CFP National Championship: Stanford Steve and The Bear break down Alabama vs. Georgia

  • Lead researcher for “College GameDay” since 1996
  • Voter on ESPN CFB Selection Committee

  • Known as “Stanford Steve”
  • Played college football at Stanford
  • Producer for SportsCenter with SVP

“Stanford Steve” Coughlin and Chris “The Bear” have broken down bowl game after bowl game, and now we’re down to the biggest one of them all.

Alabama and Georgia will square off once again, this time for the national championship. The guys break down the matchup as only they can and offer their picks for Monday night’s game.


  • Stanford Steve (4-3-1 in bowls; 43-32-1 overall)

  • The Bear (6-4-1 in bowls; 43-48-2 overall)

Note: Lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (-2.5, 52)

8 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN App (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis)

Fallica: This game feels a little like the 2011 championship game where LSU won the regular-season meeting in Tuscaloosa, but you knew if they met again Alabama would win; or the Clemson-Notre Dame rematch last year after the Irish beat a shorthanded Tigers squad in South Bend. In the long run, maybe that loss in Atlanta was the best thing that could have happened to Georgia. The Bulldogs appeared to be a completely refocused, dialed-in squad in the Orange Bowl blowout of Michigan.

In Atlanta, the Tide had seven 20-yard completions, averaged 10 yards per dropback and Bryce Young’s off-target percentage was 7%. In the semifinal vs. Cincinnati, the Tide had just two 20-yard completions, averaged less than six yards per dropback and saw Young’s off-target percentage climb to 19%. Of course, the million dollar question is, was that because of game plan and the Tide knowing it could run at will, because of Cincinnati’s secondary or because John Metchie III was/is out of the lineup? Jameson Williams’ yards per reception was four yards less than his previous low vs. an FBS opponent this year.

I think in this game, Georgia will get back to playing more complementary football to assist its defense — high-percentage passes to offset the run and build Stetson Bennett’s confidence. I’d also look for the Bulldogs to show a little more presnap movement and motion to try to confuse Alabama’s defense.

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