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To paraphrase Nick Saban, if the College Football Playoff Committee were expanded, debate would still rage over which teams were left out. Even if the bracket allowed for eight, 12, or 60+ (a la March Madness, as Saban called out) slots, we would suffer through weeks of who-is-in-who-is-out blathering.
As you watch - and we highly recommend that you do - the final tonight, beware of commentary on who deserved to play and skepticism driven by this year's bowl (playoff and otherwise) results. The dominating narrative will be "Should Central Florida have made it"? The Knights (#10 in the final AP rankings released - before bowl season - on December 3) finished an undefeated 13-0 season with a solid win 34-27 over #7 Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
Many consider UCF's omission sign that the current system tilts the selection process in favor of the so-called Power Five conferences. (A better name for the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-12, and SEC may be The Cartel but that's for another Report.) UCF fans, contrarians, and most of Orlando (there's a parade at Disney World!), and, let's not overlook the Governor of Florida, have declared the Knights national champions by the transitive property, as Auburn defeated both teams playing in tonight's final game. No matter. Such arguments are fun but a distraction. Sit back and enjoy the game tonight.
The College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama Crimson Tide (-4) vs. Georgia Bulldogs
7 p.m. ABC (at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA)
* Georgia RB Nick Chubb total rushing yards, UNDER 83.5 (Alabama allowed a nation's-best 91.8 YPG rushing)
* Number of total sacks by both teams, OVER 2.5 (Have you SEEN some of the guys who play defense for the Dawgs? Georgia may hit the over on its own. Seriously, watch this highlight video.)
* Number of @realDonaldTrump tweets during the broadcast, OVER 1.5 (He can't help himself.)
We can't find the odds, but our pick for the traditional Gatorade bath is "Other," equivalent to betting the field in horse racing. (As in, neither yellow, orange or red.) Specifically, we're going with purple. Red would be the obvious choice - being the color of both teams - but we fully expect some Brand Manager sold the PepsiCo CMO on how using purple will propel the sales of Gatorade Fierce Grape into the stratosphere.
CFR pick: Alabama. We don't like The Tide and HC Nick Saban any more than the next guy, and would love to see the Luke-Darth storyline play out with Georgia HC Kirby Smart knocking off his former mentor, but this is betting. The Ewoks are not in action tonight.
The Chicken: 'Bama by 17
* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Preview Part 1. Keywords: AutoNation, Dreamstyle Remodeling, Las Vegas, Mountain Dew Mouth, North Texas Mean Green, Raycom, Troy Trojans.
* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Preview Part 2. Executives at Cheribundi no doubt would have preferred a more competitive game. Having signed on as the bowl sponsor until 2019, Cheribundi needed the contest to attract at least some marginal attention to bolster the awareness of its tart cherry beverages nationwide.
* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Game Preview Part 3. In this world of uncertainty, the Potato Bowl remains our rock.
* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Game Preview Part 4. Overlapping with the NFL schedule this weekend provides a gift to bettors: putting action on pro/bowl teasers.
* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 5. Introducing The Fourth Down Stupidity Index, starring Northern Illinois University. Oh, Huskies!
* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 6. "One of the few remnants of Red Terror appears ingloriously as the name of the school's gameday bus service."
* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 6. Always one for a seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time last round, the bird was last seen late-night downing Don Julios with Gentamicin chasers.
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