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Mike Handzelek's CFB National Championships

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Jan 11, 2022
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(WIN) I'm glad this is the last CFB game this season. The COVID protocols were very difficult to consistently pinpoint (130 teams) as witnessed by another 54% finish in back-to-back years. This game pits the perennial champion Alabama Crimson Tide (won 7 straight versus Georgia since 2008) with Heisman Trophy winning QB Bryce Young (4,503 passing yards, 46/5 TD/INT ratio & 3 rushing TD's), quality WR Jameson Williams (75 catches for 1,507 receiving yards & 15 TD's) & RB Brian Robinson (1,269 rushing yards, 5.1 YPR & 14 TD's). However, this time around, I expect DT Jordan Davis & LB Nakobe Dean (projected 1st-round draft picks) NOT to be shredded again. Why? Because the loss of Crimson Tide leading receiver (96 catches, 1142 receiving yards & 8 TD's) John Metchie (torn ACL) changes up the Georgia 2nd-tier of defense immensely. Yes, Alabama beat Georgia by 17 points on the last 2 occasions by identical 41-24 scores. HC Kirby Smart's defense was embarrassed & should revert to old form. My bottom line says this time around Bulldogs' QB Stetson Bennett will have done his homework in taking what the Bama' "D" gives him without forcing the issue. I further feel that Georgia has the upper hand in the trenches. Their offensive line is stout & should be able to run the ball with more success than in the first meeting in the SEC Championship. If you take the Nick Saban angle of beating up on his past assistant coaches who turned HC's, his 2021-22 season opening unbeaten record isn't unbeaten anymore. It now stands @ 26-1 after Jimbo Fisher's Texas A&M Aggies upset them 41-38 @ Kyle Field in College Station. In fact, in National Championship games, the underdog from 2001 thru 2007 had a nice 6-1 SU & ATS run. However, the favorite has ruled the past 10 seasons SU going 7-3. If the favorite was favored between 2 1/2 & 3 1/2, that favorite is a perfect 4-0 SU. In addition, teams that fail to score at least 21 points in national title games have gone a ticket-ripping 1-12 SU & ATS. Look for Smart & Co. to finally turn the tide as we go to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to play the GEORGIA BULLDOGS on the ML as my 8* CFB National Championship Play! NOTES: It was a defensive battle of exchanging FG's in the first half with Alabama holding a slim 9-6 halftime lead. But the team that made key halftime adjustments was Georgia as it out-scored the Crimson Tide 27-9 giving ex-Alabama DC & now Bulldogs' HC Kirby Smart his 1st national championship. "If we have to lose the national championship, I'd rather lose one to one of my former assistants who did a great job for us," Nick Saban said of Smart. "He has done a great job for his program & his team. They deserve it." The Georgia defense completely shut down the running game as Alabama rushed the ball 28 times for a dismal 30 yards. The Crimson Tide's best wideout star Jameson Williams had to leave the game in the first half due to a left knee injury led to more struggles by Heisman Trophy winning QB Bryce Young (2 INT's) who threw a game-clinching pick-6 to RCB Kelee Ringo in the final minute. Ringo returned the interception 79 yards sealing Georgia's 33-18 win. This time around, Bulldogs' QB Stetson Bennett didn't let a turnover get to him. After fumbling the ball away to Alabama on the Georgia 16 that led to the go-ahead TD & an 18-13 4th-quarter Bama' lead @ the 10-minute mark, Bennett came back to throw 2 TD passes in the next 6 1/2 minutes to grab a 26-18 advantage. The Georgia "D" sealed the deal & gave the Bulldogs their 1st title since the days of RB Herschel Walker when Vince Dooley's 12-0 team defeated Dan Devine's Notre Dame Fighting Irish 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Walker (MVP of game) rushed the ball 36 times for 150 yards & 2 TD's (Georgia had 52 rushes) since the tough Irish "D" held Bulldogs' QB Buck Belue to 7 yards passing (1 for 12) & -34 yards rushing on 13 carries on that day. Ironically, Notre Dame's offense with QB Blair Kiel & RB Phil Carter out-gained Georgia 328 to 127 but couldn't overcome 3 INT's & a fumble. Be back next season when it looks like my selections will be way more @ a premium especially if COVID still plays that much into the outcomes of the 130-team field. Mike's CFB Bowl Record: 6-7 for 46% Mike Handzelek's Final 2021-22 CFB Overall Record: 50-42 for a sub-par 54%

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