Alabama, Clemson again for title

Kyler Murray

And now, after a pair of anticlimactic semifinals on Saturday - Clemson throttling Notre Dame 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl, Alabama outlasting Oklahoma 45-34 at the Orange Bowl - they'll be 1-2 when they meet for the fourth consecutive season on January 7 in Santa Clara, California. The team was officially ranked at No. 5, narrowly placing them out of the playoff run as they prepare for the Sugar Bowl taking place on New Year's Day.

Before Alabama had to rally to beat Georgia 35-28 in the SEC championship game, the closest margin for the Crimson Tide had been 24 points. "It's a great win for us", Saban said. Both sides of the ball had their struggles and failed to execute the way we had seen all season.

The thing that has stood out the most to Swinney thus far in his film review is just how similar the two teams are. It didn't lose once in the regular season.

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"Best teams are whatever you want to make it as the individual - and that's what it should be", Sallee said. "He's really a personal friend that I personally have a tremendous amount of respect for, as a coach, as well", Saban said. "I'm just thankful that we got back and has a better result", Swinney said.

Clemson won the 2016 championship - its only other national title was 1981 - with a 35-31 victory over Alabama after Hunter Renfrow, now a Tigers senior, caught a 2-yard TD from DeShaun Watson with a second remaining in Tampa Bay.

The solution is to enjoy what the CFP produces - a national title game that has been incredible in each of the last three seasons due to two teams that are head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack.

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