National Championship Mini-Preview: Alabama vs. Clemson

Tag: Alabama


9Jan 2017
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National Championship Mini-Preview: Alabama vs. Clemson

Artavis Scott

WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH

The game will start shortly after 8:00 p.m. The broadcast will be on ESPN with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder, and Tom Rinaldi in their various booth and sideline roles.

ALABAMA ROSTER NOTES

  • Players offered by Michigan: DT Jonathan Allen, CB Shyheim Carter, LB Ben Davis, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, TE Miller Forristall, WR Robert Foster, LB Terrell Hall, DE Da’shawn Hand, RB Damien Harris, TE Hale Hentges, CB Nigel Knott, CB Jared Mayden, LB Joshua McMillon, RB Bo Scarbrough, TE Irv Smith, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, OT Jonah Williams, LB Mack Wilson
  • RB Damien Harris is a one-time Michigan commit

CLEMSON ROSTER NOTES

  • Players offered by Clemson: DE Austin Bryant, WR T.J. Chase, DE Clelin Ferrell, OT Jake Fruhmorgen, OG Zach Giella, OT Mitch Hyatt, CB Trayvon Mullen, S Tanner Muse, LB Dorian O’Daniel, WR Diondre Overton, DT Scott Pagano, WR Artavis Scott,
  • WR Artavis Scott was a high school teammate of Michigan center Mason Cole

THINGS TO WATCH

  • Alabama could become the first team to go 15-0.
  • Alabama beat Clemson 45-40 in last year’s national championship game.
  • Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was hired for that role next year, but he steps in early after offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin left for the head coaching job at FAU. Sarkisian was just an offensive analyst on staff prior to this promotion.

RANDOM NOTE

  • I saw Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney at a clinic a couple years ago. After that and reading about him, I really like the guy. He seems like a very down-to-Earth type of person, and he’s genuine in his passion for the game of football. I also saw Nick Saban at a clinic several years ago, and I was not as impressed. I know Saban has had a lot more success, but Swinney’s a tough guy not to like, in my opinion.

THOUGHTS ON THE GAME

  • Clemson lost a lot of talent last year. I know every elite team does, but their personnel losses were significant on the defensive line and in the defensive backfield. They’ve got a puncher’s chance, and I love their wide receivers.
  • Alabama is very good at every level. Clemson has an obvious advantage at QB with Deshaun Watson over Jalen Hurts, and they also have an advantage at WR. But that’s about it.
  • Alabama 38, Clemson 34

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11Jan 2016
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National Championship: Alabama vs. Clemson players to watch

The national championship game will be played tonight. It starts at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. Here are some roster notes. If you’re like me at all, you might want to keep an eye on a few guys who were recruited by Michigan.

ALABAMA

  • DE Jonathan Allen, QB Blake Barnett, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, LB Reuben Foster, WR Robert Foster, DE Da’Shawn Hand, RB Damien Harris, TE Hale HentgesCB Cyrus Jones, C Ryan Kelly, LB Dillon Lee, S Geno Matias-Smith, LB Joshua McMillon, OT Cam Robinson, RB Bo Scarbrough, CB Kendall Sheffield, CB Maurice Smith, LB Adonis Thomas, DE Dalvin Tomlinson
  • RB Damien Harris is a former Michigan commit
  • Player from the state of Michigan: walk-on OL Chris Posa from Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s

CLEMSON

  • DE Clelin Ferrell, OT Jake Fruhmorgen, C Zach Giella, OT Mitch Hyatt, WR Ray-Ray McCloud III, S Tanner Muse, LB Dorian O’Daniel, DT Scott Pagano, WR Charone Peake, WR Artavis Scott
  • Zero Clemson Tigers are from the state of Michigan
  • Clemson has just six (6!) players on their roster from north of North Carolina. There are 2 from Maryland, 2 from Virginia, 1 from New York, and 1 from Massachusetts.

FINAL PREDICTION

  • Alabama 30, Clemson 21

Starters are in bold

8Dec 2014
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Thoughts on the Inaugural College Football Playoff

The inaugural College Football Playoff seedings were announced on Sunday afternoon, and as expected, there are lots of arguments going on around the country.

#1 Alabama (12-1) vs. #4 Ohio State (12-1) in the Sugar Bowl
I realize that Florida State has had several close victories this season against a pretty weak schedule, but the Seminoles have won 29 consecutive games. I don’t really see why an undefeated Power 5 conference team shouldn’t be ranked higher than two one-loss teams in Alabama and Oregon. I do think Alabama and Oregon have been more impressive this year, but Herm Edwards said, “You play to win the game.” Florida State has won the game every time for over two years. (Full disclosure: I strongly dislike Jameis Winston and have a distaste for the nonsense that has gone on in Tallahassee since forever ago.) So I think FSU should be #1 and playing Ohio State in this game. It will be very interesting to watch the Crimson Tide play Ohio State, though. I think the Buckeyes are going to really struggle to slow down Alabama’s running game with T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, although OSU’s pass rush might cause some trouble for Alabama.

#2 Oregon (12-1) vs. #3 Florida State (13-0) in the Rose Bowl
This game should be Alabama vs. Oregon, in my opinion. But since it’s Oregon and Florida State, I’ll have to pick the Ducks in this one. I know I said above that FSU should be the top-ranked team, but Oregon will put more pressure on FSU than the other teams they’ve beaten. The Seminoles have won their last four games – against Miami, Boston College, Florida, and Georgia Tech – by an average of 3.5 points.

Teams left out: TCU and Baylor
I feel bad for TCU and Baylor for being left out of the playoff, but not bad enough to want a six- or eight-team playoff. The bottom line is that if you’re not one of the top few teams in the country, you don’t deserve to win the national championship. This is one year where the #5 and #6 teams have an argument to be #4 with a chance to be champs, but there are some years where #5 and #6 are clearly a notch below the top few teams. Those teams shouldn’t be rewarded for getting hot or catching a couple breaks come playoff time. I always refer back to the New York Giants beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl following the 2007 season. The Giants were 10-6 during the regular season, but they got hot and beat the Patriots, who were 16-0 in the regular season. Does that win mean the Giants were the best team in the NFL that year? Absolutely not, but they get to claim to be champs forever and ever. The differences aren’t as stark in college (since there are more teams, you’re going to have more undefeated or one-loss teams), but I don’t think college players should be asked to beat up their bodies and play football almost year-round just because the #6 or #8 team in the country wants a shot to play with the big boys.

My guess is that we’ll see Alabama and Oregon in the national championship game.

7Jan 2013
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Mini Preview: Alabama vs. Notre Dame

This is just a mini-preview of the national championship game, since I don’t really have a dog in the fight.  However, Michigan is in the unique position of having played both national championship contenders during the regular season; the Wolverines lost to Alabama by a score of 41-14 and followed that up three weeks later with a 13-6 loss to Notre Dame.

Roster notes

  • Michigan recruited DT Chris Bonds, S Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, LB Trey DePriest, CB John Fulton, RB Dee Hart, CB Cyrus Jones, OL Ryan Kelly, OL Arie Kouandjio, OL Cyrus Kouandjio, LB Dillon Lee, CB Dee Milliner, LB Tana Patrick, RB Blake Sims, CB Geno Smith, DE Dalvin Tomlinson, and CB Jabriel Washington
  • RB Dee Hart was once committed to Michigan prior to the firing of Rich Rodriguez
  • Head coach Nick Saban and TE/ST coach Bobby Williams both used to be head coaches at Michigan State

Roster Notes

  • Michigan recruited K Kyle Brindza, WR Chris Brown, WR DaVaris Daniels, DT Sheldon Day, LB Dan Fox, QB Everett Golson, OT Mark Harrell, DE Jarron Jones, QB Gunner Kiel, OT Christian Lombard, OT Zack Martin, WR Davonte Neal, DT Louis Nix III, S Elijah Shumate, OG Chris Watt, TE Alex Welch, RB Cierre Wood, and CB Lo Wood.
Predictions

  • Alabama’s front seven has its way with Notre Dame’s offensive line
  • Everett Golson shows his lack of experience and turns over the ball three times
  • Notre Dame’s secondary gets burned by some play action passes
  • Alabama 31, Notre Dame 10
18Dec 2012
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2012 AP All-America Team

Taylor Lewan went from Under Armour All-American to AP All-American

The AP All-America Team was released last week, so this isn’t exactly a timely post, but I figured I would gather together the names of players that are pertinent to Michigan fans.

FIRST TEAM
Montee Ball – RB – Wisconsin
Ka’Deem Carey – RB – Arizona
Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan
Chance Warmack – OG – Alabama
Barrett Jones – C – Alabama
Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina
Manti Te’o – LB – Notre Dame
C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama
Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama

SECOND TEAM
D.J. Fluker – OT – Alabama
Spencer Long – OG – Nebraska
Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame
Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame
Johnathan Hankins – DT – Ohio State
Kawann Short – DT – Purdue
Bradley Roby – CB – Ohio State

THIRD TEAM
A.J. McCarron – QB – Alabama
Braxston Cave – C – Notre Dame
John Simon – DE – Ohio State

Of the 75 total players listed on the first, second, and third teams, Michigan played (or will play) against 17 of them, or 23%.  This just reinforces how difficult Michigan’s schedule was, as the Wolverines lost a close game to the #1 team (4 players), lost in a blowout to the #2 team (6 players), lost a close game to a 12-0 team in Ohio State (3 players), and then lost by two scores to Nebraska (1 player).

I threw in Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey simply because he plays for former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez and leads the country with 1,929 rushing yards (and will end the bowl season that way unless someone else busts out with a couple hundred yards in a bowl game, which is possible).

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