Stuart McNair

Almost Perfect Picks Department sees Alabama with the advantages

There are good reasons to pick Alabama to win national title again

We haven’t seen the geeks in the Almost Perfect Picks Department in the offices of in 2017, but we did find an envelope slipped under our door. The first part of the message was the New Year’s Resolution for the APP department:

“We pledge never again to pick teams like Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Auburn unless they are playing one another because they are LOSERS! Happy New Year.”

We could understand their 20-20 hindsight. In the bowl games of those five teams, the nerds had managed to be wrong in picking the winner, wrong against the points spread, and wrong on the over-under.

That meant that for the bowl season, the APP was 8-5 in picking winners, 6-7 against the spread, and 5-8 vs. the over-under, and for the year the record is: Winners 92-32, against the line 47-62, vs. o-u 54-56.

The second part of the message was the final prediction of the season, Alabama vs. Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship game in Tampa at 7:30 p.m. CST Monday. ESPN will televise the game.

According to the morning newspaper, Alabama is a 6 ½ point favorite and the over-under is 51 ½.

Here is how the Geek Gang sees it:

Keep in mind that we were pretty good on the bowl games that mattered. We had Alabama defeating Washington, just by not enough. We also had Clemson defeating Ohio State, but just didn’t see Coach Urban Meyers’ Buckeyes not being able to score a point. We’re predicting his psychiatrist can count on being able to buy a big new boat.

But looking ahead:

We wish that Clemson didn’t have such a good coach, former Alabama player and assistant coach Dabo Swinney.

More than that, we wish Clemson didn’t have such good players, notably quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Many are trying to factor in the change in offensive coordinators at Alabama, Steve Sarkisian taking over for Lane Kiffin just a week before the championship game as a Crimson Tide problem.

Here’s how we see things:

No matter that Swinney is a good coach, Alabama’s Nick Saban is best in the nation, among the best of all time. Remember that onside kick, Dabo?

Yes, Clemson has good players, but Alabama has outstanding players at every position, players who have managed every challenge. That’s why Alabama is 14-0 and Clemson only 13-1 – and don’t forget the chip shot field goal North Carolina State missed at Clemson that might have knocked the Tigers out of this playoff.

Finally, we think the change in offensive coordinators may present more problems for the Tigers than for Bama. Run the ball, Sark!

Remember, our record in picking Alabama games is exactly the same as the Crimson Tide’s record under Saban, which is outstanding.

Alabama 31, Clemson 17.

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