Oh, How the Tide Rolls

Eric Fenstermacker, Reporter

Miami, Florida. Home of beaches, Disney, and the College Football National Championship game. Hard Rock Stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL), but this year it hosted the biggest game in college football. The stage is set. Buckeyes (ranked No. 3) and Crimson Tide (ranked No. 1) square off for the right to call themselves champions.

In a season like no other, with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench into the season, these two teams made a name for themselves. Ohio State was favored to win the Big Ten Conference, but only played six games through the season due to cancellations. With this in mind, NCAA fans pushed for them not to be in playoff contention. However, with their backs against the wall, the College Football Playoff (CFP) selection committee put them in the playoffs, believing they were the third best team. In round one, they took on the Clemson Tigers (ranked No.2), led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence (predicted to be the first pick in the NFL draft) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Justin Fields, quarterback for OSU, made short work of the Clemson defense. According to the ESPN box score, Fields completed 22 of 28 throws for 385 yards and was responsible for 6 touchdowns in a 49-28 victory. However, the Alabama defense was ready for a performance like this.

Alabama has been a mainstay atop NCAA football for many years. This year, the team was ranked as the best in college football; Alamaba was given the chance to prove it in the Rose Bowl for round one of the CFP. This game pitted them against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (ranked No. 4). Alabama took no prisoners and blew by the Irish as the scoreboard showed 31-14. ESPN’s box score revealed that wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the current Heisman trophy winner, caught seven catches for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns. The CFP National Championship game was set, Alabama Crimson Tide against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

This game was highly anticipated by fans from both teams. Alabama jumped out to a lead of 7-0, but Ohio State did not back off. A few plays later, they tied the game up, 7-7. Alabama felt the pressure and responded with a touchdown of their own, seizing momentum. With 13:15 left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Alabama led 45-24 and were looking to extend their lead. This would all but solidify a National Championship win. They lined up at the one yard line, where Mac Jones, Alabama’s quarterback, took the ball from the center and handed it off to Alabama’s running back, Najee Harris. Harris sprinted into the endzone for a touchdown, leading the Crimson Tide to a National Championship victory. Alabama won the game 52-24, behind an all around effort from the entire team.

Wearing their masks, Alabama celebrated their 18th championship victory together, hoisting the trophy high above their heads. Next year, this team will have a new look as many of their players will leave for the NFL. Will Alabama keep their dominance going? Will Ohio State want revenge? Will there be an underdog that surprises everyone? Find out as the season unfolds, beginning August 28.