Alabama won its fifth national championship in the last nine years with a dramatic 26-23 overtime victory over Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
True freshman Tua Tagovailoa entered the game for Jalen Hurts at halftime and helped overcome a 13-point deficit, throwing three touchdown passes, including the game-winner in overtime, as ESPN showed:
The ensuing celebration was as big as you could expect for a group of young players competing in one of the biggest game of their careers:
Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, who now has six titles in his career, showed his excitement after the game, as SEC Network and Dr. Saturday captured:
Perhaps no one had a better celebration than All-American center Bradley Bozeman:
Georgia had the No. 4 scoring defense in the country and showcased it early by shutting down Hurts and the Alabama offense, building a 13-0 lead at halftime. The struggles forced Saban to make a switch at quarterback, inserting Tagovailoa to help spark the offense.
The true freshman certainly made a difference, leading multiple scoring drives to get Alabama back into the game. He then tied the game at 20 with a fourth-down touchdown pass with under four minutes remaining:
Jake Fromm made big throws throughout the day, but he couldn't help Georgia move the ball in the fourth quarter.
Tagovailoa then secured the win in overtime with a 41-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith for the walk-off win.
The players deserve credit for their championship, although Saban put himself in rare territory with this last title:
Based on his current run, it's unlikely he is done winning either.
While several players on both teams likely played their last collegiate game before moving on to the NFL draft, there is a lot of talent returning that will keep both Alabama and Georgia at the top of the rankings. True freshmen Tagovailoa and Fromm could especially be key next season.
In the meantime, however, the Tide will get a chance to celebrate their championship.