College Football Research


College Football National Championship Game Preview

by Big Al

And here we are. The year is just about over and there is only one more game to play. The National Championship Game for the 2017 season of college football.

Short story for you: last season I did not do a preview of the championship game between Clemson and Alabama, largely because I could not make up my mind about who to pick. There was some part of my brain that realized that, no matter how I analyzed it, I was going to come to the wrong conclusion. I should note I was leaning toward Alabama last season, so I guess I was right in some manner of speaking.

This game raises similar problems for me. I want to pick Georgia. I so want to pick Georgia. But the analyst in me says, "No way." So I'm picking Alabama for the following reasons:

  1. Georgia runs the same sort of pro-style offense that Alabama usually runs (Jalen Hurts has changed that equation somewhat). But Alabama runs it with better players at almost every position.
  2. Georgia is coming off of an emotional win over Oklahoma that took a lot out of them. Alabama pretty well throttled Clemson from start to finish. Because of that, Alabama will be fresher than Georgia: this advantage is even more substantial when there's only a week between games.
  3. Saban's former assistants never beat him.

I keep coming back to Georgia and thinking that they can pull it off. But, as an analyst, I am duty-bound to be analytical. So Alabama is my pick.


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