National Championship Game is Here!

The weather in Northeast Ohio is something, I am having my third calamity day in a row.  Thursday and Friday it was brutally cold. Betsy Kling, chief meteorologist at WKYC, called it that we would get snow Monday as it warms up.  Right again!  This morning crisis averted when we woke up and went to turn on the “Today” show, no signal from the satellite!  I called Direct TV and they gave me some BS and would need to send out a technician, but not until tomorrow!  I can’t wait till this contract is up and I can cut the cord next September.  I was obviously distraught since tonight is the All-SEC National Championship Game from Atlanta.  After the call, and I’m sorry I hung up preemptively on the person, I went outside and wiped the dish off and voila it works!  So now I will watch ESPN all day and get talked into Bama winning by 40 and then Georgia winning by 40, they say the same stuff all day long but everyone says it a little different.  I wish we were back in school, but at the same time glad we have today off it feels like Super Bowl Sunday!

Right now on Golic & Wingo, that is still weird to see in print, David Pollack is eating a doughnut to pay off a bet.  He said he would eat a doughnut if Georgia made the NC game and he just ate one.  The reason this bet is so important is Pollack hasn’t had an artificial sweet in 10 plus years.  Gosh darn, I love the 12 hour pregame for a big game!

Yesterday was a rough one for the Peters’s household!  Saturday night we went out to celebrate our neighbor and friend Sam’s birthday.  Oh, boy, did we celebrate!  Even Hank was tired yesterday. I quickly discovered I am not 25 years old anymore and felt it the next morning.  People often ask me how old I am and my response is, “depends on the time of day.”  As they look at me puzzled I explain, “when I wake up I usually feel about 75, but as the day goes on I get a little younger!” It was a great time celebrating a great friend!  Happy Birthday, Sam!

James stop reading!

Wild Card weekend was a series of ups and downs.  It started Saturday afternoon with the Titans upsetting the Chiefs in KC.  My good friend James is a huge fan of the Chiefs, so skip this paragraph buddy,  and I actually do like to follow them since former Willoughby South Rebel running back Kareem Hunt is a huge star for them.  The Chiefs were up 21-3 at the half and looked well on their way to moving on to the next round.  Then Marcus Mariotta took over the game as he threw a Touchdown pass to himself. Mariota made play after play in the second half and the Titans roared back to win 22-21.  The first drive Mariota threw the TD pass to himself and then the Chiefs drove the ball and missed a FG and the Titans seized control of the game.  Anyone that says momentum in a football game is not real is crazy, looking at you Matt Kalbfell!

Ok, James, you can continue here.

The second game saw the Falcons upset the Los Angeles Rams 26-13.  The Falcons are peaking at the right time.  The Rams were scoring points in bunches, they have a great young QB and a great young Coach that can be special for a long time together.  Atlanta completely shut them down and looks like a team to be reckoned with in the NFC playoffs.  I believe that they had a Super Bowl hangover at the beginning of the season which is the reason they had to sneak into the playoffs, but at the end of the season they got hot and made it and are rolling now.  They remind me of the two Giants teams that beat the Patriots when they met in the Super Bowls.  They got hot at the right time and rolled through the playoffs, a good defense and a good veteran QB with some weapons could equal Super Bowl for the Falcons.

Yesterday’s games were two completely opposite games.  The first game saw Bills Mafia roll into Jacksonville.  This game set football back at least 2 maybe 3 decades.  Neither QB could hit a wide open receiver and the game was 3-3 at the half and Jacksonville won this game 10-3.  Jacksonville does have a great defense and it showed against a bad Bills offense.  Jacksonville is traveling to Pittsburgh next week to face the Steelers, here is hoping Bortles will have a better game so that the game will be watchable.

The last game of the weekend was probably the best one, the Saints vs Panthers in the Superdome.  The reinvention of the Saints and Head Coach Sean Payton has been incredible.  The Saints for years have been a high flying outscore you, type of team that played zero defense.  Now they have a good defense that sacks the QB and will cause turnovers, they run the ball and do not just rely on Drew Brees pushing the ball down the field and outscoring their opponents.  The Saints beat the Panthers 31-26, as they sacked Cam Newton on the final play.

Rough start to the playoffs for FF&E as we went 1-3.  We have the National Championship game tonight to get back in the win column.  My prediction coming at the bottom.

Tonight’s game features two powerhouse programs that you will hear from for a long time coming.  Georgia and Alabama are two blue-blood college football programs with rich history and tradition.   Two years ago Georgia fired their coach who routinely won nine games a year, Mark Richt.  In steps, former Georgia player Kirby Smart plucked right from the Nick Saban coaching tree.  In two years Kirby has taken Georgia from good to elite, going 12-1 and a date in the NC game.   It is cool to watch as Smart has pretty much duplicated what Saban has in Alabama, a large staff that recruits their tails off and gets the athletes to play hard.  Earlier last week Smart was asked what he looked for when he was evaluating coaches, 1) Can he recruit and 2) will his players play hard for them.  If you watch these two teams they play similar they are going to run around and make plays on defense and play ball control on Offense.  The big advantage I see in this game is that Alabama’s QB Jalen Hurts was here last year as a freshman and Georgia is starting a true freshman in Jake Fromm at QB.  The early question that will need to be answered is “Will the stage be too big for a Freshman?” and “Will Georgia still be in the game when he does settle in?”  A big key for tonight will be can Georgia establish its running game early to allow Fromm to settle in?  If Michele and Chubb can get rolling that will enable Fromm to run some play action and get easy completions instead of being asked to make plays down the field in 5 and 7 step passes.

Alabama is who Alabama is they are going to run the ball and play great defense.  Although, I think that is Alabama’s mantra they always have a great wideout that goes unnoticed.  They started with Julio Jones, then Amari Cooper, and now it is Calvin Ridley.  Look for Alabama to make a concerted effort to get Ridley the ball tonight to make plays on the outside.  Georgia has the best front seven in the nation so Bama will need to make plays on the outside to win.  I feel like this is going to be a great chess match between the two coaching staffs, which will lead to a couple epic Saban blowups on his OC.

My prediction for tonight is if Georgia can get their Freshman QB settled in early they will keep it close, and Georgia will win on a FG by their stud kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, and his hipster glasses.  If you look at some of Alabama’s recent losses have come when they get outplayed on special teams, remember the kick six? I think Georgia wins this game and the National Championship by a score of 24-21. Take Georgia to win, cover and the under. Let’s go 3-0 and make up for a subpar wildcard weekend!

One thing that I have to admit, even though it took forever and I believe they lucked into it, I think Kent State University Athletic Director Joel Nielsen got it right by hiring Sean Lewis.  I have been watching his social media posts, although he needs to change his twitter handle, and I love it!  Also, he has had at least two great hires with great ties to Northeast Ohio, Tom Kaufman and Brian Cochran, his DC and defensive line coach respectively.  I am looking forward to this spring and watching the spring game and maybe some spring practices and seeing how it takes shape in the fall.  Still trying to talk my wife into season tickets, but I will be at more than a few games.  #FlashFast

That is all for today, happy National Championship Game Day!!  See you Friday with a divisional round preview, a recap of tonight’s game, what’s on the grill this weekend as the weather warms up, and if I can get a hold of this guy an interview everyone will enjoy.

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