DISCLAIMER: This part of the season preview, along with the B1G Championship Game, is hypothetical. Ohio State could very well not make it to Pasadena nor could Alabama. However, this is just for fun and to get excited for the season. Ohio State will definitely be in this game though.
If Ohio State is in the National Championship Game, plenty of good things had to have happened in Columbus. Braxton Miller was as good as advertised, the defensive front stepped up, and the Buckeyes went into some very hostile environment and won some big games.
The same goes for the Alabama Crimson Tide. They would have had to have won the SEC Championship, which is almost a National Title game in itself.
The team with the most BCS Bowl appearances against the team with the most BCS National Championships facing off in the final BCS Game ever.
The team who “started” the run of SEC National Championships with a loss to Florida can now be the team who “ended” the run of SEC National Championships.
Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer: the two top coaches in the country facing off in a final showdown.
It would be like a BCS armageddon.
Let’s break it down.
Since 1869, Ohio State and Alabama have only met three times and Alabama has won on all three occasions.
The first matchup came on January 2, 1978 in the Sugar Bowl and the Crimson Tide trounced the Buckeyes, 35-6.
The next matchup came in a “Kickoff Classic” game on August 27th, 1986 in East Rutherford, New Jersey and again, the Buckeyes were beat by the Tide, 16-10.
The last matchup came on January 2nd, 1995 in the Citrus Bowl and one more time, the Buckeyes were beat, 24-17.
It’s been almost 18 years since the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide met on the gridiron and hopefully we won’t get to 19.
The Alabama offense has run like a well-oiled machine in their back-to-back National Championship seasons and AJ McCarron is the driver that makes it all run smooth.
McCarron, more famous for his ex-girlfriend than for his on-field performances, has been a part of the past two National Championships and is always seemingly overlooked.
Last year, it was TJ Yeldon and the offensive line who stole the show. The year before was Trent Richardson and that same group of lineman.
Yet, there’s McCarron, always doing his job. Not simply a game-manager, McCarron is actually an incredibly efficient and fundamentally sound QB.
You doubt that? Take a look at his 2012 stats:
2,933 yards. 30 TDs. 3 Picks. THAT’S A 10-1 TOUCHDOWN TO INTERCEPTION RATIO.
This season, McCarron may finally get the credit he deserves and take home the Heisman Trophy. He does have Eddie Lacy in the backfield, and that always helps, but if McCarron improves in the slightest from last season, he’s going to take College Football by storm.
However, the offensive line did lose some tremendous talent last season in Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack, and DJ Fluker. If they can’t be replaced, the Alabama offense- and McCarron- may not be as good as imagined.
The Ohio State offense runs a dramatically different style than Nick Saban’s bunch, but should be even more dynamic. While Alabama may beat you with fundamentals, Ohio State will beat you with talent and athleticism.
Offensively, it’s literally the best of both worlds.
This is where the Alabama Crimson Tide has made their mark on college football history. Nick Saban and his staff, in the last couple of seasons, have put together some of the finest defenses this sport has ever seen.
Let’s look at this statistically.
Alabama, last season, was the top-ranked team in terms of total defense, allowing just 250 total yards per game. They were also the top-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 153 points on the season and 10.93 points per game.
Mind you, this is all coming in the best conference in college football that exhibits some of the best young talent in the country week after week.
The most incredible part is, they have yet another solid veteran group of defenders ready for the 2013 season. The lone sophomore in the starting lineup is cornerback Geno Smith.
The rest? Seven juniors and three seniors.
It’s amazing that there were four Alabama defensive players drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft and they seem to be the same, if not better, as they were last season.
The Ohio State defense, in much the same way, has holes to fill. There entire defensive line was depleted. A couple of leaders were depleted. Yet, things don’t seem to be all that bad for the Silver Bullets and there front seven this season.
That’s what the key to this team is, however. If the defense can step up to Coach Meyer’s level of expectation, I don’t think there’s a doubt that they will be competing for the Crystal Ball with these same Crimson Tide.
As was previously mentioned, these are two best coaches in the country. Both have competed at the highest level for the past decade and both will make sure their teams are entirely ready for the bright lights that come with the National Championship Game.
There is no edge on either side, but instead, it would make for one of the greatest coaching matchups we’ve seen since Coach Meyer took his year-long hiatus
Anything can happen. Ohio State’s dynamic offense could finally be too much for the Alabama defense. The Alabama defense could overwhelm the Ohio State offense. I honestly believe the Ohio State defense can stop the Alabama offense however, but that may not even matter, should the Crimson Tide shut down the Buckeyes and their offensive playmakers.
Honestly, it’s too close to call. However, I must.
Braxton Miller leads a last minute effort to put the Buckeyes within field goal range and it all comes down to the final kick.
Urban Meyer, the special teams fanatic, has his group ready to go. Drew Basil takes his steps and stares down the uprights. The snap, the hold, the kick…
It’s good. Ohio State wins 24-23.
One of the best football games ever played is over. The SEC National Championship streak is over.
Pandemonium ensues as “The Chase” is over and the Buckeyes hold the final BCS National Championship Trophy in their hands.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are the 2014 NCAA Football National Champions.