Alabama will face Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday, Jan. 9. It’s a rematch of last season’s title game — a 45-40 win by the Crimson Tide.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch the rematch.
What day do Clemson and Alabama play in the national title game?
The national championship will be played on Monday, Jan. 9.
What time is the 2017 college football national championship game?
Clemson-Alabama will kick off shortly after 8 p.m. ET.
What’s the TV scheduled for Clemson-Alabama?
ESPN will broadcast the college football national championship. It will be streamed on WatchESPN.
Where is the 2017 national title game being played?
Clemson and Alabama will play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Why Alabama will beat Clemson in the national championship game
“Opportunistic” sometimes can be a derogatory term for a defense that can’t quite keep up playing traditionally. However, Alabama is unique in the way it can produce game-changing plays while also ranking highly in the traditional defensive metrics. That will cause Clemson major issues.
For however talented Deshaun Watson is as a quarterback, he’s extremely turnover-prone. In 2016, the junior threw 17 interceptions in 14 games. That includes a pair of picks in the first half against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. Clemson has gone 4-1 in games where Watson has multiple interceptions. That won’t fly against an Alabama defense that can turn any misstep into a touchdown at a moment’s notice. The Crimson Tide led the nation in non-offensive touchdowns (15) — by far.
Clemson has one of the best defensive lines in the nation — outside of Tuscaloosa. Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins was a second-team AP All-American in 2016, and is one of the most disruptive players in the country. In fact, the Tigers ranked No. 3 with 8.6 tackles for loss per game heading into the performance against Ohio State.
However, Alabama is even better. Football Outsiders ranks Alabama’s defensive line as the No. 1 unit in the nation. It does go both ways — Clemson’s offensive line is ranked No. 7. If Alabama can win the battle up front, it will give itself a great shot to win the game.
Fans expected Bo Scarbrough to be the Tide’s lead running back headed into the season. Ultimately, he ended up as part of a rotation with Damien Harris. Even dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts forced his way ahead. But after the Peach Bowl, Scarbrough undoubtedly will be a bigger part of the offense.
Scarbrough rushed for an absurd 180 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 19 carries against Washington’s stout front in the first semifinal on Saturday. The rest of the Alabama offense combined averaged just 3.2 yards per play. Last season, it was TE O.J. Howard breaking out to become a superstar in the national championship game. There’s an endless supply of talented players on the Alabama sideline.
While Alabama had a more structured game plan last season built around Heisman-winning RB Derrick Henry, offense coordinator Lane Kiffin has built a monstrous offense this season. Hurts, a true freshman, is an inconsistent passer, but the running component he brings to the offense has changed the game for the Tide.
Additionally, Kiffin has ArDarius Stewart, Calvin Ridley and Howard on the outside to work into the rotation. While Alabama doesn’t have the workhorse running back, the offense’s options are limitless. Of course, Kiffin needs to avoid getting too cute like he did at times Saturday, but the toolbox will be open.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is an excellent coach, perhaps one of the top 5 in college football. However, Alabama coach Nick Saban is the best going today, almost certainly the greatest of all time, and perhaps one of the greatest in the history of collegiate sports.
Alabama already brings the most talented roster in college football to Tampa, but the coaching staff brings it to another level. Not only is Saban one of the most adept coaching minds ever, his staff is loaded. For Kiffin’s faults, he’s a bright coaching mind. Former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian chips in, too. The defensive staff features some of the best in the world, as well. Give Alabama more than a week to plan, and it will come up with a strong game plan.