Alabama vs Clemson Live, Alabama vs. Clemson from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is airing on ESPN starting at 8 p.m. ET on Monday. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit will call the game with Tom Rinaldi covering Clemson and Maria Taylor on Alabama.
Alabama vs Clemson Live
Alabama vs. Clemson IV: We predict who wins the CFP National Championship, If you’re bored by greatness, flip on the Big Ten Network tonight. You won’t find any there.
We have been eagerly awaiting Alabama-Clemson IV since July’s media days. Now it’s here, and somehow it’s more intriguing than it looked six months ago.
Thank the two generational, completely different 5-star quarterbacks for that. Monday night’s national championship has new characters and a new plot (and just enough familiar curmudgeons roaming the trenches and sidelines).
Neither defense has seen a quarterback quite like this, except in practice. Neither secondary has seen outside weapons like this, except in practice. Neither quarterback has stared across the line and seen a more intimidating front seven, except in practice.
The preseason promises delivered what we wanted on the final Monday night of the college football season: Best on best.
Coming into the SEC Championship, I wondered if history was going to repeat itself. We spent all of 2016 talking about how dominant that Alabama team was after rolling through the regular season relatively untested. Then, Clemson actually forced the Crimson Tide to play a full 60 minutes and Alabama ran out of gas trying to shut down Deshaun Watson.
In each of Alabama’s past 2 games this year, it had to pick up key conversions in the final minutes. That means something. Having familiarity in those big-time moments late in games can make all the difference, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did on Monday night. Clemson, on the other hand, has won at least every post-September game by 20 points with Trevor Lawrence as the starter.
I do think that these teams play down to the wire. They both have the firepower offensively to go back and forth for what should be as intriguing of a chapter as any in this great modern rivalry. But with a confident Tua Tagovailoa leadDing, ding, ding – Round 4, here we go. While much of the country is annoyed that we get another title fight between Alabama and Clemson, there should be little doubt that these are and have been the two best teams in the country. I think this year’s game could be the best yet, because each team is better than they have been the past few years, as remarkable as that might sound. This game not only features the two best coaches in the country, but the two most talented quarterbacks (no offense to Kyler Murray, but he’s No. 3, despite what Heisman voters think).
I think Alabama wins 34-31. Why? Alabama has the better coach, its quarterback has more experience, it has more depth and it’s more consistent. Dabo Swinney is a fantastic coach, but no one is better in big games than Saban. Trevor Lawrence is an unbelievably gifted quarterback, but Tua Tagovailoa already has title game experience and has proven he can come up clutch when the entire season is on the line. Clemson has arguably more talent and depth than anyone in the country, except for Alabama. And no team is more consistent than Alabama in terms of preparedness and execution, and they never beat themselves.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one go down to the wire, like in 2015 and 2016, but I would be surprised to see Nick Saban walk away from this game without his record-setting 7th national championship.
Because I’ve spent the season analyzing this Alabama team from the Georgia perspective, I always watched them closely with respect, but still felt they were beatable. I picked Georgia to beat them in the SEC Championship Game for two reasons, because the Bulldogs had the athletes to keep up with them, and they had a quarterback (Jake Fromm) who could make enough big plays.