GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Max Duggan #15 of the TCU Horned Frogs drops back to pass during the second quarter of the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines at State Farm Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Horned Frogs defeated the Wolverines 51-45. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Georgia looking to repeat as champions while TCU seeks first title since 1938.  #3 TCU is set to take on #1 and defending national champion Georgia on Monday night. Game time at SoFi Stadium in L.A. at 7:30pm.  Currently Georgia is favored by 12.5 with the total at 62.5.  I will have my prediction at the end of the post.  For now, here are some fun facts for this matchup.

WHAT DOES A TITLE MEAN TO GEORGIA?

This year’s Bulldogs team is the 6th team in the Playoff era to make the Playoff the year after winning the national title. In the previous five instances, the teams were unable to defend their title with 4 of the 5 specifically losing in the National Title Game.

Georgia is looking to repeat as national champions, something that has not been done since Alabama in 2011-12. Since 1990, the only other schools to win back-to-back national titles are Nebraska (1994-95) and USC (2003-04).

STETSON BENNETT LOOKING TO MAKE HISTORY

Stetson Bennett has an opportunity to make history at 25 years old. Since 1950, only 2 primary starting QBs won a national title at age 25 or older: Chris Weinke in 1999 (27 years old) and Claude Arnold in 1950 (26 years old). He is seeking to become the 8th starting QB in AP Poll history to lead their team to back-to-back national titles.

The previous 7 were:
Notre Dame’s Johnny Lujack (1946-47)
Oklahoma’s Jimmy Harris (1955-56)
Nebraska’s Jerry Tagge (1970-71)
Oklahoma’s Steve Davis (1974-75)
Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier (1994-95)
USC’s Matt Leinart (2003-04)
Alabama’s AJ McCarron (2011-12)

Bennett has been a winner in his career, going 28-3 as a starting quarterback. Bennett’s .903 win percentage as a starting QB is the 2nd-best in SEC history (min. 30 starts). Bennett is also 25-1 as a starting quarterback over the last 2 seasons.

WHAT DOES A TITLE MEAN TO TCU?

TCU is in a national championship game for the first time. They will look to win its first national title since 1938. If the Horned Frogs win the title, they would have gone 83 years between championships. That would be the longest span between titles in the AP Poll Era (since 1936).

Sonny Dykes is the first coach since Gus Malzahn (Auburn) in 2013 to lead a team to the national title game in his first year as head coach with a program. He will look to become the 4th 1st-year head coach to win a national title.  Dykes has 13 wins in his first season at TCU. Only 1 head coach in major college football history has won 14 or more games in his first season at a school. In 1892, George Washington Woodruff went 15-1 in his first season at Penn.

MAX DUGGAN LEADS THE TCU OFFENSE

The Bulldogs will have to watch Max Duggan through the air and on the ground. He is 1 of 4 players in Big 12 history with 70 pass TD and 25 rush TD in a career, along with Trevone Boykin, Sam Ehlinger and Robert Griffin III.

Duggan has 32 passing touchdowns this season, 2nd-most in a season in TCU history, trailing only Trevone Boykin in 2014 (33). He also has 73 career passing touchdowns, passing Andy Dalton for 2nd-most in school history in the CFP Semifinal. Boykin has the most with 86.

In the win against Michigan, Duggan became the first player to record multiple pass TD and rush TD in a CFP game.  He is not afraid to air the ball out either, recording 14 completions of 50+ yards this season, the most in FBS.

HISTORICAL MEETINGS BETWEEN GEORGIA AND TCU

These two teams have met 4 times in their history with Georgia winning all 4 matchups – most recently in the 2016 Liberty Bowl.

Georgia-TCU All-Time Meetings
2016 Georgia, 31-23
1988 Georgia, 38-10
1980 Georgia, 34-3
1941 Georgia, 40-26

The Bulldogs’ 4-0 record vs TCU is the most wins without a loss by any team all-time against the Horned Frogs.

Pete’s Georgia – TCU Prediction

This game I believe is going to be a classic.  I am not one to usually talk about “teams of destiny” in any one sport but the TCU Horned Frogs might be the exception to my rule this year.  Also, I believe, if you read above, it’s just a very difficult task to repeat as a national champion.  I have all the respect in the world for the Georgia Bulldogs but I’m picking TCU here.  I don’t think we are going to see a lot of defense in this game.  Not that we won’t see some outstanding defensive plays but much like the semifinals I think this game sails over the total.  My final score says:

TCU 37 Georgia 34

Pete’s Best Bet: Over 62.5

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Tailgating is Not Allowed for the National Championship

College Football has to change up how they award National Championship games. SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles announced that tailgating is not allowed for the National Championship game. This is a stadium rule, and not an event rule. SoFi Stadium has sent out the following announcement to everyone with a parking pass: “Tailgating will not be allowed in any SoFi Stadium parking lot.” What a stupid decision. College football and tailgating are synonymous with each other. But the stupidity doesn’t stop there. There is also no RV parking. If you’ve ever been in a college town on a Friday afternoon, the convoy of RV’s that roll into town is a site to see. The CFP, who awards the National Championship sites, needs to improve their bidding process. This can not happen.

Needless to say, UGA and TCU fans going to the game are not happy with the decision. And for good reason. I have seen a proper tailgate bring opposing fan bases together. Normally over some sort of grill or game of cornhole. It’s also an opportunity for fans to meet other fans of their team. TCU fans would be flocking together getting ready for their first CFP National Championship game. Georgia fans will be gearing up for their 3rd natty in the last 5 years. Unfortunately they will not be able to tailgate for the event. The bigger issue here is to make sure this does not happen again. Leave it to California to find a way to mess up a National Championship game as tailgating is not allowed for the National Championship game.