College Football Playoff day is here and ESPN analyst Tim Tebow is sticking with the team he has picked since the beginning to move on to next week’s national championship game.
Tebow revealed his pick for Alabama-Oklahoma during Saturday morning’s appearance on SportsCenter.
“I’ve got to be honest — I’m going with the best team in the country in Alabama, from top to bottom,” Tebow said. “I respect this Oklahoma team and what the offense does. I think Lincoln Riley is the best offensive mind in football and I think Kyler (Murray) is one of the best players, but Alabama is just too deep and they will out-physical Oklahoma for 60 minutes.
“In the end, I think Alabama will pull away by a little bit.”
Knowing from experience, Tebow says the pressure of playing as the Heisman winner on the grand stage is overwhelming.
“Honestly, it’ll be really hard (on Murray). There’s so much on him, not just for being in the semifinal, but also winning the Heisman,” Tebow said. “Alabama is taking Tua losing the Heisman as motivation. We talked to Mike Locksley, their OC, yesterday and they’re definitely hyping it up. All of this Kyler Murray, Oklahoma, the hype, the hype, the hype … what about (Alabama’s) offense?
“You know what else makes it hard? All the rubber chicken dinners that Kyler had to go to. Winning the Heisman is a huge blessing, but you’ve got to be able to maintain and handle that, because everybody else has had a month o get bigger, stronger faster and you’ve been going to dinners and giving toasts all over the place.”
Tebow believes Alabama will use both quarterbacks — Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts — at its disposal against the Sooners, who have one of the weakest defenses the Crimson Tide have faced all season.
“I think Tua is the answer to go against the Oklahoma defense, but maybe add a wrinkle with Jalen,” Tebow said. “He’s not just a backup. He’s an elite quarterback and elite football payers. High ankle sprains are easy to aggravate, so if Tua goes down, Alabama knows it has a reliable backup.”
Alabama is a 14-point favorite against the Sooners. Nick Saban is expecting a heavyweight showdown in Miami.
“Any time a team has extra time to prepare, obviously it gives you a chance to do some things differently,” Saban said this week. “I think players’ ability to adapt and adjust in games, as well as coaches’ ability to help them do that, is probably critical when you play in games like this. I mean, Coach Riley over here, he’s got lots of plays, and we haven’t been able to cover all the ones that they did all season long. We’re working on it, though (laughs).”