The Trumps Plan to Attend the College Football Championship Game

The President and First Lady will be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide face off.

This Monday’s college football national championship game taking place in Atlanta is a pretty big deal, and not just because the powerhouse Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide will face off at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game will have even more eyes on it because President Donald Trump is planning on attending with First Lady Melania Trump.

The Trumps will be the guests of Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, as well as Agriculture Secretary and former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue. Interestingly enough, both Purdue and Ayers are natives of Houston County, the same county from which UGA quarterback Jake Fromm hails. (Personally, I hope it means that the First Couple will cheer for my Bulldogs.)

The Atlanta Police and Secret Service are already working on plans to have the proper security in place for such a high profile appearance by the president. Naturally, the logistics of having a presidential visit to an already big event will create some havoc. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is already advising folks to avoid Interstate 75 on the northwest corner of metro Atlanta, which is the most direct route from Dobbins Air Force Base to the heart of the city.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Evans has already tweeted out her sarcastic advice for the president - at least she has being a Georgia fan going for her:

The White House Press Secretary has offered congratulations to the two teams in the championship:

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders opened her press briefing Tuesday by congratulating the SEC schools “from two great states, both in the heart of Trump country” for bowl victories that propelled them to the championship.

When pressed about what she meant by calling the two states "Trump country," Sanders said she was simply trying to congratulate “two great football teams in the greatest conference in the country.”

As the room erupted into laughter, she added: “Which I'm sure that most of you will all agree, even those that don’t live in one of those lucky states.”

The presence of Donald and Melania Trump will certainly add even more excitement to a championship game that already promises to be one for the ages. It’s going to be fun!

#GoDawgs

This is an event where I believe that Trump should have passed out of respect for the 75,000 fans that are attending. The traffic and security are already difficult enough without adding modern Presidential security into the mix. Given the matchup between Alabama and Georgia and many fans being within driving distance, many will be traveling to Atlanta on Monday and leaving after the game. After paying between $2,000 and $6,000 for a ticket, most probably couldn't afford a hotel on top of it.

Regardless of that, it should be a great game with similar teams duking it out that know each other better than any teams that have only played one time in the last 5 years. I would give Alabama the edge because of the manner of the two semi-finals. Georgia had to fight to the very end, winning in double overtime. The emotion and physical toll of that type of game and number of snaps is bound to have a lasting effect (it usually does during a season). In contrast, Alabama didn't play too many snaps and held a comfortable lead for the last quarter and a half. The travel difference will also be a factor, as Georgia had to travel from Pasadena back home, where Alabama had to travel back from New Orleans.

The crowd will favor Georgia. I would expect them to have a 70/30 or 65/35 advantage in the crowd due to the 37 year drought more than the proximity of the game. Alabama has been to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium as many times and Georgia and probably played in the old Georgia Dome a lot more than Georgia did (between SEC Championships, Bowl games and Kick-off Classics). Alabama fans have been in the Championship Game 6 out of the last 9 years (winning 4 with 1 TBD), so they aren't as likely to part with $5k per ticket as recent history would show Alabama to have a 67% chance to be back again next year.

Georgia's style of offensive is Alabama likes to and is most successful at defending. Georgia is the better team, but Oklahoma would have been a more difficult matchup for Alabama due to Mayfield's mobility and accuracy. Mayfield is the exact type of quarterback that is capable of beating Alabama. You have to go back to 2011 and LSU to find a team that beat Alabama without a quarterback that beat Alabama by scrambling runs and accurate passing under pressure. Fromm is capable of doing that, but it isn't necessarily his style. Georgia's offense is better, but Alabama's defense is better, especially the rested, focused version that shut down Clemson holding their offense to one field goal. The coaching nod would have to go to the master over the pupil with Saban being a perfect 11-0 against former assistants, all by 14 or more points. Smart will have the best team and looks like the best coach of the bunch, so I would expect it to be a one possession game.

Alabama wins 31-26 with a late defensive stop. Roll Tide!

UGA! UGA!

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