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College Football Playoffs Preview

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Dec. 28, 2021 - 5:58 PM

College Football Playoffs Preview

The Newnan Times-Herald

By Derrick Teagle

In August I made a prediction that the Georgia Bulldogs would win its first College Football National Championship in over 40 years.

The college football season has been a season like no other as the teams we are used to seeing (Ohio State, Notre Dame and Clemson) are nowhere to be found. The season gave us the weekly surprises but also a Georgia team that was as dominant as any team over the last decade … then the SEC Championship game happened.

Cotton Bowl

Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

#1 Alabama vs. #4 Cincinnati

Alabama comes into the game "rolling" after a comeback victory over their rivals Auburn and the blowout victory over Georgia. The Crimson Tide, a 14-point favorite, has reminded the nation that they are still the King of College Football. The Cincinnati Bearcats, the only undefeated FBS team, won its conference (AAC) Championship over Houston 35-20.

The 3 Keys to the Game

1. The Bearcats Cornerbacks vs. The Crimson Tide Wide Receivers

The Bearcats featured the best cornerbacks tandem in the Nation. Ahmad Gardner the Bearcats CB has NEVER allowed a touchdown in his career. He has only allowed 14 catches ALL year. Coby Bryant on the other side is a future NFL Draft Pick as well. The Crimson Tide who destroyed the Georgia secondary is missing a 1,000-yard receiver (John Metchie) but is not short on talent led by future First Round NFL Draft Pick Jameson Williams. — Advantage: Bearcats

2. The Alabama Running Game

Alabama, even in its defeat of Georgia, has not been a good running team this year. The Tide is averaging 4.1 yards per-carry which ranked 79th out of 130 teams. If the Tide cannot run on the Bearcats then the Tide could be in trouble. — Advantage: Bearcats

3. Cincinnati Offensive Tackles vs. Alabama Will Anderson

Cincinnati must protect its quarterback, Desmond Ridder, but that's easier said than done against the premier pass rusher in the Nation in Dutchtown High School product Will Anderson. Anderson is a handful (15.5 Sacks, 33 TFL) for any offensive tackle and will be a future top 10 NFL Draft Pick. — Advantage: Tide

My Prediction Alabama 26, Cincinnati 23

Orange Bowl

Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida

#2 Michigan vs. #3 Georgia

Georgia has the nation's best defense and has a Mel Kiper record of 19 draft-eligible players which is way more than the 8 Michigan draft-eligible players. The game comes down to the sidelines as top 3 recruiting classes stacked like IHOP pancakes for Georgia facing an overachieving Michigan team that had "fired my coach'' rumblings during the preseason.

Georgia is absolutely loaded at every position and this is the year that the Bulldogs should win the championship … if the Bulldogs don't win it all then UGA fans may need to start asking the question, is Kirby Smart only a great recruiter?

The 3 Keys to the Game

1. Georgia Defense performing like the Georgia Defense

This defense is arguably better than the professional defense playing at "The Benz" on Sundays. Michigan will not have the Heisman Trophy Winner Bryce Young throwing the football. — Advantage: Bulldogs

2. Michigan Defensive Ends vs Georgia Offensive Tackles

Michigan Defensive Ends Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo both will be selected in the First Round of next year’s NFL Draft. Georgia needs to protect whoever starts at quarterback to win this game. — Advantage: Wolverines

3. Stetson Bennett's ability to run

Bennett doesn't look the part, but against the Michigan Defensive front, you surely don't want a "statue" playing quarterback. Bennett can and will extend plays, and that will be a key to a Georgia victory. — Advantage: Bulldogs

My Prediction: Georgia 34, Michigan 17

Georgia 31, Alabama 20 (National Championship Game)

I asked an expert panel of Coweta County residents to give their predictions for the college football playoffs

Lt. Aaron Fenimore Sr., East Coweta parent

Georgia 21, Michigan 17

Alabama 42, Cincinnati 20

Alabama 31, Georgia 24

NHS Basketball Coach Demarcus Wilkins

Georgia 24, Michigan 21

Alabama 31, Cincinnati 10

Georgia 21, Alabama 17

Kevin Daniel, North Ga. Bricks

Georgia 17, Michigan 10

Alabama 38, Cincinnati 17

Georgia 27, Alabama 24

Craig Buchanan, Bridging The Gap

Michigan 24, Georgia 20

Alabama 41, Cincinnati 28

Alabama winning

Keith Ross, Keith Ross Insurance Agency

Michigan 30, Georgia 24

Alabama 42, Cincinnati 17

Michigan 30, Alabama 24

Jason Nalls, Newnan HS Alumni

Michigan 31, Georgia 28

Alabama 41, Cincinnati 27

Michigan 24, Alabama 20

Deangelo Sanchez, College Sports Superfan

Michigan 23, Georgia 20

Alabama 43, Cincinnati 24

Alabama 41, Michigan 17

Todd Burnett, Trinity Christian School Basketball Coach

Georgia 31, Michigan 13

Alabama 42, Cincinnati 21

Alabama 31, Georgia 27

Mario Houston, Grind 2 Shine Youth Empowerment Program

Georgia 31, Michigan 17

Alabama 41, Cincinnati 17

My heart says Georgia, but my brain is telling me BAMA.