Clemson and Alabama fans began having flashbacks of last year's national championship game following the College Football Playoff selection show on Sunday.
Ohio State claimed a Big Ten title on Saturday night, taking down previously-fourth-ranked Wisconsin - which was the last undefeated Power 5-conference team - to give it two victories over teams ranked in the Top 5. Maybe they won a scratchoff on a game devised by the College Football Playoff selection committee called "Flamin' Fours". The Crimson Tide and Tigers split those meetings.
"Everything coming into the spring was, 'Oh, man, you won a national championship, how do you stay focused?' We had checked the box, so now we're going to quit working at Clemson", Swinney said. The game, which will kick off January 1 in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, will feature the No. 1 Clemson Tigers, who are the defending National Champions and the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide, who claimed the title in the 2015-16 season.
Saban said that Clemson will be "by far the best team we've played", and he was especially complimentary of the Tigers' defensive line, which has helped the defense rack up the most sacks in the FBS (44). Led by Ezekiel Elliott's 230 rushing yards and four TDs, Ohio State advanced to the national championship game in Dallas where it beat No. 2 OR 42-20. An Alabama wins their matchup in the Sugar Bowl against Clemson and all SEC national title game which I'm sure the national media will just love did it the did they get it right. "In the other playoff games we've played in since then, there's been a bit more focus and understanding of the consequences". This year, the Tigers are led by junior quarterback Kelly Bryant, who has 2,678 passing yards and 13 touchdowns with six interceptions to go with 646 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
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No. 4 Alabama will play No. 1 Clemson on Jan 1 at 7:45 CT in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on ESPN. Last season, it flipped with the No. 1 Tide unbeaten and the No. 2 Tigers with one loss. "We're attacking for another one. I told Deshaun wouldn't it be something if we came back here for the semifinals in a few months". He implored the committee to look at the entire season, and not just the Crimson Tide's lone loss.
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said he is also excited for the game. "We'll certainly need to play our best to have any kind of chance to be successful".
"People don't realize, we got a bunch of motivated individuals".