Nick Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban during practice for the CFP championship game against Clemson. (Photo by

I would be so much more excited to be getting ready to watch Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship game if it were Oklahoma playing Notre Dame.

For many real and “faux” Alabama fans, that’s probably something you don’t want to hear. And for the “faux” fans … faux means fake. You know who you are. The Bama fans who started yelling Roll Tide over the last eight to 10 years because they became the hottest and best team in the country. You faux fans make me sick because none of you can name who the coach for Alabama was before Nick Saban. (Hint: his dad was the best head coach of the Miami Dolphins). But I digress.

I would rather this year’s CFP title game be any other matchup than Alabama-Clemson. We’ve been there, seen that and already have the T-shirt for it.

This is the third time in the five years of the CFP that the Tide has met the Tigers for the title. And the fourth time in that same time span that they have faced off. Bama is 2-1 in CFP games against Clemson and the two have split there title game matches.

I like parity in sports — and I hate dynasties. 

I would not call Clemson a dynasty of late, but Bama under Nick Saban is definitely a dynasty. The Tide has won five national title since Saban took the reins of one of the most storied programs in college football in 2007. A win on Monday will give him his sixth title and tie him with Bear Bryant with the most titles delivered to T-Town.

I don’t really have any negativity toward Saban. I think he is the greatest college football coach of all time. That is a hard sentence to type for an LSU fan who saw Saban lead the Tigers to their first national title in 45 years before bolting to the NFL (after he furiously denied such) and then returning two years later to coach one of the Tigers’ biggest rivals.

Do I think LSU would be the program that Bama is now if Saban never went to the NFL? Absolutely. Does it upset me? Not really. Remember, I am not a fan of dynasties. And I am not a fan of “faux” fans. And that is exactly what LSU would have if it was in the same place that Bama finds itself under Saban.

There would be rednecks from Pachuta to Pascagoula, from Waynesboro to West Point, from Greenville to Gautier who would be “diehard” LSU fans just because the Tigers were so successful.

I have been locked in as an LSU fan since 1990 when I went to my first game in Tiger Stadium and watched as the Tigers lost to Ole Miss. I still carry my ticket stub from that game in my wallet. I will not waiver, and no matter how good or how bad the Tigers are I will be forever LSU.

It would just be nice to watch two teams not from Tuscaloosa or Clemson, S.C., play one another in the national tile game.

As far as Monday’s game goes … I think the Tide should roll.

Clemson has not faced an opponent this season with anywhere close to the amount of talent that Bama has on both sides of the ball. The Tigers have almost as good of a defense as Bama, but I don’t think they can slow the Tide offense for a full 60 minutes.

The Tigers have a pretty good offense, but when true-freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence goes up against the Tide defense, I think he will be shell-shocked and confused at times — at least in the first half.

Bama has a pair of QBs who can lead it to the title and both will likely play in the game. But defense wins championships and Bama’s is a step above a Tigers defense that competes in the ACC.

When it’s all said and done on Monday, look for Saban to hoist another national title trophy as his Tide takes down the Tigers, 38-20.

Maybe next year we can get two new teams in the CFP title game. But after my last wish list was sent to Santa, I sure won’t be asking the fat guy in red for any help.

Guru Nichols is former sports editor of the Leader-Call.


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