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2022-01-11 12:42

So that's it. The end of a very long period without a National Championship for Georgia.

Congratulation!

Georgia won the last time in 1980 and now they did beat Alabama for their 3rd National Championship.

And in an unpredictable streak I did again pick the wrong team. LOL.
That was reversed psychology at its best.

CFP National Championship pres. by AT&T
#3 Georgia vs #1 Alabama

@Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
So what happened?
Well, it turned out in the 1st half not much happened.
Alabama came out and got the ball but was held for a field goal for the 3-0 lead.
Then both teams did stop the opponents for multiple ties after a few plays and when Georgia had a long drive going, Alabama did prevent a touchdown happening and Georgia did strike for a tying field goal at 3-3.
Alabama got the ball back and managed a big play to bring them in scoring range just with the 1st play on that drive, but the engine did sputter, and the Tide had to settle for a field goal to take the 6-3 lead.
Georgia managed to do nothing, and Alabama managed another field goal drive to extent the lead to 9-3.
The Bulldogs answered with a field goal drive by their own and we went into the half after both teams managed to do nothing at 9-6 for Alabama.
So far, no real excitement, just a close game with the potential that one touchdown could decide the game.
Then came a period of errors and missed opportunities.
Georgia punted on their 1st drive, Alabama did throw and INT.
Lucky for them it was in mid-field and Georgia did punt again after 3 plays.
Alabama came to play and got a long drive going, only to have it blocked.
And Georgia had enough and got their own big play to get into scoring range again.
And this time, they punched it in on the ground for the lead, 13-9.
The Tide got another long drive going and was held to a field goal, 13-12.
On the next Georgia drive did the Alabama defense come through and sacked the Georgias QB and caused a fumble, they did recover.
4 plays later did Alabama score a touchdown and took the lead back at 18-12, failing the 2-point-conversion.
The Bulldogs got the ball back and on a free play did they throw the ball over half of the field and scored a touchdown to reclaim the lead, 19-18, also failing on the 2-point-conversion.
Now the excitement was there.
Alabama was stopped and Georgia got the ball back, playing the clock, slowly marching and finally scoring a touchdown for a little more comforting lead, 26-18.
The Crimson Tide had roughly 3:30 left to get a score and tried it.
But with a minute left to play and 3rd and 10 did Alabama throw a ball too short and Georgia intercepted it.
And while Kirby Smart did signal the runner to get to the ground, Georgia did return the ball for a touchdown for the final score of 33-18.
This scene did show why team sports are how they are perfectly.
The coach had all the scenarios in his head and wanted the runner to kneel down, so the offense could end the game in controlled manner.
But all players were so pumped up with that event, they did what they learn to do in 99% of the cases, returning the ball.
At that point the game could have changed again, dramatically, there are example of that on the net, but in this case, it just sealed the game off.
I'm sure the player will think of this in delight for the rest of his live, knowing rationally his coach was right.
Anyhow, Georgia did it!
Jacks BOWL Score: 22-16

And with that the college football season is over.

Thanks for reading!

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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2022-01-05 09:19

I apologize for posting this so late, I planned it to post it yesterday, before the Texas Bowl, but my job did mess up my planning.

Let's get to the games.

Thursday, December 30
Duke's Mayo Bowl
North Carolina vs South Carolina

@Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Oh my god, UNC did suck in the 1st quarter and South Carolina did basically win this game in that period.
They scored 18 unanswered points and UNC got only short drives done.
Then the Tar Heels woke up a bit and managed to get the halftime score to 13-25.
Not much to overcome, right?
But they managed only to play equal to SC and in the 4th quarter did UNC give up.
South Carolina won 38-21, which is a good sign for the team with that new HC.
For UNC, I'm starting to worry that their decision to bring in that old coach might become a boomerang.
It seems the energy of the 1st season is gone.
Jacks BOWL Score: 15-9

TransPerfect Music City Bowl
Tennessee vs Purdue

@Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Sometimes slow-mo is a bitch.
In old times, when that play I will describe was played, and the ref did call it a stop, some would say 'false' some would say 'right', but at the end the ref decision would be the final verdict.
But today, with slo-mo in 4K HD, this is different.
The game started in Tennessees favor, then did Purdue start catching up and they did even lead at the half, 23-21.
Then in the 2nd half did both teams get the lead back and lost it again, until Tennessee tied the game at 45.
Purdue got the ball and was stopped, the Vols got the ball and tried a long field goal to win the game on the final seconds, but missed the 56-yarder.
So it went into overtime.
Tennessee got the ball first and made it to the Purdue 1yard line.
On 4th and 1 did then the play happen, I was talking about at the start.
Tennessee tried a dive right hand side, the running back was stopped, but pushed himself still forward and during the tackling reached out and crossed with the ball the goalline.
That's what the slo-mo did reveal. The ref did see a player stopped and struggling and called the forward progress over before the goalline.
It was not reversed, so the game was still tied at 45.
A big bummer.
Purdue got the ball and kicked the game winning field goal, won the game 48-45.
Jacks BOWL Score: 15-10

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
#12 Pittsburgh vs #10 Michigan State

@Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Playing without their start QB did Pitt still get their things done in the 1st 3 quarters.
MSU did their best to keep up, but slowly get behind, trailing 10-21.
Then came the 4th quarter and the whole game did shift.
The Spartans got a drive together and scored a TD, stopped Pitt on a 3-and-out-drive and then scored again a TD, taking the lead 24-21.
Pittsburgh tried to marge over the field and were intercepted for a pick-6.
Michigan State won the game 31-21.
A great season for the Spartans, dreaming of a new era of strength.
For Pitt, next season might become a setback with a new QB.
Jacks BOWL Score: 16-10

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
Wisconsin vs Arizona State

@Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Wisconsin started fast and then did manage to secure the win by playing a tough defense.
They did lack a bit of offense in the 3rd quarter, but that was fine, since ASU did also lack the offense.
Wisconsin won 20-13 and maybe they will become the leading team again in their division, but only time will tell.
ASU has some issues, they will have to solve during the off-season and further.
Their HC is tarnished, got only a prolongation for next season.
Jacks BOWL Score: 17-10

Friday, December 31
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
#17 Wake Forest vs Rutgers

@TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Rutgers came in as replacements with less overall time to prepare in general but managed to keep the game quite open until the end of the 3rd quarter, trailing at that time only by 13 points.
But it was obvious the game would not shift at that point.
And in the 4th the motivation or maybe the stamina did not hold and Wake Forest did score some additional points to seal the game with a final score of 38-10.
For Wake Forest the next season will be interesting, since expectations will be high and the hardest part is to stay on top in the 2nd season.
For Rutgers, I hope for them they can get this team better, but my feeling is that Schiano in this 2nd stint has them on the right track.
On his 1st stint he needed 5 seasons to get the team into a bowl with a winning season and 6 for a double digit win season.
Not sure about the double digits, but I think next season they might crack the 6+ win barrier, which would be his 3rd on the 2nd stint.
Jacks BOWL Score: 18-10

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
Washington State vs Central Michigan

@Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX
Wow, I have to say I was totally disappointed by Wazzus performance.
Central Michigan did dominate the 1st half and led - drums - 21-0!
It was as the Cougars did not want to play.
And that without turnovers or so, just pure incapability to move the ball.
Great defense by CMU.
In the middle of the 3rd quarter did then WSU wake up and scored 2 TDs, thanks also to a CMU INT.
Before that the Cougars could already thank CMU for a fumble inside the Cougars redzone and later a missed field goal, otherwise the score to overcome would have been bigger.
So, 2 TDs and the score was 21-14 for CMU.
Then CMU missed another field goal, but Wazzu was unable to do something out of that and CMU finally did hit a field goal to get some additional points.
Someone did wake up the offense of the Cougars and they score in 4 plays a bit later to get withing 3 points.
They stopped CMU after 3 plays and then - drums - got nothing together and CMU won this strange late matchup bowl out of 2 scheduled bowls 24-21.
Congratulations to CMU, a nice ending of the season for them.
And I hope for Washington State that THIS was not a hint for next season.
Jacks BOWL Score: 18-11

Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl
Central Michigan vs Boise State

@Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
As said, Boise State did pull out and Central Michigan moved to another bowl, hence no contest here.

CFP Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
#4 Cincinnati vs #1 Alabama

@AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
The 1st semifinal was a bit more open than expected, but overall it went as expected.
Alabama scored 1st and Cincinnati managed over the whole game only to score 6 points, while Alabama did score and score.
Not as much as I expected (I did expect 40+ to be honest), but it was clear that the Cincinnati defense was not capable to stop the Tide.
At the end it was only 27-6, and Alabama is again in the College Football Playoffs Championship game.
For Cincinnati it was likely a good showing, at likely they did show they are on the same level as many other very good teams, just not on the level of the top team.
Jacks BOWL Score: 19-11

CFP Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl
#3 Georgia vs #2 Michigan

@Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
If I would be Wolverines fan, I would be mad.
Since ages this guy does take high value wages from the program and delivers nothing, and this season it did seem they could finally get something and they played poorly.
The offense was none-existing, Georgia did score and controlled the game and Michigan trailed 27-3.
Even Cincinnati did play better against Alabama.
The 3rd quarter was scoreless and then it was over.
We get an all-SEC National Championship game.
I don't know why, but the SEC get gets it done and the other conferences ... not.
Lucky me, I'm not a Michigan fan.
I like Bulldogs. ;-)
Jacks BOWL Score: 20-11

Saturday, January 1
Outback Bowl
Penn State vs #21 Arkansas

@Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Both teams were on the same level for the 1st half, but a huge 3rd quarter did decide the game for Arkansas.
They scored 17 points unanswered and, in the 4th, both teams were unable to score at all, which means Arkansas won at the end 24-10.
For me this fits with the season results the teams did achieve over the season, Penn State with some potential strength, but when it came down to deliver they missed the opportunities and Arkansas did overachieve every expectations.
I'm really curious how they will progress in the next season.
Jacks BOWL Score: 21-11

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
#9 Oklahoma State vs #5 Notre Dame

@State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Well, Notre Dame has the tendency to destroy my picks over the past seasons and they did it again.
In the 1st half it did look like Notre Dame has the Cowboys under control and they led 28-14.
Then came the 3rd quarter and OSU did score and score and score and suddenly it was Oklahoma State leading 31-28.
Notre Dame did suck big time, committed fumbles and INTs and did only get their things together to score another TD with 1 min left, still trailing at that time by 2 points.
The onside kick try failed and OSU won the game 37-35.
I have some hope for Notre Dame that their new HC will turn the team into some more reliable team, better that the, from my point of view, pretender the Kelly team was.
Sure, they won games, many in fact, but never those which really count.
For Oklahoma State, I will never understand how Gundy is managing his team, sometimes it seems to be a hate-marriage, sometimes it seems a love you can't compare.
This game was all love, I think.
Jacks BOWL Score: 21-12

Vrbo Citrus Bowl
#15 Iowa vs #22 Kentucky

@Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
To make this one quick, Kentucky did seem to be the team first, then Iowa did turn the table and when Kentucky got the ball back for a final drive, they trailed by 4 points against a tough defense they were not able to score against in the whole half.
But Kentucky did move the ball and score a TD for the final score of 20-17.
Iowa tried a comeback but was intercepted.
Kentucky looks like a now well-established 2nd tier team inside the SEC, winning often and enough to be now a team to consider as serious competition.
Iowa does also play on a high level, but so far seems to miss something to get the final push to win the BIG 10.
Jacks BOWL Score: 22-12

Rose Bowl Game Pres. by Capital One Venture X
#11 Utah vs #6 Ohio State

@Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
A killer game and I would say who ever did watch it did get something for their money.
Almost the whole 1st half was scoring, scoring and scoring, with Utah a bit more successful than OSU, leading 35-21 at the half.
Then did the Buckeyes get some more live and a few minutes inside the 4th quarter the game was tied at 38.
Utah was again stopped and Ohio State score to get in front, only to have the game again tied by a Utah score at 45.
Now only less then 2 minutes left to play and OSU got the ball.
After a good return the Buckeyes moved fast and had then to settle for a field goal try from Utahs 2-yard line.
The made it and won the game 48-45.
Those are bowls I love (even I did pick wrong).
Jacks BOWL Score: 22-13

Allstate Sugar Bowl
#7 Baylor vs #8 Ole Miss

@Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
And this is one of those games I would hate to see, because not much did happen.
Baylor led 7-0 at the half, then Ole Miss did tie the game at 7 in the 3rd and then both teams decided to play a bit more and it became a bit more interesting.
But only if you are a Baylor fan, since Ole Miss did commit an interception at one of the most important time, right after Baylor took the lead, and gave the ball to Baylor again to extent the lead.
Of this Ole Miss never recovered and lost 7-21.
For Baylor I have hope they will content in the BIG 12 next year again, while Ole Miss might take a step back, losing their starting QB likely.
Jacks BOWL Score: 22-14

I had the Texas Bowl prepared as preview, but as said messed up the timing and got occupied with work, so I'm a day too late.

Here the preview:
Tuesday, January 4
TaxAct Texas Bowl
LSU vs Kansas State

@NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Since 2006 this bowl exists and is played in the home stadium of the Houston Texans.
It's a Big12 vs SEC bowl, and we have 2 mid-level teams facing off against each other.
LSU had a rough season and got 6 wins together, but that did cost the HC the job.
Now under interims reign do they face Kansas State, after a 7-5 season.
The community sees a bit LSU in favor, Vegas favored Kansas State by 3.5 points.
The Wildcats did struggle against every strong team, the question is, whether LSU is a strong team or not.
On paper LSU is way better, but the talent had to play together and that does this season favor likely Kansas State.
I'm torn between the SEC talent pool and the things KSUs roster did manage to accomplish with their talent level.
With the time and the likely motivation to end the season with that win in the bowl, I pick LSU.
Tigers win.

And the result was

Tuesday, January 4
TaxAct Texas Bowl
LSU vs Kansas State

@NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Kansas State did dominate the whole game.
LSU had no chance and maybe was not really in this game.
So much for the motivation.
KSU led 21-7 at the half and extended it to the final score of 42-20.
LSU got only some more scoring in the 4th, in garbage time, down by 35 points.
Really an embarrassing showing of LSU.
I can only hope that their new HC will righten that.
Jacks BOWL Score: 22-15

The next wave will come then, and it has only the National Championship game waiting.

CFP National Championship pres. by AT&T
#3 Georgia vs #1 Alabama

@Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
The best 2 teams face off against each other, again.
Georgia is now 13-1, Alabama is now 13-1.
Alabama won the 1st match to get the SEC Championship ring.
Since creating this kind of format for the 2013 season onward, it's the 1st rematch of a game previously played in the same season, here the SEC Championship game.
Alabama won that 41-24.
In the BCS era there was also only one time a rematch (2012), between LSU and Alabama, but that was a regular season game rematch, when LSU won against Alabama 9-6 (OT) in the season, won the SEC but lost against Alabama 0-21 in the National Championship game.
And in the system before that (Bowl Alliance) did in 1996 Florida win against FSU in the bowl, while they lost a few weeks before on last regular season game.
Why I do say this is, no rematch for the title was in the past 25 years was won by the same team winning the 1st meeting.
This streak might break or not.
Vegas sees Georgia ahead by 3.0 points, which is not much.
I think, this will come down to daytime motivation and performance.
I think both teams are on the same level and Saban has more experience in such games, but that does not help, always, otherwise he wouldn't have lost some Championship games, right?
My feeling is, whoever I pick could become the wrong pick, or the right pick.
So ... Alabama has a bit more offense power, Georgia has a bit more defense.
I stay with Saban here and hope for an instant classic.
Crimson Tide win.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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