The 2018 college football national championship comes down to yet another battle between SEC behemoths, as No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama are set to meet inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium–ironically enough, the same venue that hosted this year’s SEC title game–on Monday night.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch:
Live Stream Info
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch both semis for free:
DirecTV Now: There are four main channel packages, and ESPN is included in all of them. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPN is included in the “Sling Orange” base package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: There are four main channel packages, and ESPN is included in all of them. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Also note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When you’re asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in
An all-SEC national championship isn’t for everyone. Points are going to be hard to come by–the over/under is set at a meager 45 points–and after the last two national title games, as well as last week’s Rose Bowl, it’s difficult to get amped up for anything that has a low chance of being a shootout. Nevertheless, it’s still an intriguing matchup.
Both teams are a joy to watch defensively, with future NFL players present at all three levels. Alabama is first in the nation defensively in points per game (12.0), yards per game (261.2) and yards per play (3.9). They have a Top-5 prospect in defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. Georgia ranks fourth defensively points per game (15.8), yards per game (292.6) and yards per play (4.5). They also have a Top-5 prospect in linebacker Roquan Smith, who has tallied 5.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.
Both teams can run the ball down your throat. Alabama has two running backs–Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough–and a quarterback–Jalen Hurts–who can hurt you on the ground, while Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both surpassed 1,100 rushing yards on the year and will both likely be playing on Sundays next year. The Crimson Tide are 10th in both yards per carry and rushing yards per game, while the Bulldogs are fourth and ninth, respectively.
And then both have young quarterbacks who serve as the X-factors. Though just a sophomore, Hurts has national championship experience and big-play ability, but if he’s forced to sit in the pocket and throw, Alabama’s offense can sometimes struggle. Georgia true freshman Jake Fromm has looked anything like a true freshman this year, and he has handled all the big moments put in front of him, but he’s not nearly as much of a playmaker as Hurts.
It’s ultimately a matchup between two very similar teams, and that makes for a compelling battle for college football’s greatest prize. No matter what conference they’re from.