Morning Coffee: Alabama rolls to national title, NFL power rankings

Morning Coffee: Alabama rolls to national title, NFL power rankings

The Alabama Crimson Tide are national champions once again.

The top-ranked team in the College Football Playoff rolled to a 52-24 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes to cap off a 13-0 season.

Alabama covered easily as a nine-point favourite.

Meanwhile, the over 75.0 hit despite the fact that neither team scored over the final 13 minutes and 15 seconds of game time.

Nick Saban’s program has now won six national titles over the past 12 seasons, which is the shortest span to win six national titles ever.

Nobody is expecting the Tide to go away anytime soon either. After all, Alabama is the betting favourite to win the 2022 national championship at +300 odds.

Here is the Morning Coffee for Tuesday Jan. 12, 2021.

Roll Tide

The Tide made history as the first team to go wire-to-wire at No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings and win the national title.

Heisman trophy winner DeVonta Smith set a couple of National Championship game records with 12 receptions and three touchdowns in less than three full quarters before suffering a hand injury.

He finished with 215 receiving yards. By the time Smith left the game, Alabama was firmly in control.

Mac Jones threw for 464 yards and five touchdowns, which tied the record for most touchdown passes in the championship game.

Meanwhile, running back Najee Harris added three scores of his own to finish with 30 total touchdowns this season, which is the most in SEC history.

If you bet on the Tide all year, you made some serious money.

Alabama went 9-4 against the spread with an average winning margin of 29.1 points per game, including the CFP games.

After going undefeated for a second time under Saban, it’s no surprise that the Tide opened as the obvious 2022 national championship favourite.

Alabama is +300 to repeat as national champions, followed by Clemson at +400 and both Ohio State and Oklahoma at 750 odds.

NFL Power Rankings

When I set my power rankings heading into the playoffs I caught some flak for pushing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the No. 5 spot ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.

I stand by those initial rankings.

The Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints and Buccaneers each advanced with Wild Card round wins.

With the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers both coming off byes, there’s no reason for me to adjust the order of how I see the top five teams in the NFL this week.

Considering who I have at the four and five spots, it will be that much more interesting to see how things play out this week.

Here are my NFL power rankings with their odds to win the Super Bowl in brackets.

Kansas City Chiefs +200

As if a first-round bye and home field for the playoffs isn’t a big enough advantage, the best team in football also gets the benefit of a Divisional Round game against the Cleveland Browns rather than having to play the Baltimore Ravens.

Kansas City is a 10-point favourite against the Browns.

The Chiefs are still the best team in football.

Now there is a very good chance the defending champions repeat as the wire-to-wire betting favourite to win the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Bills +550

While they didn’t cover, the Bills did just enough to pull out a 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round.

Josh Allen threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo defence came through with some key stops at the end of both the first and second half to clinch the win.

Getting that first playoff victory out of the way should provide a major confidence boost for the Bills.

Now Allen and company will get the opportunity to prove they are true title contenders with a home playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo is a -1.5 favourite for that Divisional Round showdown.

Green Bay Packers +400

Like the Chiefs, the Packers also catch what should be a favourable Divisional Round matchup as a 6.5-point favourite against the Los Angeles Rams.

Green Bay has been the NFC’s best all season. Now all the Packers have to do is take care of business against a Rams team with major injury concerns at the quarterback position to reach the NFC Championship game.

If Green Bay wins, we are guaranteed a conference title game between Aaron Rodgers and one of Drew Brees and Tom Brady.

What a treat that would be to set the stage for the Super Bowl.

New Orleans Saints +600

In the Super Bowl era, 22 different teams have met an opponent in the playoffs after sweeping their two games against them in the regular season.

The Saints will be the 23rd.

Fourteen of the previous 22 went on to complete the three-game sweep in the postseason.

New Orleans outscored Tampa Bay by a combined 46 points in their two regular-season meetings.

The Saints will be a three-point favourite for Sunday’s main event.

Whatever the outcome, the fact that we get Brees versus Brady one last time, and in the playoffs, is a major win for the fans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +800

My outright refusal to sleep on the Buccaneers down the final stretch has been well documented.

After taking care of business with a 31-23 win over the Washington Football Team in the Wild Card round, Tampa Bay has now won five straight while scoring at least 31 points in each of their last four.

The Buccaneers couldn’t have drawn a tougher matchup for the Divisional round.

While they were swept by the Saints in the regular season, no team has improved more since their last head-to-head meeting than Tampa Bay.

Now Brady and company will get their shot at redemption in their most important game of the season.

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