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Alabama to play Oklahoma to advance to national championship game

Bryant-Denny Stadium during an Alabama football game.

The University of Alabama college football team is the defending national champions and are hoping to defend their title. On Saturday, they will play the Oklahoma Sooners in the college football playoffs in Miami at 7:00 p.m. The winner of the game will advance to the National Championship game to play the winner of the Clemson and Notre Dame game.

The Tide is quarterbacked by Sophomore Tua Tagovailoa who finished as the runner up for this year’s Heisman Trophy. University of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray won the Heisman. Tua injured his ankle in the SEC Championship game victory over Georgia, but hopes to be sufficiently recovered to play well tomorrow. Oklahoma is coached by Lincoln Riley.

Despite Tua’s injury, oddsmakers have Alabama as a fourteen point favorite over Oklahoma. Alabama comes in to the game 13 and 0; while Oklahoma is 12 and 1. Both teams won their respective conference championships.

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide has played championship football for decades, particularly under legendary football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant; however this last decade has been the “golden age” of football for the school. Bama has won more national titles in the last ten years than most college football teams have won in their histories.

Since Alabama hired Coach Nick Saban, the Tide has been perennial Southeastern Conference and National Championship contenders.

In 2009, in Saban’s third year, Alabama won a college football national championship and finished 14 and 0.

In 2011 Alabama went 12 and 1 and won another BCS National Championship Game.

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In 2012 Alabama went 13 and 1 and won the BCS National Championship Game again.

In 2015 Alabama finished 14 and 1 and won the College Football Playoff National Championship.

In 2017 Alabama finished 13 and 1 and won yet another College Football Playoff National Championship.

This year Alabama was the preseason number one team in most polls and has been number one throughout this season.

The University of Alabama is not the only school in the state in the college football postseason.

Auburn University is playing Purdue in the Music City Bowl today at 12:30 in Nashville. Auburn finished 7 and 5. 2018 was somewhat of a year after playing in the SEC Championship game last season. Auburn is coached by Gus Malzahn.

Troy University finished their season with a 10 and 3 record and a win over Buffalo in the Dollar General Bowl 42 to 32. Neal Brown is the coach of the Trojans. Troy shared the Sun Belt Conference Championship with Appalachian State.

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham also won their bowl game. UAB defeated Northern Illinois University 37 to 13 in the Boca Rotan Bowl. It was the first bowl victory in the history of the program. This team finished 11 and 3, winning more games than any other team in program history. The UAB Blazers also won the Conference USA Championship, their first in program history.

Just four years ago, University President Ray Watts announced that UAB was not competitive in football and was not capable of becoming competitive. To the shock and horror of the student body, Watts ended football at the school. The Birmingham business community and the students rallied behind the program and UAB football came back from the dead two years ago and went to the Bahamas Bowl. The UAB Blazers are coached by Bill Clark.

While professional football is far and away the most popular sport in the USA; college football is the most closely watched major sport in Alabama.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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