Lanthorn sports DI college football championship picks
The Alabama Crimson Tide will square off against the Clemson Tigers Monday, Jan. 9 at 8:30 ET.
Beau Troutman -- Clemson 30, Alabama 20
Ah, "Little Nicky" Nick Saban, we meet again. The Alabama head coach will be going for his sixth national championship of his career, and his fifth at 'Bama. The Tide will be squaring off against Clemson in a rematch of the 2016 national championship, a game 'Bama won 45-40. In a very unusual chain of events, 'Bama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin left the team to take over as Florida Atlantic's coach after their 24-7 first round win over Washington. That, coupled with the presence of true freshman Jalen Hurts at quarterback will cause some problems on that side of the ball. Not only that, but Clemson and defensive coordinator Brent Venables are coming off of a 31-0 shutout over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson will go out in a blaze of glory and give coach Dabo Swinney his first championship.
Josh Peick -- Alabama 17, Clemson 7
I feel like I'm selling my soul to the devil here picking Alabama, but they are just way better than everyone else. Their defense may be the best the program has ever fielded. As a fan, I will be rooting for Clemson all the way. As a realistic observer of the game, I expect the Tide to be holding the trophy at the end of the game.
Jacob Arvidson -- Clemson 24, Alabama 21
I can't imagine either team putting up a goose egg like the Ohio State Buckeyes in round one, but I do expect a low-scoring affair. Strong defense is going to be the theme in this one and I think it will be close late. Clemson has made a living on squeaking by with close finishes this year and I think they'll put a cap on their season by doing it once more.
Robbie Triano -- Alabama 34, Clemson 17
People love the underdog story: David versus Goliath, the 1980 Winter Olympics “Miracle on Ice” and Frazier beating Ali because no one likes a bully, which in this case is Alabama in their quest of finishing its season undefeated and going (Drake voice) back-to-back. But on Monday, Jan. 9, the underdog (Clemson) does not get their day. Why? Because when you watch ‘Bama, they are clearly bigger, stronger and just simply more polished with coach Nick Saban as their messiah leading them to the promised land. 'Bama takes the dub in convincing fashion 34-17 over Clemson. Roll Tide.
Jake Carroll -- Clemson 27, Alabama 20
To be perfectly frank, I don’t want either one of these teams to win. Alabama coach Nick Saban is one of my least favorite people in sports right now, and I don’t like Clemson because my dad went to South Carolina. If I had to pick my poison, it would have to be Clemson, though. For the sake of seeing Nick Saban in tears, I hope Deshaun Watson obliterates Alabama’s defense. I’m taking the Tigers 27-20.
Brendan McMahon -- Alabama 27, Clemson 21
I have Alabama beating Clemson to give them their fifth nation championship within the past decade. While Clemson quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up Deshaun Watson leads one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, Alabama’s defense, with five projected first rounders in this coming NFL Draft, will shut them down. The Tide’s offense with freshman Jalen Hurts at quarterback and the powerful running back committee led by Bo Scarbrough will be the most physical challenge the Tigers have faced all year. The Tide role 27-21.
Brady McAtamney -- Alabama 36, Clemson 30
There's a reason it's Roll Tide. It's not Roll Huskies, and we saw that last weekend when Alabama manhandled Washington 24-7. It's certainly not Roll Buckeyes, either, as Clemson dominated that game as well as any team could. But, nor is it Roll Tigers, and though I have love for quarterback Deshaun Watson, receiver Mike Williams and the rest of the Clemson faithful, the near-unbeatable Tide will, you guessed it, Roll. 36-30 'Bama. But would they beat the Cleveland Browns? (The answer is absolutely freaking not)