the it hadn"t played sufficient games to merit a playoff invite. However, the CFP choice Committee contained the Buckeyes anyway and the decision showed to be the ideal one once they beat up on Clemson 49-28 in the Sugar bowl semifinal.
Which leads united state to this. Saban will certainly be trying to find his sixth national championship at Alabama and also seventh overall. Ohio State coach Ryan Day, in simply his 2nd year, is searching for his first. I m sorry team will prevail? We breakdown Monday"s matchup below. Don"t forget to monitor Alabama vs. Ohio State live v score updates, analysis, highlights and more.
Alabama: It"s a conversation that"s come up much more than once, yet the 2020 Crimson Tide would be in the conversation as Saban"s ideal team ever with a win versus the Buckeyes. The is already, in ~ the very least, the many dangerous violation Alabama has ever put on a soccer field. DeVonta Smith ended up being the very first wide recipient in nearly 30 year to victory the Heisman Trophy, quarterback Mac Jones was a finalist, and also running ago Najee Harris probably can have (should have) been, too. As it is now, the Tide space averaging 48.2 points. Critical year"s national champion, LSU, averaged 48.4. V the shortened season, there"s no means Alabama passes the many tigers in complete points scored, yet the efficiency with i m sorry it"s slaughtered defenses this year is comparable.
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Whereas Saban"s early on Alabama groups were leading on defense and slowly overpowered your opponents, the Bama groups of an ext recent years have actually relied on offense to overwhelm everyone in their way. College football has shifted towards vast open offenses, and also Alabama has actually made that shift as fine as any type of program in the nation -- if no better.
Ohio State: Of every the points to watch v Ohio State, none will certainly be much more important than the health and wellness of quarterback Justin Fields. The junior, a presumed top-three pick in next spring"s NFL Draft, take it a difficult hit to the midsection throughout the semifinal against Clemson. While areas bounced back and threw for six touchdowns, that was also in remarkable pain. Day has said that fields will play in the game, despite the specifics of his injury weren"t disclosed. How areas looks will be a vast X-factor. Is he completely functional? Is he plainly limited? Is the tepid with his decisions? Those will certainly all be things to monitor.
Additionally, Ohio State has some COVID-19 concerns coming into the game. The school reportedly educated parties involved in the title video game that it might be without whole position group because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. Details space scarce and every indication is the the game will be played together scheduled. But it is something to store an eye on together we obtain close to kickoff.
Game: 2021 college Football Playoff nationwide Championship Date: Monday, January 11 | Time: 8 p.m. ET Location: tough Rock stadion -- Miami Gardens, Florida TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alternate city hall optionsCFP Live -- ESPN2Skycast -- ESPNUCoaches film room -- ESPNEWSAlabama hometown radio -- SEC NetworkOhio State hometown radio, Command Center, Datacenter, all 22 and an ext available top top the ESPN App.
Alabama vs. Ohio State prediction, pick
Forget the number of games it played in the regular season, Ohio State has shown it belong in the nationwide championship. Currently the question is whether it can pull the upset because that the second straight game. The Buckeyes certainly have the talent, speed and toughness to store pace through Alabama"s prolific offense. However there space a couple of questions they"ll need to answer together well. Is areas healthy enough to lead his team come a win? have the right to the defense make sufficient stops? will certainly COVID-19 concerns be a difference? Alabama has been the finest team all year and also there space too numerous uncertainties v Ohio State. It simply feels favor the Crimson Tide"s year. Pick: Ohio State +8 | Alabama 38, Ohio State 31