Sports

College Football Playoff championship preview: No. 1 Alabama looking for 6th title under Nick Saban vs. Ohio State


MIAMI — Trying to figure out which of Nick Saban’s Alabama teams is best is akin to picking Michelangelo’s greatest work of art or Ernest Hemingway’s best novel.

They are all excellent in their own way.

The first to win a national championship came in 2009 and is still the only Alabama team to finish unbeaten under Saban in 14 seasons of unprecedented dominance.

The 2011 national champions had maybe the greatest defense of college football’s modern era of high-powered offenses. The current Crimson Tide team has one of the most prolific and talented offenses in the history of the sport.

“Every team is different. Every team has its own personality,” Saban said Sunday. “But it’s hard to compare teams.”

The top-ranked Tide (12-0) are set to face No. 3 Ohio State (7-0) on Monday for the College Football Playoff championship in search of their sixth national title with Saban as coach.

The final game of this taxing and strange season played through the coronavirus pandemic is on schedule to take place at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, with 16,000 fans in attendance as planned. Because of COVID-19, which caused the postponement or cancelation of nearly 130 games, nothing has been guaranteed this season. But Alabama arrived in South Florida on Friday and Ohio State got to town Saturday.

The usual day-before-the-championship-game news conference with the coaches was held Sunday morning via Zoom. No sharing of a stage, posing with the trophy and staged handshakes this year.

“It certainly has been a strange road to get here,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said.

The Buckeyes faced the prospect of no fall football at all when the Big Ten postponed in August, and then they managed to get in only six games before making the playoff. Day acknowledged earlier this week that Ohio State was dealing with some new COVID-19 cases.

There was even some concern early in the week that the game might have to be pushed back.

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If the Buckeyes do upset Alabama to win their first national title since 2014, they will have played the fewest games of any national champion since Minnesota finished 8-0 in 1941.

Alabama had only one game postponed this season, though it was because of COVID-19 issues with LSU. Saban tested positive for the virus — twice. The first …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

      

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