In the coming National Championship playoffs I believe that Washington should be the easiest challenge that Alabama could face in their first playoff game. That said anything could happen on any given day so there is no guarantee that Alabama will defeat Washington but given the teams that Washington has faced and the teams that Alabama has faced along with the way each has played Alabama should be able to prevail on New Year's eve. If they do, as I hope they do, then who would be the greatest challenge to a 17th National Championship title?
I think an equally convincing argument could be made for Clemson and for Ohio State so it's good, for Alabama, that they will face each other and one will be eliminated on New Years eve.
Clemson has been there, last year, and gave Alabama all they cared for and Deshaun Watson is back and more seasoned/experienced than ever and folks better believe that Clemson has a chip on it's shoulder and each player wants a rematch with Alabama to atone for the loss last year.
Ohio State for their part seems to have a hex on Alabama and many believe if Saban can be out coached it will be by Urban Meyer and Ohio State still has the same quarterback as they had the last time they beat Alabama only with a lot more experience. Also Ohio State is a very young team which has looked very impressive against some very strong teams.
For my part, as a Crimson Tide (Alabama) fan I would like to have a shot at Ohio State and avenge the loss in the first National Championship playoff game two years ago. I fear that Clemson though would give Alabama a closer challenge but the way Alabama has been playing and given they haven't actually played their best game yet or up to their maximum potential (on offense) then it could be that unless Alabama beats themselves with turnovers and mistakes that there really is no one that could defeat them. I fully believe that this year's Alabama team may well be the best all around Alabama team ever whether under Saban or compared to one of Bear's teams. This year's Alabama team could also very well be the best College football team ever to play a season but that would be a very contentious statement and one that could be easily challenged because there have been some tremendous College football teams from the past that have played at Nebraska, USC, and Miami.
I do love College Football though and hope that Alabama will add their 17th National championship in 2017.