Staff Predictions for the 2015 National Championship Game
Alabama will play for another national championship on Monday night.
Nick Saban has praised this Crimson Tide team for its unselfishness and commitment to the process, and now they have a chance at bring home a fourth national championship in seven years. Monday night's game between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Barry Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
Wimp Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
Gary Harris (Host of The Gary Harris Show)
Clemson has been fantastic this season and the Tigers are trending in the right direction. The Tigers aren't ready for what they are going to run into on Monday night though. Alabama 30, Clemson 17
Chris Stewart (Host of The Chris Stewart Show)
Clemson provides the toughest challenge, with the most complete team that Alabama has faced since Ohio State last year. But unlike that Sugar Bowl matchup, this Bama team still carries a chip on its shoulder, a laser focus, and the deepest roster in college football. Alabama 27, Clemson 21
Ryan Fowler (Host of The Game)
Ryan McMunn (Producer)
Last prediction until September 3, so I better be right this time. This is the match-up between the two best teams in the country. The College Football Playoff has worked two years in a row, and that means the best team will win the national championship: the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Clemson is a really good team. They've got plenty of NFL talent on both sides of the ball, plus they possess the best QB in college football. That combination is often good enough to win a national championship. But when you go up against the quality depth of a team like Alabama, it's all for naught.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry may be "contained" like he was against Michigan State (if you call 75 yards and two TD's being "contained"), but QB Jake Coker will have another solid game and freshman phenom receiver Calvin Ridley and senior receiver Richard Mullaney, a.k.a. Slottie Pippin, will both have great games, and the Tide defense will again hold an explosive offense to looking like an average team. Alabama 34, Clemson 17
James Hardy (Producer)
As much as Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers have accomplished this season, Alabama is on a mission to take care of what was left unfinished in 2013 and 2014. Derrick Henry and the Alabama front seven on defense will prove to be too much for a talented squad from Clemson. Alabama 31, Clemson 17
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
While there is a seemingly endless number of statistics that people tend to find to support one team’s cause over its opponent (especially when it’s the national championship), here’s a clear one that defends both teams: only Alabama and Clemson have won at least 10 games in each of the past five seasons.
And while it’s true both schools have consistently sustained success in recent years, it doesn’t tell the full story. Over that span, Alabama has two national championships (with a possible third coming), three SEC titles and came within a game (or two) of reaching the national title in the other two seasons it didn’t win it all.
In comparison, Clemson’s accomplishments are respectable but much more modest during that stretch. The Tigers have won two ACC championships and two Orange Bowls, the latter victory coming in its most recent game.
Offensive and defensive numbers aside, Alabama’s current team, which has a noticeably sharper focus than it did in last season’s College Football Playoff as made evident by its 38-0 win over Michigan State, has too much experience in big games to let it slip away now. And for what it’s worth, Nick Saban’s Alabama teams have saved their best for last in their three previous trips to this game. Alabama 34, Clemson 16
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
We've arrived to a game that many people never expected to see Alabama playing in after September. The Crimson Tide's defense has carried this team throughout the season and might go down as the best ever under Saban depending on this final game. This will be the biggest test Alabama has faced all season and we'll truly see how great this defense is. Clemson will make plays but Alabama wear down the Tigers defensively. Saban makes it four championships in seven years as the dynasty continues. Alabama 27, Clemson 13