Will It Be Clemson and/or Alabama Again This Year?

Author
by Travis Pulver
August 12th 2019, 7:54am

The long wait is almost over for college football fans. In just a couple of weeks, the journey to crown a new national champion will begin. But can we call it a 'new' national champion if Clemson or Alabama win it again?

Technically, we can if Alabama wins it since they lost the title game last season. But let's be real—Alabama and Clemson have played in the national championship game in three of the last four seasons. The only one without Clemson (2017-18 season) still featured Alabama, who won the game!

So, it really shouldn't come as any surprise that oddsmakers think there is a good chance the two will meet in the title game this season:

Clemson & Alabama to meet in National Championship Game

But while they think there is a 74 percent chance that the two will not face off in the national championship game this season, they do believe one or the other will win it all:

National Championship Winner

That translates into a 67 percent chance Alabama or Clemson wins the championship and a 33 percent chance someone else does. With the squads that both teams will be putting on the field this season, barring injury, it is not hard to imagine either winning it all.

Alabama

Alabama still has one of the best young quarterbacks in the game in Tua Tagovailoa. He will have one of the best groups of wide receivers in the country to throw to. While the offense did lose two running backs to the NFL (Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs), they have two more ready to step in (Najee Harris and Brian Robinson).

Tua Tagovailoa Qlabama QB

The offensive line lost a couple of starters, but Alabama never has trouble replacing offensive linemen.

While the defensive front seven will be as formidable as ever, the secondary is a question mark. Against most teams, they would be more than up to the task. But they were not against elite quarterbacks like Kyler Murray, Jake Fromm, and Trevor Lawrence.

However, the starters are going to be pressed hard by the younger players this year.

Clemson

As for Clemson, with Trevor Lawrence at the helm of the offense, they will be in good shape as well. He will have one of the best offensive lines in the country protecting him and opening holes for Travis Etienne, arguably one of the best running backs in the country.

Lawrence lost two of his favorite targets in the passing game, but the team has a stable of talented, young receivers ready to take on a more significant role.

Trevor Lawrence Clemson QB

Clemson's defense, however, may take a step back this season. They will have to replace the entire defensive line; one that was one of the most dominant groups in the country last season. The Tigers will have talented young guys ready to fill the void, but they have some enormous shoes to fill.

They have holes to fill at linebacker and on in the secondary as well. But if there is one thing Clemson does well, it reloads the defense. It may end up lacking experience, but the talent and potential will be there.

So—yeah, Alabama and Clemson will likely be two of the most dominant teams in the country once again. But who can challenge them?

Contenders?

The oddsmakers at DraftKings only have four other teams with decent odds to win the national championship: Georgia at +1000, Michigan and Ohio State at +1400, and Oklahoma at +1600. The rest of the competition is +4000 or longer.

Oklahoma Season Wins

All four are excellent teams stacked with talented players, but all four have at least one glaring issue. Oklahoma is basically fielding a new offense with eight starters from last year's group gone and still has a bad defense.

Ohio State lost a lot of guys off its starting offense as well including much of the offensive line. Georgia lost its top three receivers.

Ohio State Season Wins

Michigan looks ready to compete on the offensive side, but the defense (second-best in the country last season) was gutted.

Michgan Season Wins

Picks

So—are we going to be stuck with another Alabama/Clemson title game? Probably. The Crimson Tide and Tigers appear to be as good if not better than they were last season. The same can't be said for any of the other serious contenders.

At +225, the payout may not be worth the risk to bet on Alabama and Clemson making it back to the championship game. But one of them will win the title (take Alabama/Clemson at -190).