It so hard to predict an upcoming football season, but doesn’t it seem like we already have the 2019 college football season nicely wrapped and we still have a little less than three months before the first game.
Depending on what you have already read to this point, Clemson and Alabama are already in the College Football Playoff and Georgia seems to be a solid lock at No. 3. The fourth and final spot seems to be more up in the air.
Is it Michigan, Ohio State, Texas or Notre Dame? It depends on who you are reading. The answer could vary.
Regardless, who is at No.4, everyone seems to think Clemson-Alabama is a foregone conclusion. However, is it really?
Both Clemson and Alabama have some scars, and though they are not too visible, they’re there. How Clemson and ‘Bama try and mask their scars will determine the CFP and the who might be the eventual national champion.
So, what are Clemson’s and Alabama’s imperfections?
The Tigers are loaded on offense and everyone knows it. Trevor Lawrence is back from a freshman year when he showed he might have been the best freshman quarterback in the history of college football.
Clemson also returns Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross at wide receiver and Travis Etienne at running back, last year’s ACC Player of the Year. The offensive line returns four seniors, who at one point or another have been starters in the careers.
While the offensive line is loaded, the defense has some questions and that’s where Clemson’s scars lie. The Tigers have to replace all four starters on its defensive front, plus one reserve, and two starting linebackers. It did not help that Shaq Smith graduated and transferred to Maryland either.
Clemson appears to be vulnerable up the middle of its defense and that is where teams like Texas A&M and Syracuse can give them trouble.
As for Alabama, the Crimson Tide return 13 starters. However, Clemson laid out a blueprint on how to defend Tua Tagovailoa and his receivers. If Alabama has not fixed the issues it had against Clemson in the national championship game then defenses like LSU’s, Texas A&M’s and Mississippi State are more than capable of confusing Tagovailoa and giving the Crimson Tide fits.
Sometimes, you can’t always hide the scars.