Alabama and Clemson have defined college football's recent past. Monday night at Levi's Stadium, they'll define the sport's present in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T, their third title matchup in the past four years.
And, like it or not, Nick Saban's Crimson Tide and Dabo Swinney's Tigers could define college football's immediate future.
But which team will be better over the next three seasons? We evaluate the Tide and Tigers through 2021 using the following categories: quarterback, offense, defense, head coach and coaching staff. Recruiting factors into most of these categories.
Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are two big reasons why Monday night's game should be epic. They're also the two biggest reasons why Alabama and Clemson could be back on this stage in 372 days in New Orleans. Tagovailoa, who has transformed Alabama's offense, will be the Heisman Trophy front-runner this fall. Lawrence, a once-in-a-generation freshman whose NFL potential is already being studied by scouts, shouldn't be far behind.