It was one for the ages - a game filled with agony and ecstasy for both teams.
As poorly as Jalen Hurts played, putting Alabama in a 13-0 hole at halftime, the sophomore had been Nick Saban's starter for two years, having gone 25-2, and having already played in a national championship game the season prior.
Tagovailoa made his case most emphatically with a 41-yard, game-winning touchdown strike to freshman DeVonta Smith on a second-and-26 play on the Tide's first overtime passion. Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hails from Hawaii and people in his home state were ecstatic after watching him lead Alabama in its overtime victory over Georgia. It still takes some chutzpah for a coach to bench the 2016 SEC Player of the Year in the highest-stakes game for someone who had thrown just 53 career passes.
The committee's selection of Alabama obviously ended up being the correct one, seeing that it won the national title.
The national championship showdown between Alabama and Georgia drew 28.443 million viewers for ESPN, making it the second-most watched title game in the four years of the College Football Playoff format. "(Fromm) did a really good job of checking some plays and hitting some passes, but it was split safeties in the middle of the field.
The bad was epitomized by Alabama backup linebacker Mekhi Brown.
This play was also blown by the officiating crew. Still wondering why that was.
Tagovailoa hadn't appeared in a game decided by single-digits. The coach said he spoke to seven players who are considering leaving early to enter the National Football League draft. But I think the change will eventually come, and college football will be better off for it. That's not how I am. "I lived in Georgia and have a bunch of friends that go there, so I wanted them to win". I did something stupid. "And, I think we never forgot what happened".
I can appreciate that Brown expressed regret afterward but during the game he failed not only himself, but his teammates and his coaches. Just like us, those players are in a world of hurt right now. Yet as used to Crimson Tide domination as we are-and yes, Bama fatigue is a real thing in other parts of the country-this championship was different than any of Saban's other ones.
Georgia tight end Jeb Blazevich told FCA about the importance of spending quality time with Jesus.
Tagovailoa was brilliant at times, though he had a few freshman moments. Fromm threw for 232 yards and for a while it looked as if he was going to be the freshman star of the game, the first to true freshman to lead his team to a national title season since Jamelle Holieway for Oklahoma in 1985. "So, our team turns over a little quicker, so it creates a lot of opportunities for younger players to get a chance to play". He later went after a member of his own coaching staff. "We fell short today, and I think guys that are coming back understand what it's going to take plus more to get back here". Last week, Hurts was the Sugar Bowl offensive MVP. They can't be that good if they lost three games. I can still see him running over tacklers and then pulling away from them with an odd, stiff-legged looking, yet still incredibly graceful, sprint that was faster than anyone else.
The favorite to start at tailback will be D'Andre Swift, who showed strong speed and big-play potential as a freshman despite never having more than 10 carries in a game this season.