Published: Sat, January 09, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Former Alabama coach Gene Stallings takes shot at MSU football

Former Alabama coach Gene Stallings takes shot at MSU football

Michigan State (the team Alabama defeated, 38-0, to reach the CFP finals) didn't average that many.

With a win over the Tigers, Saban could join fellow Alabama icon Bear Bryant as the only major college coach to win five national titles.

There's another storyline to the title game.

Ford would like nothing more than to see Clemson cap its remarkable season with a victory against Alabama - both Ford's and Swinney's alma mater - and become the first team to win 15 games in a season.

Ann Curry was picking up her daughter, who flew in from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to go to the game with them.

By midseason, Bowden was out and wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney was elevated to run the program. Serving at first on an interim basis, he got the job permanently after leading Clemson to bowl eligibility.

If things had played out the way Kirby Smart wanted, Deshaun Watson would be suiting up for Alabama on Monday night rather than preparing to defeat the Crimson Tide. McElroy said.

"We're appreciative of the NCAA working with us in granting this waiver to assist in our preparations for next Monday's game while maintaining our commitment to student-athlete welfare", Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement.

Any concerns of unbalanced preparation time between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama have been quelled. They've held the top two spots since. Clemson would be better off in a high-scoring game, with lots of possessions for its up-tempo offense.

While Clemson's return to the championship game has resurrected conversation of their last title, it has reaffirmed Suttle's feelings toward his alma mater.

Watson turned in another stellar all-around performance, beating Oklahoma with his arm and his legs. Alabama's defense has been very good this season and will look to shut down the Clemson offense.

Clemson will also need Watson's wheels to escape an Alabama pass rush that has registered 50 sacks. Watson, who has 3,699 passing yards and 31 touchdowns, passed for 187 yards and a score and carved up Oklahoma's defense for 145 rushing yards and a touchdown. Wayne Gallman rushed for 150 yards and a pair of TDs.

That unshakeable faith in a winning formula - and not the same one - is the reason so many national championship football trophies are displayed in Tuscaloosa.

So when the season began, the team forgot about the big goal. However, quarterback Jake Coker shredded the MSU defense to the tune of 286 yards and two touchdowns. Wednesdays, the Tide zero in on red-zone and short-yardage plays. The Clemson Tigers will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in a match up that puts a growing Clemson program up against the powerhouse Alabama

"I haven't been here for all these years", Kiffin said, "but I can't imagine a more unselfish team of great, NFL-type players who are all on one page with one goal, which obviously speaks to Coach Saban". So we did some research on what people did a year ago that were in this position, how they prepared their team, and used some of those ideas to see if we could get the right balance and the right formula.

"The hard part is over", he said. "It's been a great 2015".

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and sometimes writes The Sports, which is partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network.

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