PHOENIX — Gary Danielson, the lead college football analyst for CBS Television, believes Clemson has a chance to beat Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game on Monday night. He just doesn’t think its much of a chance.
Danielson compared the matchup of the No. 1-ranked Tigers (14-0) against No. 2 Crimson Tide (13-1) to a game of poker. And he said Bama simply has a lot more good cards.
“Alabama has always been unique this way: They have more ways to beat you,” Danielson said in a telephone interview this week. “That’s just like a poker hand. When you look in the deck and you know how it’s stacked and you know at final draw that you have eight, 10, 12 cards that you can win with the guy you’re playing against has two or three, you bet on that. And Alabama has eight or 10 different ways that they can win this game. And everybody knows them all.”
Danielson pointed to quarterback Deshaun Watson as an obvious advantage for Clemson. But he said Alabama has many more, including Heisman Trophy winning running back Derrick Henry, receiver Calvin Ridley, its offensive and defensive lines, linebacker Reggie Ragland and special teams in general.
“It can be their quarterback, their running back, their rush defense, their secondary, their special teams,” Danielson said. “And it’s not only what they do well, but what you do weak, they can take advantage of. I think Alabama has got eight or 10 cards in the deck to win this game.
“Clemson has a couple of cards, but it’s like pulling an inside straight. I think Alabama is going to win big.”
Las Vegas isn’t so sure about winning “big,” but most odds are posting the Crimson Tide as about a touchdown favorite. Vegasinsiders.com showed the consensus Friday to be Alabama by 7.