Alabama-Georgia draws 2nd-largest CFP championship TV audience

DeVonta Smith-010818-GETTY-FTR

DeVonta Smith-010818-GETTY-FTR

The left-handed phenom from Honolulu talked about being homesick like any other freshman, even though his parents were in the stands. Meyer is still great, yes, but Saban - who got his head coaching start at Toledo in 1990 - just secured his place as the greatest of them all, matching Bear Bryant with his sixth national championship. Tua Tagovailoa came into the game in the third quarter and led the Tide on a comeback.

Tua Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith to give No. 4 Alabama a 26-23 overtime victory against No. 3 Georgia to win the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night. What should no longer be a subject of disagreement is college football's 'Greatest Dynasty.' It belongs to Alabama football and Nick Saban. A 3-and-out on the next drive gave the ball back to the Bulldogs for the rest of the period. The only possible loss at tailback is Damien Harris.

Key player: Tagovailoa went 7-for-13 and was a big factor in all the big plays outside of the Georgia 80-yard touchdown pass. While we still think the UCF Knights deserved to be in the playoff and possibly in the final game, the National Championship game proved to be an exciting one. In 2014, Ohio State defeated Alabama and Oregon en route to the title.

Alabama's newfound spark was briefly extinguished.

It was a wild ride from there, with Tagovailoa completing one of the best game-winning passes in college football since Doug Flutie in 1984 as the Crimson Tide won in overtime. Alabama is loaded, and they may have just found the piece of the puzzle that they've never really had, an elite-level quarterback.

Georgia appeared to be the better team for most of Monday night.

Perhaps Smart's program could continue to follow the same path as his former employer, given that Alabama had a similarly sad ending to its 2016-'17 season.

He finished 14 for 24 for 166 yards. The numbers are less impressive for football and men's basketball. Our prediction was pretty spot on, and the Alabama Crimson Tide is the latest college National Championship.

Tagovailoa was excellent on the play. Was he aiming for Ridley?

A little less than a year after the Atlanta Falcons blew a 25-point lead and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, there was more pain for many of the local fans. "He's going to be in the top as good as there's ever been". All he did was get a fourth down to set up the last-second 36-yard field that was ultimately missed. He allows himself far less time to celebrate actually winning titles, even ones as dramatic as this one. Lineman Raekwon Davis and linebackers Mack Wilson and Dylan Moses are the leaders for the defense next fall. Fitzgerald is a proven leader and, if healthy, will have the experience and ability to be the player that lines up behind center in the first game of 2018. In the second half, Alabama's freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returned the favor. While those two received much of the spotlight during the postgame celebrating, they were hardly the only two freshmen to get in on the action. The no-nonsense, methodical, process-driven perfectionist who has run the rest of college football into the ground since 2007.

In the first half, led by freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, Georgia's offense carved up the Alabama defense. The net result, an Alabama field goal that cut it to 20-10 where the quarter ended.

"'Ball. Play your game". But oddsmakers like Michigan's chances.

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