College Football Playoff: Five keys to a Rose Bowl between Oklahoma, Georgia

LOS ANGELES — There is simply no approach to apart a participating coaches in a Rose Bowl.

That is to say, their remarkable arise to inflection doesn’t make many clarity in a competition that final putting in your time.

One (Georgia’s Kirby Smart) has been on a pursuit all of dual years as a conduct manager yet has 4 championship rings. The other (Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley) got his initial conduct coaching gig in Jun and took a Sooners to a College Football Playoff.

They’re both inhabitant manager of a year candidates. Both have taken over an aircraft conduit and directed it in a true accustomed march demanded by their wild fan bases.

“There’s [one philosophy] where we come in and scratch, overhaul, chuck all out given we have self-assurance that what was finished before wasn’t working,” Smart said. “Then there’s, you’ve got to win a players over given they might not see it as there was a problem. They might see it as they were totally happy with winning nine, 10 games a year. That’s what we call complacency.”

Whatever we call it, it worked during brand-name powers. Here are 5 keys to Monday’s Rose Bowl.

1. Baker Mayfield’s health: Judging from his Saturday media day appearance, Mayfield is roughly certain to be something reduction than 100 percent Monday afternoon. Frankly, he looked terrible Saturday. Of course, Michael Jordan felt a same approach before dropping 38 on a Utah Jazz in a barbarous 1997 “Flu Game.” Sometimes these ultra-competitive guys are during their best when their ill reckoning they can’t feel any worse.

If Mayfield can walk, he’ll play. Riley, though, clearly seems to have a wordless count devise for his quarterback. For a second time in dual days on Sunday, Riley deferred criticism when asked a approach doubt about it. As for a Heisman Trophy curse? Four Heisman winners have won inhabitant championships given 2009 (Mark Ingram, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Derrick Henry).

2. How Georgia responds to Mayfield’s illness: Sam linebacker Lorenzo Carter sum to be Mayfield’s pivotal tormentor as a view in a center on during slightest some plays. Jack linebacker David Bellamy will simply have to have a large day opposite Oklahoma’s large All-American left tackle Orlando Brown (6-foot-8, 345 pounds). Georgia will try to extent Mayfield’s mobility. The Heisman leader became a initial actor to chuck for 13,500 yards and run for 1,000 yards in his career.

Mayfield’s “worst” diversion this deteriorate is 266 sum yards opposite Kansas, an easy win he exited early. This time, he’ll be confronting a nation’s No. 4 defense. The best invulnerability Mayfield has faced this deteriorate is Ohio State, No. 9 nationally permitting hardly 300 yards per game. The Sooners won that diversion by 15 on a highway putting adult 490 yards. That’s a many a Buckeyes authorised this season.  

3. Clash of wills: Something is going to have to give with a nation’s No. 1 offense going opposite a top-five defense.  Look for Georgia to chuck some-more on initial down to disencumber adult OU for a using game. The Dawgs threw usually 89 times on initial down (out of 263 plays) all season. That’s a fewest among a College Football Playoff teams, fewest in a SEC and about half of Oklahoma’s sum (191).

OU has one all-conference (and All-American player) on defense, linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.  Georgia has dual chosen defensive players ranked by Pro Football Focus — Smith and dilemma Deandre Baker. Oklahoma’s invulnerability has 6 defenders ranked between 43rd and 164th  in PFF’s metric. OU clearly is going to have to win a shootout. Smart downplayed a enlightenment fight angle: “When we watch both conferences, a SEC has solemnly morphed toward some-more widespread offenses.”

4. Wild cards: The vital sum in this diversion are easy to pinpoint. Smith, Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and Jake Fromm for Georgia; Mayfield, Rodney Anderson and Mark Andrews for Oklahoma. But in tighten games like this (Georgia is adored by 2.5), a bit players can turn gameday wonders.

Watch Georgia’s No. 3 tailback beginner D’Andre Swift, a home-run hitter averaging 8.2 yards per rush, and Oklahoma container receiver Marquise Brown. The 162-pound Brown led a Sooners with 981 receiving yards personification in a slot. He was second in catches and third in touchdowns. Eight of his 49 catches went for during slightest 40 yards. That was tied for seventh nationally.

5. Rose mystique: The teams have played football for a total 235 years-plus. They’ve played in 104 total bowls. Incredibly, a Rose Bowl outlines their first-ever meeting. These are dual maestro teams with flashy players. But there is something about personification in a Rose Bowl. Georgia hasn’t been here given 1943. Oklahoma has been here once before in 2003.

Judging by sightings around Los Angeles, a early favorite for holding over a Rose Bowl is Georgia. The Dawgs also get a karma. The 92,542-seat Rose Bowl is usually 203 seats smaller than Sanford Stadium.

In a way, a diversion wouldn’t be probable if not both schools had been lead plaintiffs in a 1984 Supreme Court preference that deregulated college football television. That preference pennyless a NCAA’s corner on TV appearances by a schools. Through decades of marketplace army and media evolution, we got a BCS and now a College Football Playoff given of that decision. Thanks in advance, Dawgs and Sooners, for another Rose classic.

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