The final score in this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game suggests that there’s still a pretty big disparity between Alabama and the rest of the field. The Crimson Tide pounded Ohio State 52-24 to win their sixth national title under head coach Nick Saban.

Add to that the fact that Alabama just signed the highest-rated recruiting class in history — marking the eighth time in 10 years Saban has landed the nation’s top-ranked class — and the Tide are in position to continue their dominance in the sport.

One former Buckeye doesn’t necessarily believe that’s the case, though. J.K. Dobbins, who just completed an outstanding rookie season in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, believes Ohio State is closing the gap on mighty Alabama.

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“I think the gap is pretty close,” Dobbins told The Spun in a recent interview. “I think Alabama just had a really special team this past year. They had a whole bunch of guys — that team was pretty old so a lot of guys left. We have young guys at Ohio State right now so the gap isn’t that far so we’ll be there again. Coach Day is an amazing coach and he’s going to get everybody right. No doubt they’re going to be there again.”

Ohio State’s 2021 recruiting class is incredibly talented as well, ranking No. 2 nationally with 5 5-star commits and 18 players with a 4- or 5-star rating. It’s actually somewhat hard to believe anyone topped the Buckeyes’ impressive class.

Dobbins, who played under both Urban Meyer and Ryan Day at Ohio State, isn’t the only one who believes Ohio State is closing the gap. FOX analyst RJ Young echoed similar sentiments after National Signing Day, saying the Buckeyes are “building what Alabama has built.”

The Buckeyes just won their fourth-straight B1G title and reached the College Football Playoff for the second-straight season. Their only two losses over the past two years have come in the race for a national championship.

This year’s national title game may have been lopsided, but there’s plenty to be optimistic about in Columbus.