I’ve been watching all kinds of sports TV to prepare this column for the 68 loyal readers who follow this thing, and I’ve got a burning question before I start answering how Clemson could beat Alabama for real, and how the line is down from Bama -6 to -4.5 despite the supreme confidence of Tide fans that the Dabos will be vaporized before the middle of the second quarter, kind of like Oklahoma and Notre Dame were in last week’s boring as hell semifinal games, which proved we really, really don’t need an eight-team playoff.
Outrage at men’s fashion commentary
We can do this like a video game – skip to the game commentary, or go down this rabbit hole with me. Somebody who knows, please, fill me in: Why do the hippest possible youth of today’s sporting media broadcast talent wear brown shoes with blue suits? See below.
OK, OK, this is a picture I took of an NFL show and not the College Football Playoff one because it went off before I could find my iPhone. But all those TV guys do the shoe and suit atrocity. Jesus said it and I believe it: blue and brown don’t go together. America’s ruined.
Actual Clemson vs. Alabama commentary
Is this getting old or is it the greatest rivalry in the history of all sport? Alabama and Clemson have played each other in three of the five national championship games, and last year Alabama beat Clemson in the semifinals on the way to an overtime win over Georgia, which is located in Athens, about halfway between Tuscaloosa and Clemson.
In the five-year history of the CFP, Alabama and Clemson have combined for 10 of the 14 games won. It’ll be 11 of 15 after Monday night.
So again we have two teams from the nation’s boondocks playing in Santa Clara, California, and anybody who actually wants a ticket has to travel 2,500 miles to get there.
Will the bold College Football Playoff experiment prove that college football is a regional thing, or will it be like chicken and waffles and bring the wonder of Southern Culture to the whole of America, which has yet to realize that the greatest NFL game ever played is twice as dull as watching Alabama and Clemson play twice a day from now until the 2019 college football season opener on Aug. 31?
Here’s the deal: If Clemson can knock Bama’s OL off the ball and control the line of scrimmage, limit big runs by Alabama’s 47 future NFL tailbacks and keep Tua Tagovaila scampering around so he can’t take deadly aim on his four blue-streak receivers, they have a chance to win. It would also help if they force several costly turnovers and injure a key player or two.
See, that’s what Georgia did and Georgia almost won as we have been incessantly reminded by video, gif, static image galleries and written content on all platforms available to the modern media. That doesn’t take into account that Tua was playing on a leg so bad that if he was a horse they would have shot him. The minute Bama put in a quarterback with two good wheels, the whupass poured down from the sky like a righteous rain of eternal vengeance so much that Kirby Smart called for a fake punt on fourth-and-long at midfield with four minutes left and the score tied because he knew no matter where Alabama got the ball they’d score in four minutes or less. Monday after the ball game, Tua had a surgical implantation of bionic, indestructible stainless steel tendons placed into his ankle and less than a month later he beat Oklahoma’s ass like a kettle steel drum in a reggae band, scooting around and throwing dimes at will to every eligible receiver in a red shirt. That doesn’t take into account that Oklahoma has the worst defense I ever saw.
Clemson will be missing defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, who is the greatest player in human history as we have been constantly reminded three times an hour by somebody on ESPN since Dexter got caught with ostarine coursing through his veins. That’s some drug that’s supposed to make you do football better. I never tried, saw or heard of it, which shows you how out of the drug abuse loop I am.
Dexter plays the right side of the Tigers DL, but guess what? Deonte Brown, who would have been playing for Alabama right across from him, has also been suspended for some drug that Nick Saban won’t identify.
Clemson has plenty of good defensive linemen and Bama’s got a lot of good offensive linemen, but Albert Huggins isn’t as good as Dexter and Lester Cotton isn’t as good as Deonte or they’d be starting, wouldn’t they? I’d be tempted to call that one a wash if I hadn’t with my own eyes seen Notre Dame blow a couple of massive holes in the Clemson line over where Dexter would have been. Notre Dame is awful and their running backs couldn’t outrun a glacier so they couldn’t do anything with a five-yard-wide hole and the safety 20 yards downfield being the closest opponent to the ball. Alabama will definitely be able to generate maximum harm should a similar situation arise.
I can’t get over the fact that Clemson’s defense gave up 500 yards passing to South Carolina, either. South Carolina is a lot less good than Alabama, though I guess Clemson should be a tad more focused this week, it being the national championship game and all. But damn. Five. Hundred. Yards.
Clemson’s offense should be able to bang at the edges of the Alabama defense and make things unpleasant for the red boys. Alabama cornerbacks Savion Smith and Patrick Surtain got lit up like Salem witches by Oklahoma. But that was Kyler Murray holding the torch, and though I really like Clemson’s baby quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who’s going to play in the NFL when he grows up. He doesn’t play like a pure freshman, but he is, and Kyler is a stone killer, a battle-hardened Heisman Trophy war machine. Kyler’s best play is when he goes back to pass and nobody’s open so he can unleash his 4.3 forty on baffled linebackers who can do little more than watch him go by and holler to the safety to look out, he’s coming hard. Trevor’s got some scoots, but you will never see him playing centerfield for the Oakland A’s, which Kyler could be doing later this year if he wants to.
If it comes down to the kicking game – we might play overtimes until Wednesday morning, because they both suck.
I think Alabama’s a little better than Clemson and has two or three more horses. They’re good enough to win, and probably to cover 4.5 points.
I could be wrong, It wouldn’t be the first time.