#2 seed Clemson and #1 seed Alabama go toe-to-toe for the national title on Monday, January 7 in Santa Clara, California. These teams battled in the championship game in 2015 and 2016 with the Tide taking the banner in '15 and the Tigers winning the '16 title. They also met last year in the semifinal round with Alabama taking victory.
No #1 seed has won any of the first four college football playoff championship games. Ohio State was #4 seed in the initial playoff era season of 2014, as was Alabama a year ago. Alabama in '15 and Clemson in '16 were both No. 2 seeds.
This year, Alabama got here by defeating #4 seed Oklahoma 45-34 in the Orange Bowl while Clemson cruised past Notre Dame 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl.
Statistically, there isn't a lot of separation between these teams. However, Clemson appears to have an edge in almost every category.
The Tigers lead the Tide by a whisker in total offense - 4th vs. 5th. The margin widens on total defense with Clemson ranked 2nd and Alabama 13th.
Clemson also outranks ranks Alabama in rushing yards per game - 10th to 34th. But 'Bama gets the edge in passing yards per game (6th to 24th) and turnover margin (26th at +8 vs. Clemson at +5).
Dabo's 'D" ranks 2nd in tackles for loss and 1st in sacks. Nick's boys rank 9th in TFL's and 4th in sacks.
Alabama has gone 14-0 against the nation's No. 23 schedule while Clemson's 14-0 mark has come against the nation's No. 32-ranked slate.
Alabama has won 16 straight games and Clemson has won 14 in-a-row.
Vegas opened wagering in favor of Alabama by anywhere from 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 and the line had pretty much settled at 5-1/2 to 6 at the time this was written. The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com favor Clemson by 4.38.