Sports Day-ly: National Championship caps off great year for College Football

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By Denton Day

The 2017-18 College Football season wrapped up with a barn burner of a National Championship Game. Nick Saban did what Nick Saban does best and led Alabama to its fifth National Championship in nine years becoming the fastest program to ever accomplish that.

Now we’re faced with the task of figuring out who the real National Champion is.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) finished the year undefeated. However, they didn’t have a spot in the College Football Playoff.

So they have taken it upon themselves to just declare themselves as the real National Champions. Which is a very cute thing to do but very far from accurate.

UCF claiming they’re National Champions is the equivalent to Donald Trump saying he is the best at anything. We know it’s not true and we’ve been trained to laugh it off at this point.

So now that we’ve put that to bed back to the real National Championship.

Last year’s National Championship flirted with the idea of heading into overtime but in glorious fashion Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson suggested otherwise by throwing the game-winning touchdown with the clock reading :01.

So naturally in an effort to one up last year’s game this year’s game went into overtime and it was awesome.

I, like basically everyone who never went to Alabama, was slightly pulling for Georgia because watching Alabama win everything year after year is annoying. But my rooting interest wasn’t too heavy. The Bulldogs kicker Rodrigo Blankenship wears Rec Specs and I wore Rec Specs during my athletic prime so I automatically root for him. And Georgia’s punter Cameron Nizialek and I once roamed the mighty hallways of Freedom High School (South Riding) together so I obviously root for him.

I wanted both of those guys to play well, and not be on the receiving end of a massive block. But other than that I didn’t have a huge rooting interest which meant I could sit back and just watch. I highly recommend this for everyone during next year’s National Championship.

There were a lot of awesome things in this game and there were a few non-awesome things in this game.

First and foremost, whoever decided that this game, which was played in Atlanta and was scheduled to have a longer halftime than normal, should start at 8:30 eastern time is an awful person.

The first touchdown of the game from Georgia’s Mecole Hardman was a fantastic play design making it awesome. Tony Brown’s interception on Georgia’s opening drive where he simultaneously snatched the ball and the soul of Georgia receiver Javon Wims away for the game’s first turnover was awesome.

Other than those two plays the first half was very boring and not awesome.

Kendrick Lamar debuting some new music at halftime was awesome. The exclusive look at Marvel’s Black Panther was awesome–I don’t care that we had already seen basically all the footage they showed it was still awesome.

In the second half Saban switched quarterbacks, benching Jalen Hurts in favor of Tua Tagovailoa (say that name five times fast). To no one’s surprise that worked really well.

Najee Harris became the latest Crimson Tide running back with dreadlocks to perform well on College Football’s biggest stage and help lead Alabama to a win. He joined Derrick Henry (2015), Eddie Lacy (2012) and Trent Richardson (2011) in that category. Technically Bo Scarbrough could be on this list for last year’s game but he lost and this list is for winners only, sorry Bo.

Tagovailoa’s final two plays were so unbelievably far apart in terms of logic that they were awesome. On first down in overtime he took a terrible sack. On second down he threw an absolute dime to DeVonta Smith for a 41-yard game-winning touchdown. Awesome.

And just like that Alabama wins another National Championship.

But there is more than just the National Championship that made College Football great this year.

The playoff game between Oklahoma and Georgia was an instant classic. 2017 Heisman winner Baker Mayfield did just about everything he could to overcome the Bulldogs but failed. That game also went to overtime which makes it better.

Not including the playoff games, 17 of this year’s bowl games were decided by a touchdown or less. Considering that the idea of college bowl games is pretty dumb that isn’t a bad number.

There were, however, 16 bowl games that were decided by over 10 points. Supporting the idea that college bowl games are stupid.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch bowl games unless a ranked team is playing in them. I will also admit that I will suffer through all of the blowouts to see all of the close games. So this year the bowl games were worth it, I guess. Don’t get used to me saying that.

It was a great year for college football. Now we as a collective football fan base can focus on the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl.

If you don’t like the NFL don’t worry the 2018 Way Too Early College Football rankings have been announced. Alabama, Clemson and Georgia are projected to be the top teams once again per SB Nation. Hooray for consistency!