The Alabama Crimson Tide will face the Georgia Bulldogs Monday night in the National Championship Game with more than a title on the line. For Georgia, this is a chance to show the world that they are one of the top teams in the nation against a team who’s as consistent as they come. For Alabama, this is about redemption, draft stock, legacies and future jobs.
Here Are Three Things The Tide Will Put On The Line Against The Georgia Bulldogs Monday.
Nick Saban’s Legacy: No matter the outcome of this game, Saban is here to stay in Alabama for as long as he wants. However, after what happened against Clemson last season in the National Championship Game, Saban needs this victory more than he ever has. The Crimson Tide have played in the new College Football Playoff format every year since its inception in 2014. However, Saban has just one title to show for it. This one is important due to Bama almost being pushed aside this year after a season-ending loss to Auburn. While many thought that Alabama did not belong in the top 4, they now have a chance to put any doubt to rest.
The Future Of Jalen Hurts: Saban has tied his success the last two seasons to Jalen Hurts and after last year’s outcome, Hurts must prove Saban right. His freshman year in 2016, Hurts passed for 2780 yards, 23 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. In 2017, his play took a dip as Saban took some responsibility away and focused on the run more. Hurts only threw one interception this season but also attempted 134 fewer passes. If Hurts struggles against Georgia, this could be the end of his run as the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide.
How many yards will Alabama RB Damien Harris rush for AFTER contact in the National Championship? pic.twitter.com/BIXPyDsGl3
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) January 4, 2018
Draft Stock For Damien Harris: No word has been announced if Harris will enter the 2018 NFL Draft. However, Harris is in perfect position to up his draft stock with a strong performance against Georgia. In 2016, Harris rushed for 1037 yards on 156 attempts with an average of 7.1 yards per rush. This season, he rushed for 983 yards on 129 attempts with 11 touchdowns on a 7.6 average. According to WalterFootball, Harris is ranked as the sixth-best running back prospect for the draft.