According to Best Online Sportsbooks, two things seem to be death-and-taxes certain: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will play face off in a third NBA Finals series, and the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers will meet in the College Football Playoff Final.
Like the Cavs and Dubs, 'Bama and Clemson have clashed in back-to-back championships and split the difference. Will there be a third installment? Moreover, do we want there to be? Consider that the third part of a trilogy is always the weakest — The Godfather, Back to the Future, The Karate Kid (not counting, of course, the The Next Karate Kid), and Spiderman.
CBS Sports writer Barrett Sallee isn't convinced that all paths lead to Alabama vs. Clemson. He mentions Georgia, Auburn, Washington, NC State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Washington State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech as schools that could, in one way or another, throw a wrench into the Clemson-Alabama CFP works.
Which is all well and good, but let's face the facts.
Fact: The College Football Playoff is a four-team single elimination tournament.
Strong Opinion: Unless the End of Times comes and most of Alabama and Clemson's starters are raptured up to heaven, the two programs will make up 50% of the CFP field. And once they are there, an upset by at least one of the other four teams is the only thing standing between a Roll Tide-Tigers rubber match.
The Crimson Tide will, furthermore, most likely finish the season as they started it, firmly perched atop of the AP Poll. No matter how much it displeases head coach Nick Saban, who recently likened positive media coverage of his team to "rat poison."
Do you think the media will retaliate by not giving 'Bama as many first place votes, or will they actually do the opposite just to spite Saban?
While Saban feuds with the press, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has bone to pick with fans who leave games early, or even worse, can't even be bothered to show up at the stadium at all.
"We need our students to be there the whole game," Swinney said on his weekly teleconference prior to last weekend's Wake Forest game. "We need to show up, and let's have the same great atmosphere as we have every single week."
Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel theorized that, "us being such a program that's been very successful in previous years, I feel like people expect us to blow everyone out."
And yet fans started emptying their seats in the third quarter of the game against Boston College, with the score tied at seven. Blowout wasn't really on the table at that point, but they still left, giving "Death Valley" a new meaning.
Good thing the CFP Final will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and not Frank Howard Field at Clemson Memorial Stadium.