National College Championship: Alabama vs. Ohio State

MGN

Nick Saban might be the greatest college coach of all time. He gets a lot of money to do those insurance commercials on TV. Of course his players don’t get a dime. That’s the American way—you win with players, but in college players are not paid.

Alabama, a 20-point favorite, defeated Notre Dame 31-14 in one National Semifinal on New Year’s Day, and Ohio State got sweet revenge against Clemson 49-28. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields threw a record six touchdown passes.

Last year Clemson ended Ohio State’s unbeaten season 29-23. Fields is now 20-1 as the starting quarterback at Ohio State.

Notre Dame, ranked number four, was no match for number-one unbeaten Alabama. Alabama was a 20-point favorite; the Irish are now 0-7 since 1998 in College Bowl BCS playoffs or on New Year’s Day Bowl games. However, if you bet on Alabama as a 20-point favorite, you lost.

Notre Dame might be the biggest name in college football, but that has little to do with winning championships. The Fighting Irish last won a national championship in 1988. Ex-Gopher coach Lou Holtz was the head coach that year at Notre Dame.

Clemson, a seven-point favorite vs. Ohio State, falls short again with the consensus College Player of the Year quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence will be among the finalists Tuesday in New York to win the Heisman Trophy.

Ohio State, the BIG Champion, is now 7-0. There are questions about their legitimacy for not playing a full slate of conference games because of COVID-19 cancellations, and because the BIG presidents had to change the rules because they played only five games. The rule was six games minimum just to play Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship.

Politics are all over college football. Remember, back in August the Big Ten Conference presidents voted not to play this year because of the coronavirus. Big Ten first-year Commissioner Kevin Warren was the scapegoat at the time, but after he received a phone call from Donald Trump, magically the Big Ten presidents reconsidered, voted again, and the Big Ten decided to play in 2020 after all.

Alabama had fans at their games in 2020; Ohio State did not. If you’re keeping score, the states of Ohio and Alabama both voted for Trump on November 3 in the presidential election. Monday, January 11, it’s SEC vs. BIG in a battle of the unbeaten. Alabama is favored by seven vs. Ohio State for the National College Football Championship.

About Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald is a longstanding contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday and Friday at 9:10 am, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

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