Does Clemson Have a Shot?
Contrary to what some might think, the Alabama Crimson Tide have not already been awarded the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship. Clemson will certainly have something to say about that before tonight is over.
Let me just say that somehow, someway, yes – the Tigers have a chance. How much of a chance? I’ll give it about 30-35 percent. But that may be enough.
Many are picking Alabama, and why not? They’ve simply dominated like no other team in college football this season, especially on defense. They’ve scored 14 (FOURTEEN!) touchdowns on defense or special teams. I am in Tampa working the CFP National Championship and I’ve gotten a chance to see some of the Tide players up close and personal – these are men among boys.
Some people are picking Clemson, and most of those people are from South Carolina or they simply hate Alabama.
Other than the skill positions, Clemson is at a disadvantage (on paper) across the board vs. Alabama. If this game is decided in the trenches, take Bama all day long.
Nonetheless, the Tigers have a shot. Don’t believe me? Did you see the butt-whooping that the Tigers put on Ohio State last week? Yes, 31-0 vs. that Buckeye team was impressive. These Tigers are hungry, and that might be the difference.
Bama might be able to match that hunger, though, as they have the ultimate motivator and head coach in Nick Saban. They should be able to slow down Clemson’s explosive offense, but there are no guarantees there. Dabo Swinney is no slouch on the other sideline.
Yes, Clemson does have a shot. What’s the key? Well, let’s begin by not allowing a non-offensive touchdown. That alone would be a victory this season for any club.
The fact that Alabama is starting a rookie quarterback in Jaylen Hurts should not be ignored. The kid has played like a seasoned veteran, but if Clemson can slow down the run and make Hurts pass the ball, mistakes are possible to happen.
Happy to be here? No, the Tigers don’t feel that way. They went through that last year. No, I would be shocked if Clemson did not come out ready to play and give Alabama all they can handle.
Run the ball. Whoever has the ability to run the ball will win the game. If Clemson can do it, they will maximize their possessions and possibly wear down a Bama D that has never had it done to them. But there’s a first time for everything.
Every play will matter. Every snap. The defining play could come at any time. Last year’s on-side kick is a good example. A big play by Deshaun Watson is just waiting to happen. Probably more than one. These Tigers have a real chance.
Evidence? I don’t really have any evidence. Just a Reverse Barometer prediction for the final result, which is revealed when you spell out the first letters of each paragraph in this story.