When Alabama and Georgia reached the College Football Playoff championship game, I wondered how many people would tune in across the country. "I'm very proud of this team and this university, and we're not going anywhere".
Reflecting back to the Crimson Tide's open practice last August, senior wide receiver Cam Sims spoke with yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine about four-star Louisiana native, Devonta Smith.
Apart from the final play, here's why Georgia lost the national championship game.
Pappanastos grew up a Crimson Tide fan, with his family having season tickets. Georgia scored again in regulation, but everything went Alabama's way in that second half and the overtime period. While we though Jalen Hurts would need a big night, it was Tua Tagovailoa who was the star of the show. The Crimson Tide struggled to get this going in the first half.
But Alabama didn't go away.
And this comes after two bonafide attempts to end the drought over the past two years. The Bulldogs haven't won a national championship in football since 1980.
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I would have said no before Monday night.
He did not like the way his team had played on the offensive side of the ball while being blanked for 30 minutes, and he knew that it was unlikely anything would change if he didn't do something drastic.
On his second drive, Tagovailoa drove 56 yards in seven plays, eclipsing Hurts' total passing yards in one drive with 44 and finding Henry Ruggs III in the end zone to make it a 13-7 game.
The true freshman turned Alabama's fortunes from lackluster to blockbuster, in a come-from-behind victory in the national title game against the Georgia Bulldogs Monday.
In the national title game, Alabama's coaches proved to be the championship-caliber adjusters. The SEC also had two teams featured in the 2011 season finale, when Alabama defeated Louisiana State in the BCS title game. The Knights went 13-0 to cap the only ideal season in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Smart heads into his third season with his alma mater.
"The record-breaking audiences, over the course of multiple years, clearly reinforce how the College Football Playoff has quickly established itself as an elite event on the sports calendar", Burke Magnus, ESPN's executive vice president of programming and scheduling, said in a statement. The FBS is the highest level of football in the NCAA.