1 Alabama 41
4 Ohio State 31
After all the debating on who should be in the first ever College Football Playoffs, on major networks such as ESPN and the CBS Sports Network, the time is finally here. No more talking about it, it’s time to settle it on the field. In the first preview we have the 4th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes taking on the number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. The Buckeyes got into the playoffs, after an impressive 59-0 beat down, of the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Conference Title Game in Indianapolis.
Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer has done an outstanding job with utilizing the personnel, on a roster that had two dynamic starters at the quarterback position. At the beginning of the season, Heisman Trophy hopeful Braxon Miller goes down before the season ever started, when he suffered a season ending injury to his right shoulder in practice source.
Meyer found a gem in backup quarterback J.T. Barrett who led Ohio State to nine straight victories, until he suffered a season ending injury against arch rival Michigan. In comes third string backup Cardale Jones, who guided the Buckeyes to an impressive victory in the conference title game against Wisconsin. The Ohio State Buckeyes are facing a different animal in the Alabama Crimson Tide of the Southeastern Conference.
However, this is not your dominant Alabama team that we have seen in years past. The Crimson Tide has struggled with teams such as Ole Miss, Arkansas, and SEC West rivals LSU and Auburn. If the Buckeyes want to have any type of success against the Crimson Tide, they must keep all of their mistakes to a minimum. Do you remember what happened in the Alabama vs LSU game? Running Back T.J. Yeldon fumbled the ball which was recovered by the Tigers at the Alabama 6-yard-line.
However, a penalty on the LSU offense for an unsportsman like conduct, caused the Tigers to kick a field goal instead of going for the possible game winning touchdown. The final outcome of that penalty resulted in an overtime victory for the Tide, which kept their playoff hopes alive. The reason why I say all of that, is because it was the simple mistakes that killed teams such as Arkansas, Auburn, and LSU when they went up against Alabama. Hopefully, the Buckeyes have learned from the mistakes that those ball clubs have made.
If there is anyone who knows Nick Saban inside out it would be Urban Meyer. These two competitive head coaches have faced each other on numerous occasions, which resulted in the winner playing for the National Title. That’s one advantage that the Buckeyes have going into this ball game. Not too many teams have a head coach that pretty much knows Saban’s tendencies and tactics, when it comes to big games outside of the Southeastern Conference like Meyer does.
My prediction for this ball game is that the Buckeyes keep it close, but it will not be enough to contain the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide. Hopefully, this game will not become lopsided, due to the fact that the moment may be too big for third string quarterback Cardale Jones.