Alabama is favored by a touchdown for Monday’s championship game against Clemson and may be a stronger team on paper, but even college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit knows that a win is far from guaranteed.
Appearing on a conference call today, Herbstreit said that Clemson would give Alabama its “biggest test” out of all the teams that the Crimson Tide have faced in national championship games under Nick Saban.
Herbstreit’s comments were passed along by Matt Connolly of The State.
That’s big talk from Herbstreit, but let’s look at the teams Alabama has played for a national title under Saban. In 2010, playing Texas, Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy was forced from the game with a shoulder injury on Texas’ fifth play of the game as Alabama went on to win, 37-21. In 2012, after losing 9-6 in overtime to them during the regular season, an angry Tide squad shut out LSU 21-0.
The following year, Notre Dame was just outmatched from start to finish in a 42-14 blowout.
This time, however, the stakes have been raised. Clemson has a talented team on both sides of the ball, namely in dual threat quarterback Deshaun Watson and an underrated defense led by defensive end Shaq Lawson. Alabama is stronger on paper for sure, but Saban should heed Herbstreit’s words.
The worst thing that Alabama can do on Monday is not take Clemson seriously and if that’s what happens, we’ll have three years in a row when the Crimson Tide have not won a championship, and that doesn’t look good for Saban despite all of his accomplishments.
Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN on Monday Night, so be sure to tune in!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports