The college football national title game between Alabama and Ohio State is now set. Crimson Tide fans may be a little nervous given the beatdown the Buckeyes put on Clemson.
But ESPN analyst Paul Finebaum believes that the title game matchup has played out exactly how head coach Nick Saban wanted it to. In his weekly radio spot on WJOX, Finebaum suggested that Saban preferred facing Ohio State to Clemson.
Finebaum explained that Clemson have the confidence that they can beat Alabama, having done it twice before. As a result, Saban would rather take his chances with Ohio State and head coach Ryan Day, who may not have the same confidence despite beating him in 2014.
“In a weird, quirky sort of way, I think deep-down, Nick Saban is happier seeing Ohio State across the field than Clemson,” Finebaum said. “And it’s only because of the history. We all know Alabama and Clemson’s history. I think that’s a program down in South Carolina that knows it can beat Alabama. I don’t think what happened in 2014 has any impact on this game. This is a completely-different world we’re living in.
“I think Saban will probably prefer to take his chances against Ryan Day’s team than another matchup against Dabo Swinney. Although, really, these days with Dabo Swinney, you kind of invite that challenge because you don’t know how Dabo Swinney is going to affect the outcome of the game through his mouth.”
— 247Sports (@247Sports) January 4, 2021
Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide lost in the first-ever College Football Playoff to Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes. But he followed that up with four straight title game appearances and two wins.
The team Saban brings to the table this time around may have the best offense he’s ever had. That could be just the recipe he needs to get some much-sought revenge on the Buckeyes.
Did Nick Saban get the title game matchup he wanted?