Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 12:10 PM
Jim Hurley 3--0 in the College Playoffs! Wins with Georgia over Oklahoma, Alabama vs. Clemson and the UNDER!
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS - WE HIT THE REWIND BUTTON ON GEORGIA'S OT WIN AGAINST OKLAHOMA AND ALABAMA'S BRUISING TRIUMPH OVER CLEMSON...PLUS, OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL CHART...AND NFL'S "BLACK MONDAY" IS CHOCK FULL OF MOVES
The College Football Playoff games on New Year's Day/Night? Just call 'em "beauty and the beast".
Georgia's fascinating/thrilling 54-48 double-overtime win against 2.5-point underdog Oklahoma was dubbed an "instant classic" even before we got to the bonus football frames and every hard-core football fan already is determining where that game ranks among the all-time best-ever college clashes.
Meanwhile, Alabama's 24-6 victory against 3.5-point pup Clemson was less stirring - to be sure - but the Crimson Tide's beast-like defense did everything possible to make life miserable on the Tigers' ground game and young QB Kelly Bryant who looked lost in space while attempting to deal with Nick Saban's angry "D".
So, it all sets up for yet another all-SEC battle in Monday's national championship game - everyone remembers the 2011 title tilt when 'Bama blasted LSU 21-0 with a defense-for-the-ages showing here -- and while this Alabama defense has held foes to 10 points or less on nine different occasions this 2017 season, don't be so quick to assume they'll shut down this Georgia Dawg attack that registered a dizzying 529 offensive yards against the Boomer Sooners.
We'll have a few more things to say about both of the New Year's Day playoff games but first this quick reminder ...
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will get you the Side & Totals plays on Monday night's College Football National Championship Game between #3 Georgia versus #4 Alabama when you check in with us right here online or 1-800-323-4453 and cash in big. Plus, there's NFL Wild Card Round Playoff games this Saturday and Sunday too - plus get all the daily/nightly College Basketball and NBA action as we continue to bang out hardwood winners this winter. Get 2018 off-and-rollin' with nothing but Jim Hurley winners ... do it today!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
GEORGIA 54, OKLAHOMA 48 (2-OT) - No doubt you've heard plenty of post-game analysis the last several hours on ESPN, Fox, etc. but let's chime in and say that three plays in the kicking game were as instrumental as anything in getting the Bulldogs to survive and advance - the miserable late first-half squib kick by Oklahoma, the ensuing field goal by Georgia and, of course, the blocked field by Dawgs' Lorenzo Carter at the start of the second overtime. Otherwise, you could very well make the case that the Sooners should have won this national semifinal tilt. True, Oklahoma's first-year head coach Lincoln Riley got a bit too conservative in the overtime periods and Heisman Trophy-winning QB Baker Mayfield (287 yards passing with two TDs) was under siege for much of the time following halftime but blowing a 17-point first-half lead will stick to the Sooners for a long time while Georgia knows it overcome a scoop-and-score fumble for an Oklahoma TD and a very shaky first 30 minutes from its defense that did only surrender one TD after intermission.
ALABAMA 24, CLEMSON 6 - If you stayed up and watched all the post-game chatter regarding this clash, then you know the aforementioned Mr. Saban talked a whole lot about his team's "identity". No doubt the five-time champion head ball coach wanted to see a spit-fire effort from his defense and he got it as Clemson didn't score a touchdown, the above-mentioned QB Bryant threw two INTs and that bruising Tigers' ground game managed a measly 65 yards on 32 carries ... yikes. Safe to say that Alabama swung the entire momentum of this game on Da'Ron Payne's 21-yard INT after the ball was jarred loose from Bryant's grip and moments later there was do-everything/310-pound Payne snatching up a short touchdown pass on a pick play at the goal line. Game, set, match and Saban was beaming afterwards when discussing a defense that yielded only 154 total offensive yards on 68 plays (that's just 2.2 yards per offensive play). Never mind that Alabama QB Jalen Hurts (two TD passing) didn't really shake things up with his legs (he had a 19-yard scamper en route to a 40-yard rushing game) but he made a couple of neat throws to oft-forgotten WR Calvin Ridley and the 'Bama "D" did the rest. See y'all Monday night in the big dome in Hot-lanta!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL CHART
Our annual Jim Sez College Football Bowl Chart includes all the conferences/leagues that have played in the post-season bowls ... so here goes:
Note that College Football Bowl Betting Favorites are 21-19 ATS (against the spread) while heading into Monday's title bash between Georgia vs. Alabama.
NFL'S "BLACK MONDAY"
No major surprises the day after the final regular-season games were played in the NFL but here's some thoughts ...
ARIZONA - The "retirement" of 65-year-old Bruce Arians had been rumored for some time and note how the New York Jets re-upped Todd Bowles before the Cardinals could chat with their former defensive coordinator.
CHICAGO - Let's face it, the John Fox Era was a major bust in Chitown and it's time to get an offensive-minded coach onto the scene here.
DETROIT - Never been a big Jim Caldwell fan and despite a couple of playoff berths he's been shown the door and word of advice for the Lions is they should get a younger man and not necessarily someone from their own staff.
INDIANAPOLIS - Poor Chuck Pagano didn't even have star QB Andrew Luck on the field for a single down this year; still it's high time they changed the culture in Indy.
OAKLAND - Jack Del Rio's firing caught us a bit by surprise but not when you know what everyone else knows and that's Jon Gruden is heading back to the NFL sidelines. One thing about Del Rio is that he never really had a handle on this emotional/mistake-prone Raiders team and so he paid for it in the end.
NOTE: NFL Wild Card News/Notes/Previews all week long right here at Jim Sez.