laTua vs. Kyler. An unstoppable force vs. an immovable object.
With the Capital One Orange Bowl between No.4 Oklahoma vs the defending national champion No.1 Alabama Crimson Tide in the first national semifinal game of the College Football Playoff, fans may be in for what promises to be a real treat.
Alabama, coached by arguably the greatest college football coach of this generation in Nick Saban, who is 140-20 in 12 years down in Tuscaloosa—the best in the FBS during that time frame—is aiming for his sixth national title, which would break a tie with Bear Bryant for most all-time in the AP poll era.
Led by Tua Tagovailoa, the Crimson Tide roll into South Beach with the second-highest scoring offense in all of college football in averaging 47.9 points per game, led by a Hawaiian-born southpaw in Tagovailoa that is channeling his inner Steve Young.
If Tagovailoa can somehow outscore and go point-for-point with the Sooners’ top-ranked scoring offense (49.5), then the Crimson Tide has a good shot of defending their title out in Silicon Valley.
On the other side, newly-minted 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, Kyler Murray is the point man behind Lincoln Riley’s up-tempo, high-octane offense that puts up points a la Madden.
Where Alabama can hang their hat as opposed to Oklahoma is on defense. As the saying goes, defense wins championships.
In a game that may favor Oklahoma in terms of points, the Sooners defense leads a lot to be desired as they rank 91st in the country out of 100 FBS schools in allowing 32.4 points a game compared to Alabama allowing only 14.7, good for fourth-best in the country.
If the Orange Bowl is high-scoring, it may favor the Sooners, but if Alabama can keep pace and contain Murray, then the Tide will emerge victorious.
Prediction: Alabama 35 Oklahoma 24