With the College Football National Championship game drawing closer and closer, Alabama and Ohio State prepare for the most important game of their lives. ESPN+’s Inside the College Football Playoff takes a closer look at how both teams are preparing for the big game and how some of their key players got here to begin with.
The episode opens with a look at media day for both teams. We see clips of players from both teams doing Zoom interviews and hear from both Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day and Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban.Both coaches stress that neither of their teams has completed their mission yet and they both stress the importance of this championship game.
We also see highlights of practices for both Alabama and Ohio State. The one thing this series has done very well is finding highlights from each team that perfectly mirror each other. That makes these highlight reels beautiful to watch. Both coaches can be heard yelling during their practices as the tension builds with the final game on the horizon.
We then dive a bit into the history of the College Football Playoff, which began in 2014. In seven seasons since, Alabama and Ohio State have combined for 10 playoff appearances and three National Championships. We also get a look back at the last time these two teams met, a semifinal matchup in 2014 won by Ohio State. The Buckeyes went on to win a National Championship a week later. Alabama followed that up by playing in the next four National Championships, winning two of them.
That transitions nicely into a conversation with Alabama’s star wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who caught the game winning touchdown for the Crimson Tide’s 2018 championship win. Smith went up against three quarterbacks as a finalist for this year’s Heisman Trophy. One of those quarterbacks was his teammate, Mac Jones.
We then get a look at the Heisman Trophy presentation, which saw Smith take home the hardware as analysts sing his praises and his teammate embraces him.
The episode then jumps over to the Ohio State side and looks back at the life of quarterback Justin Fields. The quarterback talks about growing up in Georgia and always wanting to play for the University of Georgia. We see his story from his time as a backup for the Bulldogs, to his transfer to Ohio State. It’s interesting seeing how much footage there is of him on the sideline for Georgia, long before he became the star he is now.
We also get a brief look at the story of this season for Ohio State running back Trey Sermon, who also transferred to Ohio State. Sermon started the season as the second back on the depth chart, but has since played his way into the starting role and become a key part of this offense.
The episode wraps up with highlights of players from both sides preparing for the game on the practice field and in the weight room as their voiceover explains how ready they are to become national champions. Both coaches also share their prototypical coach messages about how their teams are ready to win.
With the title game coming up, this episode of Inside the College Football Playoff, didn’t really need to do much to further the hype that is already surging through the bodies of college football fans. Still, it delivered another entertaining look behind the scenes and provided a lot of context for some of the storylines this game will feature.
There will be one more episode of Inside the College Football Playoff, with the next premiering on January 14, after of the National Championship game. You can watch Inside the College Football Playoff exclusively on ESPN+.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”