For the second straight year, a team that didn’t even win its own division, much less a conference title, got into the College Football Playoff. That would be the fourth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Can they win a fifth national title since 2009? Here are three reasons why they can. Be sure to check out the latest odds to win the 2018 National Championship at MyBookie!
3 Reasons to Bet on Alabama to Win the 2018 College Football Playoff
Hey, who knows better than Mybookie.ag oddsmakers? Even though the Tide barely snuck into the playoff over Big Ten champion Ohio State, Alabama is a +180 favorite to win it all – and is a 2-point favorite over Clemson in the national semifinals and will be favored should it win against either Oklahoma or Georgia in the national title game.
The Tide are always favored! The last time they weren’t? An October 2015 game at Georgia, and Bama rolled to victory that day. That ended a 72-game run in which Alabama was favored by at least 2.5 points. The streak dated back to the day it beat Florida 32-12 in the 2009 SEC title game after being a 4.5-point underdog to Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer.
Since its inception in 2014, Alabama is the only team to appear in all four College Football Playoffs and has appeared in the top five of every poll put out by the selection committee over the last four seasons.
How Has the Team Done This Season?
Alabama’s offense scored 40+ points in eight games this season and prior to the Auburn loss had scored in every quarter this season. It ranks 11th in rushing offense nationally, rushing for over 265 yards per game. The Tide rank 12th in scoring offense at 39.1 points per game, up from 38 points per game from last year. Dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts has completed 135 of 223 passes for 1,940 yards and 15 touchdowns. The sophomore is also Alabama’s second-leading rusher, having gained 768 yards and eight touchdowns on 137 carries. In 644 snaps, Hurts has committed two turnovers.
Alabama leads the nation in fourth down conversions on offense, going 12 for 12 on those opportunities this season. The Crimson Tide have scored two touchdowns on fourth down this year. Bo Scarbrough is the most often used on fourth down, converting eight times this year. Hurts also has a 13-yard scramble that setup a fourth quarter touchdown at Mississippi State.
The Tide Know Clemson Well
The national semifinals will be the third straight year that Alabama and Clemson face off. Of course, they played in the past two national title games – both shootouts. Clemson won this past January and the Tide did the year before. Those Clemson teams had superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson. This one doesn’t. Plus, the Tigers lost at a bad Syracuse team in the regular season.
A Brief History of All Encounters
Alabama and Clemson will meet for the 18th time in the history of the two programs, with the Tide owning a 13-4 all-time advantage in the series. Nick Saban is 8-4 in postseason games at Alabama, earning wins over Washington (2016 CFP Semifinal Game at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl), Clemson (2016 CFP National Championship Game), Michigan State (2015 CFP Semifinal Game at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic), Notre Dame (2013 BCS National Championship Game at the Orange Bowl), LSU (2012 BCS National Championship Game at the Sugar Bowl), Michigan State (2011 Capital One Bowl), Texas (2010 BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl) and Colorado (2007 Independence Bowl).
The Tide’s four losses came against Clemson (2017 CFP National Championship Game), Ohio State (2015 CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl), Oklahoma (2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl) and Utah (2009 Allstate Sugar Bowl).
They Have Nick Saban
Under Saban, Alabama has had nine 11-win seasons (2008-09, 2011-17). It is the seventh straight season with at least 11 wins, which is the longest streak of its kind in SEC history. The SEC has had three streaks of three seasons with at least 11 victories, including Alabama from 1973-75, LSU from 2005-07 and South Carolina from 2011-13.
Alabama’s senior class group boasts a four-year record of 51-5, one national championship, three consecutive SEC titles and four College Football Playoff appearances. The 51 wins equals the NCAA record set by Alabama’s 2016 senior class, which posted a 51-6 (.895) career record.
Saban has 19 career wins against a team ranked in the top 5 of the Associated Press Top 25, the most in college football history. Saban’s career winning percentage in those contests (.613) is also college football’s best. Following Saban on the all-time victory list are Bobby Bowden (18/.378 winning percentage), Barry Switzer (15/.516), Woody Hayes (15/.516), Steve Spurrier (15/.429) and Lou Holtz (15/.419).