Alabama Football: Location, Odds and Guide for Alabama vs. Clemson The final game of the college football season pits a pair of familiar rivals against each other.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers are facing off for the fourth year in a row in the College Football Playoff, with Monday’s meeting the third time in the national championship.
Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide won the initial title clash with the Tigers in 2016, while Dabo Swinney’s program returned the favor in 2017.
Clemson is attempting to rebound from a poor performance against the Tide a year ago in which it scored just six points in a Sugar Bowl loss to its top rival.
Alabama and Clemson are more than familiar with the national championship in the playoff era, but the Crimson Tide have more experience as a whole in games with championship meaning.
Saban, who won five championships with Alabama, is attempting to tie the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most titles won by a Crimson Tide head coach.
Winning six titles in 10 years would be a remarkable achievement for Saban, who would beat Bryant to the accomplishment by close to a decade.
Swinney is attempting to capture Clemson’s third championship in program history, and if that occurs, he’d be the coach of two of those title-winning sides.
Both programs are led by fantastic young quarterbacks, with sophomore Tua Tagovailoa leading the Crimson Tide and Trevor Lawrence in charge of the Tigers offense.
Tagovailoa, who burst into the spotlight a year ago in the national championship against Georgia, enters Levi’s Stadium off a 24-of-27 outing in the Orange Bowl in which he threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns.
Lawrence marveled during his first major test in the Cotton Bowl, as he lit up the Notre Dame defense for 327 yards and a trio of touchdowns.
Since both the NFL free-agent market and 2019 NFL draft class carry a weak collection of signal-callers, there are already professional eyes on both players.
Tagovailoa is eligible to enter the professional ranks in 2020, while Lawrence still has two years before he can declare for the NFL.
While the quarterbacks won’t be entering the NFL for at least another 12 months, there’s plenty of NFL-caliber talent set to take the field Monday that will make an impact as pros in the fall.
Alabama’s Quinnen Williams is the best prospect of the bunch, while offensive tackle Jonah Williams, safety Deionte Thompson and linebacker Mack Wilson could all be taken in the first round.
Clemson’s dominant defensive line unit of Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkins and Austin Bryant will be coveted options among a deep group of defensive prospects.
However, only three of the four will be on the field Monday, as Dexter Lawrence is serving a suspension for a positive drug test.
Clemson released a statement Thursday that the star defensive lineman would miss a second straight game along with teammates Zach Giella and Braden Galloway, per ESPN’s Marty Smith.
While it may seem like an absence like that would hurt the Tigers, they have a few players in reserve, like Albert Huggins, who are capable of making a similar impact on the gridiron.
That’s the story across both rosters, as a majority of the players set to participate in the national championship would be the headlining stars at most other programs in the FBS.