The two teams meeting in this year’s national title game took very different paths to get here. The SEC (together with the ACC) was one of only two conferences to basically start the season “on time” and Alabama played ten regular season games, to go along with beating Florida in a shootout in the SEC title game and a convincing 31-14 win over Notre Dame in the CFP semifinal of the Rose Bowl. Ohio State on the other hand had three of their eight regular games canceled due to COVID concerns and it took the Big Ten to change their rules about the minimum amount of games played to qualify for a spot in the conference championship game, which they struggled with Northwestern through three-and-a-half quarters, but then surprisingly lit Clemson up 49-28 in the Sugar Bowl, to make it to the big game.
All those different factors that have led to the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes meeting in the CFP final don’t matter now, because while people may want to put an asterisk to this very unique season, in the end one of these teams can call themselves national champions. So now let’s see how these two teams match up and what I believe will happen. I will have one paragraph each for one team’s offense, the defense they are facing and how some of the matchups may favor either side, then I give you one X-factor for each team and finally get to my score prediction.
Continue reading Previewing the 2021 CFP National Championship game: