National Championship Notes
January 2, 2018
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The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs are the last two teams standing in the quest for the 2017 National Championship. They'll meet at the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium right in the heart of SEC Country, marking the second time the SEC has put two teams in the National Championship Game.
Tide Rolling Through the Dawgs
Nick Saban has had a history of beating the snot out of everyone in the SEC, and Georgia isn't an exception. These two teams don't play all that often anymore, meeting just three times since 2007. Heck, Georgia hasn't even visited Tuscaloosa since 2007.
That hasn't stopped the Crimson Tide from creaming the Bulldogs. They've won each of the last three meetings, most of which have come in relatively comfortable fashion. In 2015, the last meeting of these squads, the Bulldogs were 1.5-point favorites at home. It was the last time Alabama happened to be an underdog in a game. The Crimson Tide won 38-10 and have literally never stopped to look back at the rest of the SEC since that point.
Since the 2010 National Championship Game against Texas, Alabama has been favored in every single game it has played in save for that one against Georgia in 2015.
Running it Up
Georgia was never going to win a playoff game without the help of its defense and its running game. Though the Bulldogs surrendered 48 points to Oklahoma, a dominant stretch in the third quarter after a bad first half got them back into the game, and the rushing attack finished things off.
Jake Fromm made some throws, too, but he really didn't have much in the way of pressure on his shoulders throughout the Sugar Bowl. Sony Michel and Nick Chubb became the all-time leading duo of rushers in FBS history during the Rose Bowl, and they certainly both got their money's worth in that game. The two combined to run for 326 yards and five touchdowns on just 25 carries. Michel also had four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Keep this in mind, though: Georgia's two backs ran for 326 yards. Alabama allowed 326 yards in every four games that it played this year. Not a single back ran for as many yards against the Crimson Tide as either Chubb or Michel had against Oklahoma. Good luck replicating that success in this one, UGA.
Fromm Entering Rare Territory
Last year, Jalen Hurts put up what was largely considered to be the best year a true freshman quarterback had in the history of college football. That said, he came up one game short of the goal of becoming the second true frosh quarterback ever to win a National Championship. Of course, that wasn't his fault; when Hurts left the field against Clemson late in the fourth quarter, he had the lead. His defense gave it back.
Enter: Jake Fromm
Fromm wasn't even supposed to see the field this season, and there was a decent chance he was going to be redshirted. Instead, Jacob Eason got hurt in the opener, and Fromm had his number called. He upset Notre Dame in South Bend in Week 2 and never looked back. Now, he's the only true freshman to ever win the Rose Bowl, and he can join Jamelle Holieway as the only other man to lead a team to a National Championship in his first season as a collegiate athlete.
National Championship Opening Odds
Georgia Bulldogs +4
Alabama Crimson Tide -4
Current National Championship Odds (Updated 1/2)
Georgia Bulldogs +4.5
Alabama Crimson Tide -4.5
(Odds courtesy of BookMaker.eu)
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