When we were kids we loved pro wrestling. We knew it was scripted and choreographed and the the outcome was predetermined but we still loved it. We had a theory that if it were “real” and there was no plan that Andre the Giant would have beaten everyone every time...except for one. When we saw Big John Studd come out, straddle-step over the top rope, and look Andre in the face, we knew this would be the match up Andre could lose.
That's the match up we have in the CFB Playoff finals. Bama is the juggernaut, the unbeatable giant that can crush any opponent. But then Clemson comes out, maybe not quite as big, not quite as strong, but big enough to look the giant in the face and say, “you’re gonna have to throw your best out there tonight. Your average ain’t gonna cut it tonight.”
The Tide comes into Levi’s Stadium led by Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovaiola. The Tigers are led by freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence. The match ups across the line mirror that of the field generals. Clemson might be a little less noted, a little less famous, but they get the job done. Their performance against Notre Dame demonstrates that they belong in the title game.
Bama is gonna be the favorite but don’t count Clemson out. Even with suspended players, they’re going to be prepared. Clemson's defensive front will put pressure on Tegovaiola, something only Georgia has done so far. Clemson will have the discipline and the determination to stay in the game. They won't make foolish mistakes for Alabama to capitalize on. Alabama is going to have to complete a three day run against Georgia, Oklahoma, and Clemson. Even with the breaks, that;s not an easy task. Dabo Swinney has been on this stage before. He’s stared across at Alabama before. And if anyone is gonna beat Alabama, Clemson is a team that can do it.
We're both looking for an upset.
A quick note to point out a few teams flying under our radar. Our poll is limited to a Top 10. That makes it a bit exclusive. There are some notable exclusions at present. Colorado, NC State, South Florida, and Cincinnati are all undefeated and unranked in our poll. Keep an eye on this bunch. With Top 10 teams facing stiff opposition and these teams laying in wait, at least one of these teams might sneak into next week's poll.
The Curator and other knowledgeable voices...mostly Southerners... on the subject