Clemson and Alabama will face off against each other for the national championship in exactly a week, but the Tigers will have less practice time.
According to ESPN, just like last year, this is because the two schools’ academic calendars differ. Alabama’s spring semester doesn’t begin until the 13th, while Clemson’s will begin Wednesday. As a result, Alabama may have unlimited practices while Clemson must adhere to a limit of four hours per day starting on Wednesday.
This happened last year and almost definitely had an effect on the game’s outcome. Ohio State, the scrappy No. 4 seed, was able to have unlimited practices while Oregon had to adhere to the NCAA’s 20-hour weekly limit. Sure enough, once the game kicked off, Ohio State looked incredibly strong while the Ducks and star quarterback Marcus Mariota struggled to get their wheels under them.
That said, with Alabama favored by a touchdown, Clemson needs to choose its practice hours wisely so that it can take the field next week without looking flat, tired or both.
Kickoff on Monday is slated for next Monday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN, so be sure to tune in!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports