2018 CFP National Championship Review

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2017 was the year of the upset as some of the strangest games in the history of the game were played and made headlines throughout the year.

The comeback of a lifetime in the Super Bowl, the back and forth battle for the World Series, multiple massive upsets in the UFC and so many more.

In the sports world, it might have been the strangest year where nothing was guaranteed and everything was up for grabs.

2018 was a perfect matchup to continue that strange and fun time in sports but for one team the goal was to end the unpredictability.

The first major American title of 2018 was on the line just over a week into the year and it was another David vs. Goliath match-ups with a bit of a strange twist.

In this story, David was the team with more wins and a championship while Goliath was the team without a chance to win a championship.

Yet still, this match-up for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship was written for the upsets to continue.

The Alabama Crimson Tide would play the role of Goliath after losing their only game in the Iron Bowl and not even attending the Southeastern Conference title game.

That conference title doesn’t matter when talking about the Tide though as this program has easily been the best program in college football over the past decade.

Since Nick Saban took over he has won four National titles including the 2009 title only two years after becoming the head coach of Alabama.

During the BCS they were utterly dominant and were named to this year’s College Football Playoff, albeit somewhat controversially, to become the only team to be a part of all four playoffs.

They are the team that everyone aspires to be and they rarely take losses in the biggest games of the year.

Last year they were the big team going in to try to win two straight titles but the Clemson Tigers were just that much better to earn the upset win.

After a win over Clemson in the semi-final and a little revenge they were back to their third straight National title game looking to take two in three years.

Playing the role of David would be a team that had built their program in the image and the shadow of the Tide.

The Georgia Bulldogs saw a resurgence this year after hiring Kirby Smart, the former Defensive Coordinator at Alabama.

Smart went about installing a similar defence that the Tide had but also found an offence along with his improved defence.

After only a year Smart brought the Bulldogs to the SEC Championship and beat Auburn to take the conference title.football-sidebar

That win earned them a spot in the top four and a date with the Oklahoma Sooners in the semi-final which they took in a thriller.

Now they were in the title game for the first time ever, before 1998 the title was determined by votes rather than a game, and were hoping to take out the old standard to claim their first title since 1980.

Both teams traded blows to start the game with their defences dominating throughout the first half.

The biggest surprise was that Georgia was slowly beginning to take the game over as the halftime approached.

They were the ones that could break through as the defences seemed pretty evenly matched but the offence of the Bulldogs was just that much better.

They were able to add points and eventually they were the first to break the touchdown drought just before halftime.

The Bulldogs went into the half leading and seeming to be in control of the game until Saban switched things up and replaced Jalen Hurts with Tua Tagovailoa.

That turned out to be the best move of the game as the Tide became far more explosive with their back-up in that with Hurts under centre.

Although they still struggled against a great defence they were moving the ball better and climbing back into the game.

In the fourth quarter, they were finally able to catch up tying the game and getting the chance to win it with a field goal as time ran out.

That field goal didn’t pan out though and overtime was needed to solve the fight between these two teams.

The Bulldogs opened things up by only managing to get a field goal and seemed like they had it after sacking Tagovailoa setting up a 2nd and 26.

That is when the true reason for the QB replacement was revealed as Tagovailoa launched a 41-yard pass to the end zone caught by DeVonta Smith to end the game.

As much as the Bulldogs had done to make this a game when nobody thought it would be they couldn’t stop the Tide.

It was the only time Alabama led in the entire game but it was the only time anyone needed as they got a bigger battle than most thought but they still took the win continuing their dominance in the NCAA.

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