Tonight marks the official end of the longest, strangest, most disheveled college football season in ages, one that almost didn’t happen at all and occasionally – amid the postponements and cancellations, the opt-outs and badly depleted rosters, the mostly empty stadiums – felt like maybe it shouldn’t. Navigating the pandemic meant throwing schedules into disarray on a weekly basis, sacrificing many of the sport’s defining rivalries, nixing half the bowl schedule, even relocating the Rose Bowl to a location that (whatever the logo on the field said) was decidedly not the Rose Bowl. When the season kicked off in September, only four months ago, there was no guarantee exactly when it would end, or how.

But here we are: On the cusp of a highly anticipated finale that will drop the curtain on the 2020 campaign by crowning a worthy and legitimate champion, right on schedule. And after so many months of unprecedented chaos and uncertainty, who is left standing? Alabama, of course. As if there was ever any doubt.