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College Football Playoff National Championship Game predictions

Who's going to take home the trophy?

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

The final day of the college football season is upon us. After North Dakota State won its fifth-straight FCS Championship, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers meet in the great state of Arizona for the FBS title.

We give our predictions below, and you can pick along with the rest of the SB Nation community right here:

Alec Sills-Trausch: Well folks, we're finally here. We're at the end of the long, winding, crazy road that was the 2015 College Football Season. Most of us, even if we didn't want to publically acknowledge it, assumed Alabama would have a strong likelihood of making an appearance in this game. Clemson, on the flipside, wasn't in anyone's discussion to my best knowledge (ranked 12th in preseason). However, that didn't stop them from running over nearly every team they faced, aside from Louisville and Notre Dame. Everything about this game wants me to choose Clemson, and that is who I'll be rooting for. But deep down, I feel Alabama's offensive line, their Heisman-winning running back Derrick Henry, and the assortment of ridiculous athletes they roll out on every play will be too much for Dabo's squad to handle. Nick Saban wins another. I'm saying Alabama under protest: 35-21

Gabe Encinas: Alabama has always struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks and I think Deshaun Watson is going to shred the defense up. But for the Tigers to come out on top, they're going to need some defensive stops. I think they'll get them through the air, with standout corner Mackensie Alexander. He's been starting since he was a true freshman and has only allowed two touchdowns in his career. But then shutting down Derrick Henry is a whole other beast. I'd imagine he finishes anywhere between 80-120 yards and maybe two red zone touchdowns. Dabo Swinney is going to have an epic locker room dance with his team, wearing his 2016 National Championship shirt, after beating Alabama by a final score of 24-20.


David Potts: Alabama will win, as usual, because college football is unfair and unforgiving. Immediately after the game, Nick Saban will announce that he is the new head coach of the New York Giants, and Dabo Swinney will rip off his Clemson attire to reveal that he was an Alabama plant the whole time. Roll Tide, 38 - 35.

Mike C. Paulus: This is it, the big game. Having a shot at a championship is nothing new for Alabama, but it is for Clemson. By all accounts, Alabama should drill Clemson like a bad tooth. Having a roster full of four and five star recruits can lead to that perception. However, Alabama has had trouble containing dual-threat quarterbacks. And that's exactly what Clemson's Deshaun Watson is: college football's most exciting dual-threat. Alabama will run for 200+ yards, but Clemson will win it on big passing plays. Clemson 32 - Alabama 21.

James Schlittenhart: I'm sticking with my preseason pick: Baylor over USC, 45 - 38 in a barnburner. In reality, I think Alabama wins. No one can move the ball against that team. It's going to be boring, ugly, pointless, and unpleasant. But enough about Nick Saban.

Ryan Kelapire: I always assume that Alabama is going to win a big game, and my thoughts on this game are no different. I say the Crimson Tide wins 28-17.

Matt Sheeley: At the beginning of the season, I expected Clemson to be here (losing to Ohio State). And it's pretty cool seeing they actually are. They've been a perennial big game failure for as long as I can remember. Dabo Swinney has changed the culture. He's a fantastic coach and is building a powerhouse. Here they are, on the brink of a national championship. But Nick Saban treats national championship games like someone playing Madden on Rookie level and using cheat codes. It's not fair. Bama wins, 34-17. SEC love reaches new heights. And all of us steer clear of ESPN for a few weeks.

Jason Bartel: I also just assume that Alabama wins these games, but this is the year of the Dabo, and Clemson will make us all Bring Our Own Guts to work for the rest of our lives after this game. I am going to go 34-30 Tigers. BYOG!!