Alabama, Ohio State to National Championship Game?

Alabama, Ohio State Appear On Collision Course In National Title Game
The top two teams in the NCAA polls are currently Alabama and Ohio State, and if college football spreads are any indication the Tide and Buckeyes will face off in the national championship game on Monday, Jan. 9, at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium because both schools will be favored in every game the rest of the way. It would only be fitting as Alabama and Ohio State have combined for the first two titles in the College Football Playoff era.
That Alabama will be a favorite in every game under Coach Nick Saban is nothing new. The Tide had a streak of 72 straight games of being favored end last October when they visited Georgia as 1.5-point underdogs on college football spreads. Alabama won that easily 38-10 and rolled to its fourth national championship in seven years under Saban. It hasn't been an underdog since.
Frankly, Saban himself is responsible for most of the coaching turnover in the SEC following LSU's firing of Coach Les Miles recently. There have now been a whopping 24 head coaching changes in the SEC since Saban arrived at Alabama. Seven of those coaches who either left on their own accord  -- Florida's Urban Meyer being one -- or were fired won either a national title or SEC title during their career. Miles was one of those.
Alabama is a five-touchdown home favorite on college football spreads against Kentucky in Week 5 and surely will extend its FBS-best winning streak to 17 straight. The school's longest winning streak under Saban is 19 in a row, set from 2009-10. During the current streak, Alabama has outscored its opponents by 387 points, an average of 24.1 points per game.
After the Kentucky game comes Alabama's toughest four-game stretch of the season: Oct. 8 at No. 20 Arkansas, Oct. 15 at No. 11 Tennessee in a potential SEC Championship Game preview, Oct. 22 vs. No. 9 Texas A&M and Nov. 5 at LSU. Since 2008, the Tide are an incredible 22-6 against AP top-10 teams.
Meanwhile, Ohio State was a preseason Top-10 team but some thought Meyer might be rebuilding a bit in Columbus this year. After all, OSU lost 16 starters from last year’s team, eight on each side of the ball. Those six returning starters were the fewest among all 128 FBS schools. But like Saban, Meyer simply reloads with more five-star recruits. He has said this team might be his most talented yet at Ohio State despite being so young.
The Buckeyes own one of the most impressive wins of the early season, a 45-24 rout at No. 14 Oklahoma on Sept. 17. That was notable because it was the first time the Sooners were home underdogs on college football spreads since 2000 against Nebraska.
Ohio State can sleepwalk through its next two games, Oct. 1 vs. Rutgers and Oct. 8 vs. Indiana. The Buckeyes' challenges will be Oct. 15 at No. 8 Wisconsin, Nov. 5 vs. No. 15 Nebraska, Nov. 19 at No. 17 Michigan State and Nov. 26 at home vs. No. 4 Michigan. The Buckeyes will be favored in all those and have owned Michigan for years.
Did you know that OSU still hasn't lost a true road game under Meyer? That 19-game winning streak is the nation's best active run and a school record.  Meyer also has the highest winning percentage (.853) among active coaches with at least 10 years of FBS coaching experience. Saban (.763) is fourth.
Alabama and Ohio State last played each other in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015. The top-ranked Tide were more than touchdown favorites on college football spreads but were upset 42-35. OSU running back Ezekiel Elliott, now with the Dallas Cowboys, rushed for 230 yards and two scores. Ohio State would go on to beat Oregon in the national championship game.  Alabama won last year's over Clemson.
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