Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney raises the trophy after Clemson won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game against Pittsburgh in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
Ed Salmons, vice president of risk at the SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas, said Tagovailoa's injury had no impact on the 14-point spread, reasoning that either the Crimson Tide star would play or backup Jalen Hurts would receive enough reps leading up to the game to be prepared against Oklahoma's 111th-ranked defense. The team's other loss on the season with by 20 points at LSU.
Notre Dame's Fighting Irish, who went 12-0 this season, did not play on Saturday, however, they made the playoff for the first time in school history. The Selection Committee announced Sunday that Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are the four best teams in the country and they will play for the national championship. That 2015 matchup between the No. 6 Irish and the No. 12 Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium, in which both teams came in undefeated, featured a furious Notre Dame comeback in the fourth quarter that fell just short when the Irish failed to convert on a late two-point attempt.
Alabama has kicked off as the favorite in 52 consecutive games and 125 of its past 126.
The Crimson Tide (13-0) have been the nation's No. 1 team all season and defeated Georgia on Saturday to win the Southeastern Conference title. The national championship game is January 7 in Santa Clara, California. "That is the ultimate compliment I can give them" said Saban. "And we saw that yesterday".
This will be only the fourth meeting between Clemson and Notre Dame, the first in a bowl game.