While early on it looked like the Bulldogs had Alabama's number, a crucial quarterback change at the half seemed to be the deciding factor.
Critics contend that instead of looking at items like conference championships, quality wins over ranked opponents and strength of schedule, the committee chose to go with SEC legacy instead by picking Alabama.
The plan all week, like most weeks, didn't involve the backup quarterback.
For Bradley Bozeman, there was more riding on Alabama's game against Georgia than a mere national college football championship.
Saban had one more lesson to teach his former pupil: you've got to play a almost ideal game if you're going to dethrone this dynasty. That 26-23 overtime win over Georgia was nearly too much to process, even for Nick Saban, who when it was over actually sputtered "I've never been happier in my life".
Still, Tagovailoa left the locker room at halftime and completed 14-of-26 passes for 166 yards, adding another 27 yards rushing.
"We have a really good chemistry of coaches and players". Just a great win. Who would have ever thought I would have been here, right now in this moment.
Kiffin was part of the Alabama coaching staff when Tagovailoa was being recruited. He's a really talented freshman, reminds you of Jake (Fromm) with a lot of things he did.
The New Year's Six bowls and championship game drew an average of 17 million viewers, the most in four years of the format. Since he played a major role in orchestrating a comeback for the team and shined on the highest stage, he likely has a bright future ahead of him leading Alabama's offense. People doubted us all season and they didn't even think we could beat Clemson.
Overtime did that, and got the kid who hooked that ball off the hook forever in Alabama.
The Alabama dynasty is alive and well following another championship under Nick Saban.
"We've been down before and it ain't over until the last whistle, so everybody just kept fighting and we believed in everybody on this team", Smith said. A nervous quiet gripped the crowd of 77,430 as 'Bama burned the clock.
Alabama had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Andy Pappanastos missed a 36-yard field goal as time expired, forcing the game into overtime. The snap and hold looked fine, but the kicked missed badly to the left.
If the Crimson Tide were to win, Bozeman was going to propose to his girlfriend, former Alabama basketball player Nikki Hegstetter.
As soon as Tagovailoa was inserted and started to have success, it became apparent that everything Georgia did to build up that first half lead would prove futile in the end.
Passas said that more than seeing Tagovailoa on national TV or throwing the game-winning TD pass, he was moved by the way Tagovailoa reacted to the win, running to embrace his family after the game.