It is not the championship game we expected, although it's one we'll gladly embrace.

After a pair of thrilling semifinal games on New Year's Eve, the only hope is that college football's final game will come close to matching the drama.

On the surface, Georgia vs. TCU has a David vs. Goliath feel about it. The Bulldogs are trying to win their second consecutive title. The Horned Frogs are trying to go from an unranked preseason team to the final squad standing.

As we near CFB's conclusion, we're looking for X-factors. What players or game dynamics will decide a winner? What elements of this game, which we will all watch, should we zero in on?

To help us answer this, we asked B/R readers to give us their national championship X-factors. From the quarterbacks to the referees, they covered the gauntlet.

Here's what they had to say with some accompanying commentary.


Mad Max

Response: The X-Factor has to be Max Duggan's legs. If he uses them the way he did against Michigan, they have a shot. His passes weren't as clean despite having a good pocket most of the time. Being able to escape and make plays will determine if TCU can keep up.

We begin with a wonderful, thoughtful answer, although I will disagree with a small portion of it.

I wouldn't say Duggan had a "good" pocket for much of the Michigan game. In fact, I thought he made some brilliant plays while being put in uncomfortable positions time and time again.

Regardless, his legs will indeed be a valuable weapon, and they have been for much of the year. He ran for 57 yards and two touchdowns against Michigan, although he generated much more offense with his ability to move.

He did the same against Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game, running for 110 yards and a touchdown. He also took some enormous shots, and that's the risk that will come into play against a team likeGeorgia.

Up front, the Bulldogs are massive. While Duggan is undeniably tough, he'll be at risk every time he leaves the pocket. To win, Duggan will have to stay active. And with Georgia likely to apply pressure, he'll have no choice but to do so.