No. 1 Alabama enters the College Football Playoff with an 11-1 record and a chance to win its seventh national championship under Nick Saban.
The Crimson Tide have been a CFP regular and they are heavy favorites against No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 31 in the Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium.
Here is a closer look at Alabama’s playoff history, and the reasons why the Crimson Tide will (or won’t) win a national championship in 2021:
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Alabama’s College Football Playoff history
Alabama is making its seventh College Football Playoff appearance. The Crimson Tide missed the Playoff in 2019, which broke a five-year streak. Alabama made the CFP championship game in four straight seasons from 2015-18, and it won national championships in 2015, 2017 and 2020
|2014||1||Lost to No. 4 Ohio State 42-35|
|2015||2||Beat No. 3 Michigan State 38-0, Beat No. 1 Clemson 45-40|
|2016||1||Beat No. 4 Washington 24-7, Lost to No. 2 Clemson 35-31|
|2017||4||Beat No. 1 Clemson 24-6, Beat No. 3 Georgia 26-23|
|2018||1||Beat No. 4 Oklahoma 45-34, Lost to No. 2 Clemson 44-16|
|2020||1||Beat No. 4 Notre Dame 31-14, Beat No. 3 Ohio State 52-24|
|2021||1||vs. No. 4 Cincinnati|
This is the fifth time the Crimson Tide is No. 1 in the CFP rankings. They won the national championship as a No. 1 seed last year.
MORE: Why Georgia can win the national title | Michigan | Cincinnati
CFP championship odds
According to Fanduel.com, The Crimson Tide have the best odds to win the national championship.
Alabama vs. Cincinnati odds
According to FanDuel.com, Alabama is a 14-point favorite against Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl. The Crimson Tide are 7-6 ATS this season. Cincinnati is 8-5 ATS.
Why Alabama will win national title
Did you watch the Georgia game? The Crimson Tide have the best offense in the four-team playoff; one that averages 42.5 points per game. Quarterback Bryce Young now is the heavy favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. He passed for 4,322 yards, 43 TDs and four interceptions. Young was unstoppable in the SEC championship game and is the most-dynamic quarterback in the playoff.
The Crimson Tide will pull down a bunch of other national awards, too, including receiver Jameson Williams (1,445 yards, 15 TDs) and linebacker Will Anderson (14 sacks, 27.5 TFL). The Crimson Tide have the most talent of any team in the field, and Saban showed against the Bulldogs that the “disrespect card” can still be used.
Alabama has been there, done that, and Saban is a good bet to lead them to the CFP championship game for the sixth time in eight years.
MORE: Bowl tracker for 2021 postseason
Why Alabama won’t win national title
The Bearcats could pull an unthinkable upset, and Michigan could do the unthinkable in a rematch of the 2020 Citrus Bowl.
The better bet would be in a rematch with Georgia. The Bulldogs can make adjustments, and Alabama had trouble running the football (26 attempts, 115 yards) in the first meeting.
Wide receiver John Metchie III also suffered a knee injury in that victory, and that could throw off the passing game. He had 1,142 yards (20th in the nation) and eight touchdowns. Also, Alabama is the only team in the CFP that does not have a top-10 scoring defense.
Those factors did not come into play in the SEC title game, but they could in a rematch with the Bulldogs.