AP Poll: Will Alabama, Ohio Austin Peay State Governors shirt State run wire to wire at No. 1 and No. 2?
Should we just lightly pencil in Alabama and Ohio State for the College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 9?
The Crimson Tide and Buckeyes are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the AP and Coaches Poll. Sporting News is Franklin & Marshall Diplomats clothes n't the only publication preemptively calling for a 2021 CFP championship game rematch between powerhouses with the two-best winning percentages in the CFP era.
Will it happen? Spor NCAA Spirit Jerseys ting News looks at the case for and against a Crimson Tide-Buckeyes championship game based on the preseason projections.
BENDER: SEC predictions | Big Ten predictions
Yes, it will happen
Look at Sporting News 2023 NFL Draft Big Board. Alabama and Ohio State have a combined nine playe Akron Zips shirt rs on that list, including the top two quarterbacks in Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. They could Michigan vs. Ohio State Rivalry Jerseys be the top two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson and cornerback Eli Ricks are in the top-10 along with Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
These are the top two rosters in the FBS. How often do the top two teams stay on that 1-2 collision course?
In the 21st century it's happened twice, and both were matchups during the Bowl Championship Series era. USC and Oklahoma stayed in those two spots during the 2004 season, and they had four of the top five players in the Heisman voting in Matt Leinart, who won the award, along with Adrian Peterson, Jason White and Reggie Bush. Of course, the Trojans hammered the Sooners 55-19 in the BCS championship game at the Orange Bowl.
The next year is the one everyon Bethel Wildcats Jerseys e remembers. USC and Texas stayed at No. 1 and No. 2 the entire season. Bush won the Heisman ahead of Texas quarterback Vince Young, but the Longhorns won a 41-38 shootout at the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl in a game that is on the short list of greatest games ever played.
Alabama-Ohio State won't feel quite like that, mainly because we saw it in the CFP championship in 2020 and in the CFP semifinals in 2014. But it doesn't mean they can't stay on the collision course.
No, too many variables
No. 1 and No. 2 have not gone Evansville Purple Aces clothes wire to wire in the CFP era, even if that matchup eventually materiali Florida State Seminoles clothes zed.
Take 2018, for example. Alabama and Clemson opened the season at No. 1 and No. 2, but the Tigers dropped to No. 3 behind Georgia after Week 3. Clemson and Alabama stayed the course, and were back at No. 1 and No. 2 for the last seven weeks of the regular season. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16 in the CFP championship game in a battle of unbeaten teams.
Alabama has the challenge of navigating a tough SEC West schedule, not to mention the prospects of facing defending national champion Georgia in the projected Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Jerseys SEC championship game. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 3 in both polls, and there is not a considerable gap between them and the top two teams.
Ohio State also has a challenging schedule, starting with Notre Dame in the opener and defending Big Ten champion Michigan in the Big Ten regular-season finale. The Buckeyes are coming off a two-loss season in which FSU vs. Miami Rivalry Shirts the defense was not good in losses to Oregon and Michigan, and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was brought over from Oklahoma State to change that. That opener against the Irish means there isn't time to experiment early. That's a top-five showdown with huge consequences.
Verdict: It's going to be Bama-OSU
It's l Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Shirts ined up that way, and it starts with the quarterbacks. Young and Stroud are the only two returning two quarterbacks who passed for at least 3,000 yards and 30 TDs with a QB rating of higher than 175 last season. They are efficient playmakers with loaded supporting casts on both sides of the ball.
MORE: Ohio State's 2022 offense could be best ever
These quarterbacks were on the sideline when future first-round picks Mac Jones and Justin Fields squared off in that 2021 CFP championship game, which Alabama dominated 52-24.
It's entirely possible each team loses one game, and that throws off the wire-to-wire 1-2 thing. But we're betting that the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes win their conference championships. Alabama has won six of the last eight in the SEC, and Ohio State has won five of the last eight in the Big Ten. From there, each team wins a semifinal and sets up a showdown at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 9, 2023.
It's lightly penciled in for now.
It won't be long before you can use a permanent marker.