Morning. This is it, all. The culmination of four months of football and many more of the assorted sideshows associated with the sport. This one ticks off a lot of the boxes that make for high drama:
- a title rematch
- Heisman finalists squaring off
- contrasting styles in coaching, offense, et. al.
- the established dynasty vs. the flashy upstart
- and so on and so forth (just turn on ESPN for five minutes to hear all about it)
Anyway, it’s going to be a fun one. Last year’s was a treat, and this year’s playoff has pretty clearly established the worthiness of the two finalists. If we thought Alabama’s destruction of Washington was impressive on the last day of 2016, Clemson went ahead and said “hold my beer and watch this” and proceeded to eviscerate a good Ohio State team with robotic efficiency.
It was a wild season at times. It was, as usual, over too quickly. There were moments, like the Arkansas goalline stand or the end of the Tennessee game, that reminded us of what it felt like to watch a determined team exert its will against a good opponent. Then there was November, which we’ve all already forgotten because nothing happened in that month nope it’s just a four-week fog of leftovers, dropping temperatures, and pumpkin spice-induced lethargy.
It doesn’t matter who you’re pulling for tonight. Maybe you’re one of those SEC die-hards who will pull for conference pride even if it makes the suffocating dominance of Saban’s deathhold over all of us that much stronger. Or perhaps you love unpredictability and the erratic folksiness of Dabo. Either way we get to see two well-coached teams play on the biggest stage for a second time in as many years. Strip away all the buildup and hype and 25 different broadcasts, and you’ve got some great football at the heart of it. And football is fun.