The seventh National College Football Playoff championship is set. After an arduous season amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it's an accomplishment that the game is even being played.
Here is everything you need to know about the match-up.
When and where is the game?
Monday, January 11, at 8 p.m. ET at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
Where can I watch?
The game will be aired on ESPN.
The teams and what's at stake
Ohio State and Alabama will face off Monday.
The road to the championship has not come without controversy. Due to Covid-19, Ohio State, which plays in the Big Ten conference, has only played half the amount of games than other teams in the the SEC and ACC conferences. The Big Ten was not allowed to begin play until October 24, leaving the Buckeyes with only seven wins coming into their game against Alabama, which has played 12 games.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held it against them when the playoff teams were announced by placing Ohio State in 11th place in his AP Coaches Poll vote. Even after the Buckeyes thumped Clemson 49-28 in the Sugar Bowl, he said he did not regret the ranking.
Needless to say, it's the Buckeyes that come into this game with something to prove.
Who should we watch?
Alabama's DeVonta Smith, the newly minted member of the Heisman club, is the man to keep an eye on. Smith has scored 20 touchdowns this year, with over 1,600 yards and 105 receptions. He scored three touchdowns against Notre Dame in the teams' playoff match-up alone.
Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields was on fire against Clemson in their playoff game. He had over 380 passing yards, with a completion percentage over 78%, resulting in 6 touchdowns. It's safe to say if Fields can put up similar numbers, Alabama will have to watch out.
The Crimson Tide's quarterback, Mac Jones, a Heisman finalist, had similar numbers against the Fighting Irish. He threw at a 83% completion rate, with four touchdowns. He is second overall in yards and touchdowns this season, only behind Florida's Kyle Trask, another Heisman finalist.
Ohio State's Chris Olave will be the deep threat to watch. Over the team's seven games, he has managed to score seven touchdowns and make 42 receptions. He scored two touchdowns against Clemson and had over 130 receiving yards.
- The last time the college championship game was held in Florida, in 2017, Tampa hosted the game, which saw Alabama lose to Clemson.
- There were reports that the Buckeyes were going to seek to delay the game due to a Covid-19 outbreak on their team last week, according to ESPN.
- The last time these two teams met was during the first round of playoffs during the 2015 Sugar Bowl. Ohio State won the game and went on to beat Oregon in the first ever College Football Playoff championship.