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The College Football Playoff National Championship Game is just a few days away, with Georgia set to take on TCU.
It’s no surprise that Georgia is back, trying to win its second title in a row. But most of the college football world has been stunned to see TCU’s ascent.
Coming off a brutal 5-7 season in 2022, Max Duggan has helped lead the Horned Frogs to within a win of their first title since 1938.
Georgia are substantial favorites, however, with a 13.5 point spread implying odds makers don’t believe it’ll be particularly close.
And if you ask a number of college coaches, they’re inclined to agree. Even though Mattress Mack clearly doesn’t.
The Athletic surveyed a number of coaches to get their thoughts on the game, with the vast majority going with Georgia.
“’Georgia’s gonna boat race ’em,’” said one assistant coach who faced the Bulldogs earlier this season.”
Can TCU Keep Up With Georgia?
One other coach essentially said that Michigan gave away the game in their semifinal loss to TCU.
“’When you look at the Michigan game, (the Wolverines) frickin’ blew it. How many opportunities early did they squander? And not only that, they did stupid s—, like running reverses on the goal line,’ one SEC assistant said. ‘You’re Michigan. Run the damn ball. They got too cute and too fancy. They gave that game away.'”
Meanwhile, every single coach they surveyed said TCU wouldn’t be able to line up and run at the Bulldogs.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart certainly won’t take much comfort in these predictions. He’s already made it clear he wasn’t pleased with many aspects of their come from behind win over Ohio State.
While every respondent picked Georgia except for one, some said there is a path for TCU to pull the upset.
“’TCU is hard to beat if you give them a couple of 40-yard scores, and they can get them in the run game and pass game at any moment,’ one coordinator said. ‘(If) you give them a couple of big plays and let them get up, they’ll get you.'”
It’s hard to see the Bulldogs defense having two consecutive letdowns. It’s equally hard to see the TCU defense shutting down Stetson Bennett as well.
But TCU has explosive offensive talent and an elite quarterback, which could make them dangerous late in a close game.
Whether Georgia’s distinct talent advantage leads to a “boat race” remains to be seen. If it is a tight game, there will be a number of surprised college coaches.