Insider ICYMI: Eight must-read stories from this week

Kanell: Clemson has formula to beat Alabama (1:20)

Danny Kanell explains why he believes Clemson will beat Alabama in the national championship game and discusses what would be the difference if Alabama beats Clemson. (1:20)

The day is almost upon us: the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T, Alabama against Clemson, Jan. 11.

And you'll be especially happy to know that it will be a close, one-score game that will come down to the very end.

How could we possibly know how the game will go? Easy -- using advanced Pro Football Focus metrics, Steve Palazzolo went ahead and played out the game. The verdict: It'll be a narrow win for ... well, you gotta click to find out.

And that's one of a slew of worthwhile stories from Insider this past week.

Don't believe the hype: Clemson can beat big, bad Bama

Jake Coker's limitations in stretching the field with his passing and Clemson's strength in defending the rush may work in the Tigers' favor in the national championship game. Bottom line: Clemson has a great chance at the CFP title. Here are four reasons why, according to Insider KC Joyner

Debunking the "Alabama's defense can't handle mobile quarterbacks" myth

Alabama has a reputation for struggling against dual-threat quarterbacks like Clemson's Deshaun Watson. But the reality is, this ain't your typical Bama defense.

Mock draft: Who's better, Derrick Henry or Deshaun Watson?

If you could have any player from Clemson or Alabama, who would you take? Scouts Inc. analysts Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl selected players one at a time from both CFP title-game contestants and found that overall depth favored one team, but elite, top-10 talent leaned heavily in the other direction.

Scouts Inc.: Five keys to Bama-Clemson

Derrick Henry and Deshaun Watson will surely impact who wins the CFP title game on Monday night. But these five keys could ultimately decide this year's champ.

Experts: Betting guide for Alabama-Clemson

What are the best bets in the College Football Playoff National Championship between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers? Chalk's Vegas experts give their take on the game.

CFB PickCenter: 68 percent of public betting Alabama

Torn between the Tigers and Tide? You're in the minority. Turns out, most of the nation is leaning toward Bama.

A familiar face is back at No. 1 in CFB recruiting rankings

It has been back and forth, and back and forth. But the new No. 1 team in ESPN's recruiting rankings is LSU, which has been at or near the top of the heap for months. The Tigers vaulted Ole Miss after the recommitments of receiver Stephen Sullivan and No. 4 OLB Michael Divinity.