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College Football Playoff National Championship open thread: Tigers and Tide meet again


AllState Sugar Bowl - Clemson v Alabama Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The 2018 college football season comes to a close this evening - in Santa Clara, California, for some reason - when the top-ranked undefeated defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide once again meet the second-ranked undefeated Clemson Tigers, at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.

Though you’ll be reminded of these very facts ad-nauseam during tonight’s broadcast, let me be the first to tell you what you already know. This is the third national championship game meeting between Alabama and Clemson in the last four years and though this match-up has been maligned because of this, these two programs pretty clearly boast the best teams in the sport this season.

The Tigers and Tide met and split national titles in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, so this year serves a title game tiebreaker of sorts for the two teams. Of course, these two programs also met last year - but in the semifinal round of the College Football Playoff, where the Tide emerged triumphant on their way to their 100th* national title. Alabama is seeking its second consecutive national championship and would become the first team to repeat as national champs since... Alabama. The Tide last did it in 2011 and 2012. (Prior to that the last team to repeat was Nebraska in 1994 and 1995.)

*May not actually be a hundred, might just feel like a hundred.

Your televised sports overlords at ESPN once again are deploying their “MegaCast” of game coverage for tonight’s event. There are some changes to the programming, including the Coaches Film Room not airing this year. It’s being replaced with Monday Night Film Room - because why would we want to watch college football coaches talk about college football when we could watch NFL analysts do it.

Viewing Options for CFP National Championship - Monday, January 7, 2019

MegaCast Option What does this mean? TV Featuring
MegaCast Option What does this mean? TV Featuring
Traditional Telecast The main "traditional" broadcast and call of the game ESPN Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstret, Maria Taylor, Tom Rinaldi
Field Pass "Free-flowing commentary" from the sidelines; roaming sideline coverage ESPN2 Adam Amin, Steve Levy
Monday Night Film Room Todd McShay and crew will break down the game in real time ESPN News Todd McShay, Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland
Thinking Out Loud The SEC Network show will have a special title game edition with live commentary SECN Grey McElroy, Marcus Spears, Alyssa Lang
Goodyear BlimpCast Two talking heads inside the famous blimp for the duration of the game ESPN3 Matt Barrie, Elle Duncan
TechCast 12 different camera views showcased in split screen modes and rotated throughout ESPN3
Sounds of the Game A feed with the natural sounds of the stadium, no commenters ESPN3 / ESPN Classic Both school's halftime presentations included
Command Center A split screen with mulitple camera views and isolated feeds on Saban and Swinney ESPN Goal Line
Home Town Radio Alabama and Georgia's home radio broadcasts serve as the commentary ESPN3 Also has feeds isolated on coaches and players
Data Center On-screen graphics, drive charts, win probabilities, and social media reactions ESPN3 ESPN Radio's call
Sky Cam A continuous feed of the camera that is placed above the field ESPN3
High Sky Cam An above field camera that is several feet higher than the regular sky cam ESPN3
All-22 View all 22 players on the field at the same time ESPN3
ESPN Radio Play-by-play and game analysis, with a rules expert ESPN Radio Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge
ESPN Deportes Spanish language call of the game ESPN Deportes Lalo Varela, Pablo Viruega

As far as rooting interests go, I realize most Florida Gators fans are going to fall in two camps: the pro-SEC unity crowd and the I’m-sick-of-Bama-please-anyone-but-Bama camp (which I imagine also encompasses a large portion of the non-Florida college football fanbase as well).

I wouldn’t feel too sorry for Clemson or paint them as a significant underdog though. While the Tide’s recent dominance is legendary, the Tigers have been no slouches themselves of late - racking up four consecutive ACC titles, four playoff appearances, and one national title since 2015. I’m going to give the cliché easy answer myself and say that I’m just rooting for a competitive and close game, albeit with some scoring, please.

Who will you be rooting for and why? What viewing option will you be utilizing? Do you have any particular feelings either way about the game featuring Clemson and Alabama again? Tell us in the comments!