By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
With the college football season nearly over, all eyes will turn towards the four-team College Football Playoff which boasts no. 1 University of Alabama Crimson Tide, no. 2 Clemson University Tigers, no. 3 University of Notre Dame, and no. 4 University of Oklahoma Sooners. My pick to win this year’s playoffs is the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Why Alabama? The Crimson Tide has been one of the best college teams for the past decade, winning the College Football Playoffs last year. Alabama also has one of the best coaches in the country, Nick Saban, who owns a 5-2 overall CFP record. Alabama will square off against the No. 4 University of Oklahoma Sooners, a team that has been hyped around QB Kyler Murray and deservingly so. Murray, this past June, was drafted into the MLB by the Oakland A’s with the ninth overall selection in the first round.
Murray has carried his skills from the diamond to the gridiron with his elusive quickness and power of arm that she has shown as a centerfielder. Murray is the projected winner of the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the best College Football Player every year.
The opening game against the Sooners should be a great test for Alabama. There may not be a better coach in the offensive game than Lincoln Riley. The Sooners are averaging 49.5 PPG which is no. 1 in the country. The concern is going to be the defensive side of the ball. Oklahoma did bring in former East Carolina University Head Coach Ruffin McNeill, who has pushed the Sooners defense to new levels, especially in the Big 12 Championship win against the University of Texas. The Sooners defense will have to hold off the no. 2 offense in PPG in Alabama, who averages 47.9 points. The Tide also holds a spoil of riches in the quarterback position with Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa. It was a reversal of the National Championship game when Hurts came in for the injured Tagovailoa and marched the Tide to victory over the University of Georgia in the SEC Championship game last weekend.
The Sooners may be the toughest opponent that the Tide will have to face, especially because Oklahoma has been playing better since the firing of defensive coordinator Bob Stoops. The Tide will have to face the Clemson Tigers or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, both teams that Alabama has beaten in championship games before. The Tide will have their hands full with the Tigers since they arguably have the best defense in the country with a lot of speed on the defensive line. Either way, it should be an entertaining College Football Playoff, with Nick Saban hoisting the trophy once again.