National Championship 2019: TV Info, Picks for College Football Championship 2019 Alabama and Clemson have been the two best teams in college football this season—and over the past several years. The Crimson Tide and Tigers will write the next chapter of their recent rivalry in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night.
The Crimson Tide are looking to win back-to-back national championships, as well as a third national title in four seasons. The Tigers are seeking their second national title in three seasons.
After Alabama beat Clemson to win the national title at the end of the 2015 season, the Tigers got revenge with a victory over the Crimson Tide a year later. In the 2017 season, the Tide beat the Tigers in the Sugar Bowl in a CFP semifinal matchup.
Much like past meetings between the two schools in the CFP National Championship, it won’t be a surprise to see a close game to end the college football season.
Last year, Alabama beat Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship in a game that marked the start of a new era for the Crimson Tide. During the matchup, Jalen Hurts was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama to a comeback victory in overtime.
After a quarterback competition over the summer, Tagovailoa became the starter for the Crimson Tide at the beginning of this season. He led Alabama to a 12-0 record heading into the SEC Championship Game, with the Tide winning each of those games by at least 22 points.
In the SEC Championship Game, Tagovailoa exited with an ankle injury and was replaced by Hurts, who got redemption by leading the Crimson Tide to the SEC title in their closest game of the season thus far—a 35-28 win over Georgia.
Tagovailoa returned to lead Alabama to a 45-34 win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, a CFP semifinal matchup.
Now, the only team that can prevent an undefeated season for the Crimson Tide is Clemson, with the two schools facing off in the CFP for the fourth straight year.
“We’re certainly looking forward to this game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said during a recent appearance on College GameDay (h/t Brad Crawford of 247Sports). “We’re a little different. They’re a little different. The command thread probably has been they’ve had a lot of really good players and we’ve had good players. It’s been a physical, tough game every time we’ve played and I think this game will be very similar to that in a lot of ways.”
Clemson is also undefeated entering the CFP National Championship. Like Alabama, the Tigers replaced their previous starting quarterback with a younger player.
After Clemson’s first four games of the season, true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence took over the starting job. Lawrence led the Tigers to the ACC Championship while passing for 2,933 yards and 27 touchdowns.
In the biggest game of his career to that point, Lawrence led Clemson to a 30-3 victory over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, a CFP semifinal matchup, passing for 327 yards and three touchdowns.
Now, Lawrence faces an even bigger challenge when the Tigers face the Crimson Tide.
“They’re just a great defense all the way around,” Lawrence said of Alabama, according to David Hood of TigerNet. “Alabama every year always has a good defense, and I think it’s going to be a challenge, obviously.”
Although this edition of Alabama vs. Clemson is going to once again be close, the prediction here is that the Crimson Tide again find a way to capture the national championship.
Tagovailoa will lead Alabama’s high-powered offense to an impressive showing, and the Tide’s defense will come up with a key stop to seal the win late.