WHAT A DAY!!! The College Football Playoff Semifinals took place yesterday and it was a MUST WATCH event. The Rose Bowl game between Oklahoma and Georgia was an INSTANT CLASSIC, and even though the Sugar Bowl between Clemson and Alabama was a DUD, there were some INTERESTING moments in that game. After all the CONFETTI has been cleared from yesterday, we are left with Georgia and Alabama getting ready to face each other in the National Championship game on Monday Night.
Oklahoma and Georgia were the #2 and #3 seeds of the College Football Playoff and most fans expected the Rose Bowl to be a CLOSE contest. Oklahoma led by Heisman Trophy winner and FUTURE New York Jets quarterback Baker Mayfield jumped out to a FOURTEEN point lead going into Halftime and looked in CONTROL of the game.
Georgia did not want their GREAT season to END in Pasadena, California and they scored TWENTY FOUR unanswered points to TAKE the lead over the Sooners. It looked like the Bulldogs were going to WIN the Rose Bowl, but the Sooners’ defense came ALIVE in the fourth quarter and had a FUMBLE recovery for Touchdown that gave Oklahoma the lead with LESS than FOUR minutes left in the fourth quarter. Georgia was able to MARCH right down the field and scored a Touchdown that TIED the game and FORCED overtime.
In overtime, it seemed as if the Oklahoma coaching staff did NOT trust Mayfield, as they were very CONSERVATIVE in their play calling in Overtime, when they had a chance to WIN the game. BOTH teams scored THREE points in the FIRST overtime, thus the game went into SECOND overtime.
The Sooners got the ball FIRST in the Second overtime, but had to settle for a field goal ATTEMPT, that was BLOCKED by Georgia. All the Bulldogs needed in the SECOND overtime to WIN the game was a field goal, but then THIS happened-
Bulldogs’ running back Sony Michel had a WALKOFF Touchdown that gave Georgia the Rose Bowl WIN and the chance to play in the National Championship game. The FINAL score in this game was 54-48, and it was by far the BEST game of this season.
The Rose Bowl was such an INSTANT CLASSIC, that the people IN CHARGE at the Sugar Bowl decided to DELAY the game until the Rose Bowl was over. The Sugar Bowl started once the Rose Bowl went into OVERTIME, but everyone was still GLUED to their TV watching the INSTANT CLASSIC in Pasadena.
Once the Sugar Bowl did start, it was never CLOSE and the game was OVER from the start. Clemson and Alabama have faced each other in the last TWO National Championship games, with each team winning ONE time, so last night’s game was the RUBBER MATCH that decides who is better, and we all know the ANSWER to that question now.
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee’s DECISION to put IN Alabama in the playoff over other teams was highly CONTROVERSIAL, but they were proved RIGHT last night. Alabama took CONTROL of the game from the start, SHUTTING DOWN the Clemson offense and started toying around with the Clemson Defense.
Alabama Defensive Tackle Daron Payne came in on Offense late in the game to SCORE a Touchdown, which was his LIFELONG DREAM. Alabama was NO match for Clemson, and last night really showed why the Crimson Tide have been so DOMINANT in College Football for the past DECADE. An Alabama team that most people that thought was one of the WEAKEST teams of their current DYNASTY, managed to beat the DEFENDING National Champions by EIGHTEEN points.
Georgia and Alabama will now “TRAVEL” to Atlanta to play in the National Championship game on Monday Night, in front of a crowd that will be a MIX of both schools. Atlanta is only a COUPLE of hours drive away from both schools, so those fans will show up in Mercedes Benz Stadium for the game on Monday.
This is the FIRST time in the College Football Playoff era and FIRST time since 2012, that BOTH teams playing for the National Championship come from the SAME conference, the SEC. In 2012, Alabama beat RIVAL LSU at the time their SECOND National Championship of their current DYNASTY, they have since WON TWO more National Titles. The TWO schools will be looking to prove that the SEC is still the DOMINANT conference in College Football, despite the football product for the conference as a WHOLE being not as good this season as PAST seasons.
Head Coach of Georgia, Kirby Smart was an ASSISTANT coach at Alabama under Nick Saban, before coming to Georgia, so this game will be EMOTIONAL for BOTH coaches. Not many coaches have SUCCEEDED after leaving Alabama, and Smart can CHANGE that TREND by beating his FORMER Boss on Monday Night.
I expect the National Championship to be CLOSE, with BOTH teams having an OPPORTUNITY to pull away in the FOURTH quarter. I will be packing my OFFICIAL prediction on the game on Monday Afternoon, and will talk MORE about the actual game then, but right now I am still RECOVERING from the GREAT games that I saw yesterday, it will take me some time to FULLY recover and think about the National Championship game.