Bowden: Clemson Can Beat Alabama

Not many teams can say that – but Clemson can

Taz and the Moose
November 19, 2018 - 10:11 am

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There are a lot of College Football Playoff storylines and scenarios heading into the final weeks of the season. Can Notre Dame (11-0) finish undefeated? Can Michigan (10-1) finally knock off Ohio State (10-1)? How high can UCF (11-0) go in the rankings?

That’s all well and good, but in the end, the national championship will likely come down to Alabama/Clemson Part IV.

“The most important statistic in college football is scoring defense. If the other team doesn’t score, you’ll never lose a game,” ACC Network analyst Tommy Bowden said on Taz & The Moose. “They were tied at No. 1 and No. 2 in scoring defense. Alabama, last week, was about fourth in the nation in total offense; Clemson was ninth. Clemson is now No. 1 in scoring defense. Alabama is 3. So (they’re) the two most balanced teams in college football. The rest of them are lacking some in one area or the other. They have the best chance to play Alabama evenly and beat them.”

Bowden, who coached at Clemson from 1999 to 2008, has marveled at what Nick Saban has done in Tuscaloosa. Saban is vying for his sixth national title since 2009.

“My last year, I played him that first game,” Bowden said. “It was the first year he had been undefeated. I had respect for him before the game, but he’s probably one of the reasons I’m doing this show – along with a couple of other coaches he’s run out of the profession. But once you’ve coached, once you’ve been in the arena, once you’ve recruited against him – I’ve coached at Alabama, so I’m familiar with the pressure of that job and what Bear Bryant, the standard he had and the standard set before Bear Bryant. I know (Saban is) maybe the top coach in modern history, but maybe the top coach of all time.”

No. 1 Alabama (11-0) hosts Auburn (7-4) in the Iron Bowl this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. After that, it’s a date with No. 5 Georgia in the SEC Championship on Dec. 1 in Atlanta.

No. 2 Clemson (11-0) hosts South Carolina (6-4) this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.