No. 1 Alabama has dominated every one of its opponents thus far, and No. 2 Oregon is the only team in the country that has a chance to beat the Crimson Tide at any point this season.
The Tide defeated Ole Miss 33-14 on Saturday, while the Ducks took care of Washington State 51-26. These convincing victories have put these the two programs in the top spots in the AP Top 25 poll for the second consecutive week.
This would be the national championship matchup if the season ended today, and these two teams are undoubtedly the best two programs in the nation.
An old adage points to defense as the source of championship-caliber teams, but just defense is not enough—a team must have balance.
LSU has been dropping in the rankings despite winning games because its offense has been lackluster against teams it should be blowing out. In contrast, Georgia has a stellar arsenal of offensive weapons, but its defense was torched by Tennessee this past week. Florida State’s defense also looked vulnerable against an explosive Clemson offense.
For the Tide, their defense has been getting a significant amount of recognition. This is all deserved, but A.J. McCarron, Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and the offensive line make this team extremely efficient on offense.
McCarron is completing 65.8 percent of his passes and has thrown 12 touchdowns without an interception. Lacy is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and Yeldon is picking up an average of 5.8 yards every time he takes a handoff.
As for Oregon, their offense has been highly touted with playmakers like De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner in the backfield. But the defense also has fantastic athletes and is one of the nation’s elite units.
Rich Rodriguez was able to get his Arizona Wildcats to score 115 points in the two games prior to their meeting with the Ducks. But in Eugene, Arizona was blanked in a 49-0 rout.
In the team’s most recent game against Washington State, the defense recorded seven sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.
While Alabama’s defense and Oregon’s offense attract attention, these two teams have fantastic balance and no weak spots on their roster. They are extremely productive on both sides of the ball, and no other team in the country can equal their ability to dominate every facet of a game.
If these two teams end up meeting each other in the national championship game, it will be an epic clash. Oregon’s offense is more explosive that Alabama’s, but the Crimson Tide’s defense is much more physical than the Ducks' unit.
These teams would bring conflicting styles to the field, and it would be a fascinating matchup. If any other team were to take on the Tide, it would not have the necessary balance to compete for the entire game.