Football title game was awash with Tide

ATLANTA GA- JANUARY 08 Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball against Roquan Smith #3 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes Benz Stadium

Alabama is favored to win it all again in 2019

Tua Tagovailoa outdueled another true freshman, Georgia's Jake Fromm.

And then - we don't have to relive, "and then".

Alabama begins defense of its crown September 1st in Orlando, facing off with Louisville in a neutral-site affair.

This was the dagger that gave Alabama a walk-off national title.

But if you were, here's what readers around the country would have awoken to in newspapers and online.

Not everyone has the - uh, how to put this delicately - conviction (we'll go with that) to pull this off.

In some cases, it was one paragraph. Tua could only be asked to win if there was no other viable choice.

What follows is pretty almost a master class in the perils of writing on deadline. It wears red but, curiously, not crimson. It even can resort to the odd and magical 80-yard pass at times of hyperventilation.

The regular season has sort of gone down the memory hole because of the excitement and potential that comes with a national championship game.

Najee Harris led Alabama in rushing with 64 yards on six carries, all of which came in the fourth quarter.

Ever since the CFP committee decided who would make up the four-team playoff field in late December, controversy about who deserved the final spot has run rampant throughout the nation. He also darted away from pass rushers and made some impeccable throws, showing poise of a veteran.

ATLANTA -It has been 27 years since the University of Georgia football team won a national championship, and when it happened in 1981, it was a freshman running back from Wrightsville, Georgia named Herschel Walker who led them. It was a $250 million payroll versus the team that had lost 111 games just four years earlier.

AP photo Alabama head coach Nick Saban holds up the championship trophy after overtime of the college football playoff championship game against Georgia Monday.

But it did not come easily.

"When we lost past year on the last play of the game, we said don't waste a failing", Saban said. But in overtime we didn't finish when we had to and Alabama did.

Tagovailoa was brilliant at times, though he had a few freshman moments.

"A Georgia fan would be able to look at the situation and say 'but we made it this far, '" he said.

Alabama (13-1) replaced Jalen Hurts at quarterback with Tagovailoa to start the second half, and that move paid immediate dividends.

Now that the red and white confetti have fallen from the heavens of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and a national champion has been crowned in college football - the Alabama Crimson Tide - the thought of waiting another 230-plus days to kick off another year of college football is now a reality. Instead, his protege, Kirby Smart became the first former Saban assistant at Alabama to beat the mentor.

In this format, a UCF team that went 13-0 this season wouldn't have to stage a faux national championship celebration like it did this year when Florida governor Rick Scott declared the Knights the true national champions. They won it in Atlanta, releasing a cathartic cheer that reverberated from Augusta to Albany, Augusta to Athens. They've set the standard for UGA football and we will be back.

Freshman Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the Tide in a second-half comeback against the Georgia Bulldogs, throwing an awesome 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime for the 26-23 win.

The first Georgia drive of the overtime period went minus-nine yards following a sack of Fromm. It was the most fun I've ever had watching Georgia football. This game was going to take more than that. This year, with the season lasting as long as it did, the Bulldogs will get a later start.

Just like Mississippi State, all Smith needed one catch to make a difference.

And for Georgia fans, those 230-plus days before the next season can not come fast enough.

Latest News