Tide closes on more success

06 January 2018 04:16:38 EST

The Alabama Crimson Tide goes in search of its fifth national title in nine years when they play the Georgia Bulldogs at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

It's a remarkable record and one that would be all the more special this season as Alabama is clearly not as dominant as they have been in the recent past.

Indeed it can be argued, their win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff semi-final notwithstanding, that the Crimson Tide were fortunate to even by invited to the playoffs this year.

In retrospect the Alabama season just isn't all that impressive.

A 24-7 victory over then #3 Florida State in the season opener ultimately counted for little as the Seminoles imploded to the point that their coach hightailed it out of town for Texas A & M.

Further non-conference victories over Fresno State and Colorado State did nothing to enhance the reputation of Nick Saban's side prior to SEC play.

Indeed comfortable victories over Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Texas A & M, Arkansas and Tennessee just emphasized that the SEC as a whole was not at its normal level of quality.

Back-to-back wins over LSU and Mississippi State, both ranked at the time, were close enough to raise issues and the less said about scheduling Mercer the better.

Still that left the Crimson Tide at 11-0 and ranked first in the nation heading into the Iron Bowl.

Here the wheels came off as Alabama lost to Auburn and really, if truth be told, not making the SEC title game should have eliminated the Tide from consideration.

However reputation does count for something and it can be argued that Alabama had earned, over the past eight years, the right to get the nod for the postseason.

The Tide have taken full advantage and now stand on the cusp of even more history.

Alabama are 5/9 to win Monday's College Football decider, with Georgia 8/5. The Crimson Tide are 10/11 in receipt of a 4-point spread.

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