In 2014, the College Football Playoff debuted with much hype surrounding it. The four teams entered the championship bracket looking to become the first team to win in a playoff format.
The Ohio State Buckeyes, who entered the season as the four seed and with the most unlikely of situations, rolled through Alabama and Oregon en route to the national championship. This year has been very different, with the undefeated Clemson Tigers taking on the ever-dominant Crimson Tide with Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry.
It’s been a big year for the Tigers as they completed their first undefeated season since 1981 — the last time they won the national championship — and won the ACC for the first time since 2011. They did all this with quarterback Deshaun Watson, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and running back Wayne Gallman leading the charge.
They were the most dominant team in the country as they shut down every team they came across, including the Oklahoma Sooners, whom nobody believe the Tigers could beat, in the College Football Playoff.
The Tigers are ranked 11th in the country with 512 total yards of offense per game this year. It will be a classic matchup of offense against defense as the Tigers have a top-20 rushing offense and the Crimson Tide have the number one rushing defense with just 70.8 yards per game this season.
The Crimson Tide are looking for their fourth national championship in seven seasons as head coach Nick Saban looks for his fifth overall title, which would arguably make him the greatest college football coach in history.
The big name to watch in this game for the Tide will obviously be Henry, who racked up 2,061 yards on the ground, the most in the country. He was also third in the country with yards per game.
However, you have to watch for the big matchup on the outside with freshman phenom wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who will go up against Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander. This could be the most anticipated matchup in college football this season.
Both of these teams are coming into the game having won their semifinal games by big margins. It should be an electric environment in Phoenix tomorrow night.
ESPN is bringing back its Megacast that it had for last year’s national championship game. Every channel in the ESPN Family of Networks will be occupied with the traditional telecast taking place on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. EST.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports