Alabama and Ohio State most recently met during the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2015. Behind coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes won the Allstate Sugar Bowl semifinal 42-35 and went on to a national title.
Since that loss, Nick Saban and Alabama have won two national championships and played in two other title games. Ohio State, now led by Ryan Day, is making its first trip to the championship game since winning that title in 2015.
Two of college football’s true blue bloods meet again on Monday in the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T in Miami Gardens, Florida (8 p.m. ET, ESPN and the ESPN App).
There are many similarities between the two unbeaten teams, from the collection of potential first-round NFL draft picks, to a pair of top-five scoring offenses nationally, to defenses that have uncharacteristically given up points in bunches at times this season.
Alabama and Ohio State have also dominated their conference brethren. Since the start of the 2014 season, Alabama is 59-5 against SEC opponents, and Ohio State is 59-4 against Big Ten foes.
We surveyed coaches who have faced Alabama and Ohio State this season to break down the factors that will shape Monday’s game and determine which team should win the national title.