Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, right, and Alabama coach Nick Saban try not to look to awkward talking to each other during a staged news event Sunday prior to the College Football Playoff championship game in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
NO. 1: COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
CLEMSON (14-0) vs. ALABAMA (13-1)
Details/TV: At Glendale, Ariz., Monday at 5:30 p.m., ESPN
For those without a vested interest in the outcome, here are five talking points for awkward office interaction at the vending machine:
= If No. 1 Clemson wins, it will be the first team in college football history to ever reach 15-0. That’s more a function of a process that demands that, after a dozen games in the regular season, there’s still a conference championship game, a bowl game and then this all-alone title contest left to jump through. If the Tigers really want to prove something, it could schedule a game with the Chargers on Super Bowl Saturday just to prove the invincibility.
= If Clemson wins, perhaps the entry of “Clemsoning” in the Urban Dictionary gets a rewrite. The definition as it stands: “The act of delivering an inexplicably disappointing performance, usually within the context of a college football season.” It might also be a setback to the Sports Illustrated cover jinx belief, since Clemson was there as well last week.
= If No. 2 Alabama wins, coach Nick Saban would have his fifth national title (and fourth in seven years, counting his first at LSU). By some measures, that would match the record of Crimson Tide legend Bear Bryant. By other measures (especially those in Tuscaloosa), Saban would still be one short because the insistence that Bryant has six titles, counting a very messy one in 1973 (No. 1 in the coaches’ poll, No. 4 by AP, after they lost their Cotton Bowl game to Notre Dame).
= If Alabama wins, it will extend a dominance over Clemson that will reach 13 victories in a row. The last time Clemson beat Alabama was in 1905, not long after John Heisman (yes, that guy) coached the team.
= No matter if Alabama wins or loses, the prevailing thought is that Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, either heralded or humiliated, will have another head coaching job waiting somewhere. That’s just how this current Tide coach rolls.
THE REST OF THE WEEK:
The NFL meetings in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday seem important, but we’d tend to go with the narrative set here by the Associated Press’ Tim Dalhberg entitled “Greed the motivator as NFL teams rush to L.A.” … The first of (at least) two USC-UCLA basketball meetings happens at Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday (ESPN2, 8 p.m.) … The first of (at least) five Kings-Ducks meetings happens at Honda Center on Sunday (6 p.m., FSW, Prime Ticket) … The NFL’s divisional round of the playoffs has Kansas City-New England (Saturday, 1:35 p.m., Channel 2), Pittsburgh-Denver (Sunday, 1:40 p.m., Channel 2), Green Bay-Arizona (Saturday, 5:15 p.m., Channel 4) and Seattle-Carolina (Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 11) … More to read at this link.