Tua Brings Bama Back From The Brink

Alabama-National-Championship

I don’t doubt Nick Saban.

Throughout my years covering sports, I’ve learned many things: It’s all about the money, I don’t doubt Tom Brady, and I don’t doubt Nick Saban.

Nick Saban is the best college football coach of all-time — and it’s not even that close. What he’s accomplished at Alabama, winning 5 National Championships in 9 years, is eerily similar to the success Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots have had. And that’s what allows Saban to make questionable, bold, even controversial moves.

Monday night was no different.

Down 13-0 at halftime, Saban’s squad was struggling offensively. They had amassed 21 yards through the air and converted just 4 first downs. That’s when Saban handed the ball to true-freshman, Tua Tagovailoa. Until that moment, the Hawaiian native had only appeared in mop-up duty in lopsided Alabama victories. Pegged as a “gunslinger”, Tagovailoa played well in his 7 brief appearances, throwing 8 touchdowns and just 1 interception.

But Monday night, it was time to sink or swim, on the world’s biggest stage. Oh did he swim. Tagovailoa, aka Alabama’s savior, made the 3 biggest plays of the game:

1.) On his 2nd drive, Tagovailoa faced a 3rd & 7. He scrambled right, nearly getting sacked. After breaking not 1, not 2, but 3 tackles, Tagovailoa bounced back to the left, gaining 9 yards for a crucial 1st down. This changed the complexion of the entire game. It kept Alabama from going ‘3 & out’ on consecutive drives. It gave Tagovailoa confidence. And it led to an Alabama touchdown, pulling them within 1 score (13-7).

2.) Fast forward to 3 minutes and 56 seconds left in the game. Imagine being under center, down 7 points, on 4th & 4 from the opponents 7-yard line. Now imagine throwing an absolute strike to Calvin Ridley for the game tying touchdown (20-20). Now wake up, because that wasn’t you. It was Tua Tagovailoa, and he’s living the dream.

Watch the play here.

3.) And last, but CERTAINLY not least, the final play of the game. After Georgia’s kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, nailed a 51-yard field goal, Tagovailoa and Alabama found themselves down 23-20. Fail to score and go home. Kick a field goal and head to a 2nd overtime. Score a touchdown and win the National Championship. After an atrocious sack, Alabama was staring 2nd & 26 in the face. Have no fear, Tua is here. As he dropped back, the world could see DeVonta Smith inexplicably get behind Georgia’s secondary. Tagovailoa hit Smith, in stride, for a 41-yard, game winning touchdown.

Watch the play here.

Tagovailoa only had to pull off that miracle because his kicker came down with a case of the ‘shanks’. With 3 seconds left in regulation, Andy Pappanastos had a game-winning, 36-yard field goal attempt. Trust me when I say this was the worst field goal attempt I’ve ever seen — ever. This was Pappanastos’ 2nd missed field goal of the night. Clearly he wasn’t on his game. Luckily for Nick Saban, and Alabama, Tagovailoa was.

 

Was this the best National Championship you’ve ever seen?? Did you even stay awake long enough to see it?? Tell me in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

In Saban We Trust

Nick-Saban

SEC?? ACC?? Big Ten?? Just 5 months ago, the world asked what the best conference in college football is. Today, we have a definitive answer:

The SEC!!

With an all SEC championship on the horizon, other conferences don’t have a leg to stand on. How did we get to an Alabama Vs. Georgia showdown you ask?? Well, if you were busy binge watching your favorite Netflix show, rather than watching one of the most exciting “Rose Bowls” of all-time, I’ll tell you….

Semifinal #1 – #2 Oklahoma Vs. #3 Georgia

The question heading into this game was: Who would score more points, Baker Mayfield or Georgia’s backfield??

Baker Mayfield is the best player on most fields. He is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. And he’s only a few months away from being a 1st round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. However, he picked a bad time to have his worst game of the season.

Baker Mayfield’s Stats: 287 yards passing, 2 TDs, and 1 INT

It was the tale of 2 halfs for Mayfield, as he threw both TDs and caught a TD in the 1st half (jumping out to a 17-point lead). As for the 2nd half, he threw a bad interception and threw ZERO TDs.

The aforementioned Georgia backfield took over the game. The 2-headed monster of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb rushed for a combined 326 yards and 5 TDs. Ultimately, it would be Michel who would cap off a high profile victory for Georgia in DOUBLE OVERTIME!! After trading field goals in overtime, and watching Oklahoma’s field goal attempt get blocked in double overtime, Michel would scamper into the end zone from 27 yards out, sending the Georgia Bulldog’s world into a frenzy. 54-48 F/2OT.

Semifinal #2 – #1 Clemson Vs. #4 Alabama

And then, there was the rematch. The trilogy. Last night’s game marked the 3rd consecutive year Clemson and Alabama would face off in the College Football Playoff (1st time in the semifinals). This game wasn’t competitive. If I were Clemson, or anyone remotely involved with Clemson, I’d be embarrassed to show my face in public today. 6. 6 points. That’s all they mustered after AN ENTIRE MONTH of preparation. Pathetic I say. However, we must bow down to the master; Nick Saban. He doesn’t lose football games very often. And when he does, it’s usually on a freak play (remember this?) or an unbelievable performance.

Saban made sure nothing like that went down during their 24-6 victory over Clemson. Saban’s defense applied pressure early, and often. They picked off Kelly Bryant twice, returning 1 for a TD. And they held the entire Clemson offense to a whopping 184 yards. They also sprinkled in 5 sacks, 9 tackles for a loss, and 9 pass deflections. Ya know, just for good measure.

Now, all that stands in the way of Saban’s 6th National Championship, is Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs. Nothing beats a Mentor Vs. Protégé storyline to bring in extra viewers.

I’ll put my ‘monopoly money’ on Nick Saban.

 

Who do you think will win the National Championship?? Post your prediction in the comment section below. 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

Alabama Is The Chosen One

Alabama-To-Join-Clemson-Oklahoma-amp-Georgia-In-College-Football-Playoff

When the dust settled on Saturday night, there was only 1 decision to make:

A 2-Loss Team Vs. A Team that didn’t even play in its own conference championship.

No matter the direction the college football playoff committee went, 1 would rejoice, the other would use the committee’s name in vain.

Ohio State took on undefeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship. Presumably, if Wisconsin had won, the committee would’ve been hard pressed not to put a 13-0 team, from a Power 5 Conference, in the playoff (strength of schedule be damned). However, Ohio State handled their business, serving Wisconsin their 1st loss, 27-21.

And then there’s Alabama. The Crimson Tide. Nick Saban’s playground. College football’s gold standard. Well, you get the point. Until their final game of the season, they sat atop the college football rankings, sporting an undefeated record. A 26-14 loss @ Auburn would be their 1 and only blemish on the season. Due to their “weak” schedule, doubt crept in as they watched the SEC Championship from home.

Alabama is in the college football playoff because they’re Alabama. Yes, they only lost 1 game, but it’s hard to fall back on their record when their signature win is a 31-24 road win against Mississippi State. On the other hand, while Ohio State has 2 signature wins over top-4 teams, they also lost 2 games. Let’s just say it’s tough to overcome a 55-24 beat down from an extremely mediocre Iowa team.

Speaking of bad losses, the top ranked Clemson Tigers lone loss on the season came at the hands of Syracuse (27-24). This is, by far, the worst loss of the 4 teams in the playoff, yet they remain #1. This speaks to the parody that continues to creep into college football. Which speaks to my proposal of an 8-team playoff. I’ve been screaming it all year. It just makes sense.

More games = more money. Period.

Until that happens, were stuck with a 4-game playoff:

#1 – Clemson                                                                                  #2 – Oklahoma

vs.                                                                                                     vs.

#4 – Alabama                                                                                 #3 – Georgia

(New Year’s Day @ 8:45 P.M)                                                   (New Year’s Day @ 5:00 P.M.) 

*National Championship Will Be Played on January 8th, 2018 @ 8:00 P.M.

At least we don’t have to wait a month for these games….

 

Did the college football committee get it right?? Please post your opinion in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

Evolve Or Die, College Football’s Dilemma

the u

It was chaos. Mayhem. Cats and dogs living together. It was just what the doctor ordered for any true college football fan. Multiple teams were dropped from the college playoff ranking this week after embarrassing, blowout losses. Monkey wrench, thrown in….

Notre Dame dropped from #3 to #8 following a beat down of epic proportions by Miami. With fate in their own hands, and a 1-point loss to Georgia as the only blemish on their resume, Notre Dame folded like a cheap suit. 41-8 is not the storybook ending the Fighting Irish were hoping for. ‘The U’ happily took Notre Dame’s #3 ranking this week.

Georgia also took a tumble, from #1 to #7, thanks to a crushing 40-17 defeat at the hands of the Auburn Tigers. Auburn is now knocking at the door at #6 despite having 2 losses on their record. With a showdown with now #1 Alabama just 2 weeks away, that monkey wrench may get a lot bigger. Auburn being a crucial part of this year’s college football playoff equation, is irony at its finest. For a refresher of the effects of Auburn’s 2004 undefeated season, click here.

In 2014, the NCAA (finally) changed their postseason format to a 4-team, bracket-style, playoff. This has added intrigue to college football, as more teams remain in contention for the national championship. And just 4 seasons since its inception, the college football playoff must evolve again.

The world needs the college football playoff to expand to 8 teams.

The playoffs, in any sport, are used to narrow the field, in order to determine a champion. The challenge, in every sport, is to draw a line in the sand in determining that field.

Here are the current playoff fields for every sport you care about:

NFL – 12 out of 32

MLB – 10 out of 30    

NBA – 16 out of 30

NHL – 16 out of 31

NCAA Basketball – 68 out of 351

As you can see, college football is behind the times. Rather than be reactive, college football should be proactive. Expanding the field to 8 teams would increase and prolong viewership, without watering down the playoff field. While I understand there will be ‘an odd man out’ in any format, this would alleviate a lot of headaches (and crying).

There are no logistical issues in the way, only approval from the powers that be. While this idea is awesome, and can be implemented next year, don’t hold your breath.

For now, let’s hope Alabama loses to Auburn, Georgia loses to Auburn, Clemson beats Miami, Oklahoma loses to Ohio State, and Wisconsin goes undefeated. Because nothing screams controversy like an undefeated team not making the playoffs.

 

Do you think the college football playoff should be expanded to 8 teams?? If not, post your format idea in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

March Madness Is Finally Here!!

It is official. March madness has finally arrived. Today marks the beginning of the best sports tournament in the world. Today at 12:00 EST, the first set of games will tip-off. Today there are 64 teams. Come April 8th, in Atlanta Georgia, there will be only one team left standing. Who will it be? We can all play with our brackets and do our best fortune teller impressions, but no one knows what will happen. Upsets happen everyday in this tournament, and there is always that upset that happens that absolutely no one saw coming. While I wish there wasn’t so much parody and 1 and done players in men’s college basketball, I still love this tournament. So, I want to wish everyone good luck with their brackets (unless you’re in my pool then I hope your brackets stink).

Final four: Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan, and Miami

Finals: Louisville over Miami (81-75)

Enjoy the games everybody!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!