Forget Wild Card Weekend, now it’s time for some football.The best sport in the country is having the best championship game in all the land tonight. If you haven’t been paying attention, the last 3 CFP Championship games were incredible instant classics, and two of them were between these two teams, Clemson and Alabama. This is the rubber match.
I’ve done the research, and after many hours of analysis, I can say that, on paper, these are the two best teams to play for the title in at least 10 years. Maybe ever. To begin with, these are two 14-0 teams who dominated most of their schedules and had very few hiccups this season. Neither team played the toughest schedules around- both had fortunate cross-conference draws, and their big non-conference opponents turned out to be a lot worse than when those games were booked. But even the ranked teams they did play were no match.
These two teams also boast, now that Urban has quit, the two best coaches in the country. So at first glance, they both look great. So, how do we decide on a pick? Well, let’s look at the numbers, eh.
Clearly my analysis works, as our insane win% this year (and nailing the CFP Championship last year) will tell you. As I shared with you last year, my analysis relies heavily on a few key areas:
- 3rd Down
- Red Zone Scoring
- Turnover Margin
- Passer Rating
- Yards/ Rush
As I started looking into Bama and Clemson I realized quickly there are no discernible advantages here. This was a similar case with Georgia last year, but in 2019, these teams are actually both much better than last years’ finalists, relative to the nation.
You can look this up on cfbstats.com if you want, because I’m not going to list out all the numbers. But just trust me when I tell you, there is no one area that jumps out as a red flag for either team. I even looked at stats vs Power 5 opponents and vs. Ranked opponents, and nothing changed. These teams are God damn wagons no matter who they play.
When faced with a similar issue last season, I looked at big plays. Guess what? Both teams are top 10 in the nation in plays of 20+, 30+ and 40+ yards. So a big play will probably win this one… but no clue for whom.
How about special teams? Both teams kinda suck kicking FG’s. Alabama is better, but 73.7% is hardly a reason to bet on. Neither team is particularly prone to breaking (or allowing) a long kickoff return. Damn…this is the hardest game I’ve ever had to breakdown.
Wait a second, I got so into writing this, I didn’t even check the record Against The Spread…what an idiot. (Checks record) fucking kidding me?!?!? Both 8-6! So what the hell are we gonna do? Well, that depends…do you trust me? At this point you really should. We’ve made you some serious cash this year, let’s have some fun with some of it.
Pick #1: Over 57.5Both teams can really move the ball and they put up points when they do- both top 25 at Red Zone %. This seems counterintuitive with such great defenses, but each team is much stronger up front than in the secondary. That means we could see more passing, which should lead to more points.
Pick #2: First half Bama -3As a long time Bama Bettor I can tell you, they used to let teams hang around and bury them in the 2nd half. This is NOT the case in 2018-19. The Tide are the highest scoring 1st half team in the country (31.5 PPG) and jumped out to a 31-10 lead over Oklahoma. I’m counting on this trend, as well as the QB/coach combo of Saban and Tua to be on top of time management toward the end of the 2nd Q and not squander any opportunity or allow a gift score.
Pick #3: Clemson +5.5This one is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t feel it, stick with the first two and call is a season. But, here is my feeling on this
- When you go around all fall touting yourself and your site as the the best…you can’t not pick a winner.
- I actually think Bama wins this game. They have the best coach and the best QB, both of whom have won their last 2 Bowl/CFP games, and looked excellent doing so. Nick Saban’s only true opponent is history at this point and he is going for his SEVENTH National Title tonight. But like I said before, this is the toughest game I’ve ever broken down and 5.5 points is way too much. The moneyline is up around -240, and there just isn’t enough value there to roll with the Tide.
Just got off a conference call with Lil’ Dogg and after some heated words, he talked me down off an ill-advised Money Line bet, and he therefore co-signs on all of this action. If betting straight up, I suspect he’d take Clemson and I’d take Bama. There it is folks. Our picks for the College Football Playoffs National Championship Game.