FOXBORO, Mass. — Were you feeling a bit groggy Tuesday morning after staying up past midnight to watch Alabama and Georgia duel in a national championship game for the ages?
Bill Belichick was right there with you.
“I didn’t want to stay up that late, but I couldn’t pull myself away from it,” the New England Patriots coach said in his Tuesday morning news conference. “What a football game.”
Led by true freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama defeated Georgia 26-23 in overtime, rallying from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to stun its SEC rival and win its fifth national title in nine years.
Belichick is a longtime friend and former colleague of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who has built the most dominant program in college football over the past decade. He also has another connection on Saban’s staff: Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who spent three seasons as the Patriots’ tight ends coach before joining the college ranks last spring.
“Two great teams, a great game,” Belichick said. “Just a tremendous football game. I’m happy for Coach Saban, Coach Daboll, all of the people at Alabama. A great competitive effort from Georgia and Coach (Kirby) Smart and his staff. Yeah, it was a great football game.”
The collegiate classic was a nice break from Belichick’s main focus: getting his team ready for Saturday’s divisional-round playoff game against the Tennessee Titans.
“I didn’t see the whole game, but I saw the end of it,” he said. “But, honestly, most of my time here is where it needs to be, is getting ready for Tennessee, so that’s where we’re at.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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