Ohio State vs. Alabama: Top 3 storylines ahead of the CFP National Championship
The culmination of the college football season brings with it a litany of intriguing storylines. Here are three of the more important ones bettors should consider ahead of the CFP National Championship Game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Tue, January 12 2021, 1:00 AM
Historic award winners Smith and Wade square off
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith became the first at his position since Desmond Howard in 1991 to win the Heisman Trophy. Smith was the runaway leader in receiving yards this season at 1,641, with his nearest rival being Mississippi’s Elijah Moore at 1,193 yards. But it’s not fait accompli that Smith will dominate the National Championship Game.
Smith is likely to matchup with Ohio State corner back Shaun Wade on a regular basis. Wade – a well-regarded prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft – was an AP All-American and won the Big 10’s Tatum-Woodson Award for defensive back of the year. He was the first Buckeye to take home the latter honor.
SEC has been superb in bowl games this season
The SEC has lived up to its lofty reputation this bowl season, going 5-2 in their first seven games. That includes the Crimson Tide’s Rose Bowl victory over Notre Dame on Jan. 1.
All victories were posted over ranked opponents, and three of the victorious SEC programs were unranked at the time. This bodes well for Alabama in the National Championship Game, as they went a historic 10-0 playing an all-conference schedule this season before defeating Florida in the conference title game.
The Big 10 went 3-1 in bowl games, including Ohio State’s triumph over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.
Ohio State an upstart compared to Alabama
The Buckeyes are a college football blueblood, but Ryan Day’s squad is still overshadowed by Alabama and Nick Saban.
The Crimson Tide have won 15 national titles, the most in the AP Poll era. Saban himself has won five of those with Alabama, and one in 2003 at LSU. A seventh national championship would break the tie between Saban and Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most ever.
Day is 23-1 is two seasons at Ohio State but has yet to win a national title.