If there is a defense that can contain Oklahoma's dynamic offense, it might belong to Georgia. After blowing out Auburn, 28-7, in the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs have surrendered just 27 total points in their last three contests. Add in the wrinkle that Saban is 11-0 vs. his former assistants, winning every time by 14 or more points, and it's incredibly juicy. Oklahoma last played in the game in 2003.
The Crimson Tide reached their third straight title game with a 24-6 win over Clemson in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and will be looking for their fifth national championship in the past nine seasons when they face SEC foe Georgia on January 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Whether you're talking about the playoff, the Sugar Bowl or Alabama's relationship with Clemson, the director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum says the game is historically significant in several ways.
The game will boast two of the top defenses in the nation.More news: 12 dead, several injured in Bronx building fire
Alabama won the first match-up 45-40, while Clemson won the second game 35-31. In the second half, Clemson cut the Bama lead to 10-6 and looked ready to take the lead - until Payne made a big play.
Monday's game will kick off at 5 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Alabama and Clemson have already lost on College Football Playoff semifinal day.
Alabama has been favored in 110 of its previous 111 games. The Crimson Tide give up 2.8 yards per carry, which could be trouble for a Clemson offense that relies so heavily on its rushing attack. A live stream is available on WatchESPN.