Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
In order to have an opportunity to play for a second straight national championship, Alabama will first have to beat a fellow conference champion.
The unbeaten Crimson Tide, who won the SEC championship, will face the Big 12 champions, Oklahoma, in the Orange Bowl on December 29 at 8 p.m. ET. It is only the sixth time that the two schools have faced off and the first since the 2013 season.
As of Friday night, OddsShark has the Crimson Tide as a 14-point favorite over the Sooners.
Alabama rolled to the SEC championship game, winning each of its first 12 games by at least 22 points. Then, the Crimson Tide orchestrated a comeback 35-28 victory over Georgia to win the SEC title on December 1.
This is the fifth straight season that Alabama has made the College Football Playoff. However, this will be the Tide’s first appearance in the Orange Bowl since the 1999 season, when they lost to Michigan, 35-34.
Alabama has only one win over Oklahoma in program history, and that occurred in 1963. The Crimson Tide notched a 17-0 win over the Sooners in the first meeting between the two schools.
Oklahoma has won three straight matchups against Alabama, including a 45-31 victory in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 2013 season.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
This year, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray has led the Sooners to a 12-1 record. Oklahoma has won seven straight games since falling to Texas on October 8, a loss it later avenged when it beat the Longhorns, 39-27, in the Big 12 Championship Game on December 1.
The Sooners are in the College Football Playoff for the third time, but they are seeking their first CFP win. They lost to Clemson in the Orange Bowl in 2015 and fell to Georgia in the Rose Bowl last season.
Alabama will advance to the CFP National Championship Game and have a chance to win its second straight national title.
Murray may have beat out Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the Heisman, but it will be the Crimson Tide who have more team success this season.
This could be the last game of Murray’s football career. The Sooners quarterback was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and Murray has stated in the past that he plans to begin his professional baseball career in 2019.
However, Alabama’s defense will do enough to limit Murray, while the Crimson Tide’s high-powered offense will continue their dominant season by powering the team to an Orange Bowl victory.
Alabama 38, Oklahoma 28