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BC--FBC--CFP Championship,ADVISORY

January 4, 2018

Editors:

Sports Directors:

To help you with planning for the College Football Playoff Championship game, here are some of our plans. This advisory will be updated until the title game. Please contact Oscar Dixon (odixon@ap.org) with any questions. All times ET.

THURSDAY

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-MATCHUPS

ATLANTA — Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts will have to deal with Georgia do-everything linebacker Roquan Smith in a pivotal matchup that will play a significant role in deciding the CFP championship. How the Bulldog’s offensive line deals with Alabama’s Da’ Ron Payne and how the Crimson Tide linebackers handle Georgia running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb are other key matchups in Monday night’s title showdown. By AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.

— With: AP Graphic: NAT CHAMP MATCHUP

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-TRUMP VISIT

ATLANTA — An Atlanta police official says they’re working with the U.S. Secret Service to prepare for a visit to the city by President Donald Trump for Monday’s college football title game. Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said in a Thursday statement to The Associated Press that “we’re aware of his visit” and are working with the agency charged with protecting the president. Campos said any further comment would have come from the Secret Service. By Jeff Martin. SENT: 200 words, photos

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-GEORGIA EMOTIONS

ATLANTA — Georgia coach Kirby Smart is concerned the emotional drain from the Rose Bowl playoff semifinal win over Oklahoma could affect his team’s ability to regroup for the national championship game against Alabama. Players say they’ll have ample time to be ready for Monday’s game. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 550 words, file photos by 4 p.m.

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-ALABAMA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Linebacker Rashaan Evans, the star of Alabama’s injury-depleted group, has had a big season on the field and graduated off it. He’s also shined in the past two national title games. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Expected by 4 p.m.

FRIDAY

FBC--T25-PAUL NEWBERRY-SABAN VS SMART

ATLANTA — Kirby Smart needed only two years to guide Georgia’s sleeping giant of a program to the national championship game, where he’ll meet his former boss and perhaps the greatest coach of them all, Alabama’s Nick Saban. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start calling this one a potential changing of the guard. Saban has fended off all potential challenges to his dominance, and it’s a bit too soon to say he’s on verge of being taken down by his one-time defensive coordinator. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos

— With: AP Graphic: NAT CHAMP MATCHUP

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-MENTOR MATCHUPS

A look at some of the more memorable matchups of mentors and mentees facing off in college football. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p .m. ET

— With: FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-MENTOR MATCHUPS-GLANCE

SATURDAY

— Media Day Coverage, Stories TBD

SUNDAY

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP

ATLANTA — Alabama and Georgia will collide in an all-SEC title game when the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs meet on Monday night. Kirby Smart, who spent several years on Nick Saban’s Alabama staff, will try to topple his mentor and lead his alma mater to the College Football Playoff title. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos

— With: AP Graphic: NAT CHAMP MATCHUP

MONDAY

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-MERCEDEZ BENZ-STADIUM

ATLANTA — Fans seem to enjoy Atlanta’s 1.5 billion stadium after several construction issues caused several opening delays. The Mercedes Benz-Stadium has held a number of big sporting events and concerts including the Falcons and United games along with a Taylor Swift show. Now, the state-of-art facility will open its doors Monday for another major event: the CFP championship between Alabama and Georgia. By Jonathan Landrum Jr. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos, video by 4 a.m.

FBC-T25-CHAMPIONSHIP

ATLANTA — Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have been here before, only this time they’ll be on opposing sidelines when Alabama and Georgia meet for the national title. Smart, who was Saban’s staff for four of the Crimson Tide’s national championships, will try to lead Georgia to the crown in his second year coaching his alma mater. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m.

With:

— FBC--T25 CHAMPIONSHIP-THE LATEST

— Other sidebars on merit

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Previously moved:

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP

Alabama and Georgia don’t play as often as many would think so when the teams meet it’s special, even when it is a regular season matchup. But when the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs meet Monday night in Atlanta it will be an event. The teams, which routinely play each other just four times a decade, will be playing for the College Football Playoff national championship. By Charles Odum. SENT: 700 words, photos. Moved on Jan. 3

FBC--PLAYOFF-EXPANSION

ATLANTA — Two teams from the same conference are playing for the College Football Playoff national title. Two Power Five conferences were left out of the final, including Big Ten champion Ohio State, and an undefeated team was not even close to getting into the semifinals. All this, and still there is no legitimate push to expand the playoff from anyone in power in college football. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 650 words, photos. Moved on Jan. 3

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-ALBAMA

Alabama’s defense not only delivered some payback to Clemson but a strong statement entering the national championship game. For all the injuries and departed stars, the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide’s ‘D’ still is tops in college football. The group propelled Alabama into the title game matchup with fellow Southeastern Conference power No. 3 Georgia and 1,000-yard rushers Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. By John Zenor. SENT: 625 words, photos. Moved on Jan. 2

FBC--T25-CHAMPIONSHIP-GEORGIA

The resolve of Sony Michel and his Georgia teammates helped lift the Bulldogs to within one win of their first national championship in almost four decades. Michel and his teammates wouldn’t give up in the double-overtime 54-48 Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma that has the Bulldogs in the national championship game against Alabama. By Charles Odum. SENT: 700 words, photos. Moved on Jan. 2

FBC--COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

S-E-C! S-E-C! Alabama and Georgia won their College Football Playoff semifinals and will meet in the national championship next week, appropriately, at the home of the Southeastern Conference title game. The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide smothered No. 1 Clemson in their Sugar Bowl rubber match after the third-ranked Bulldogs won the first overtime Rose Bowl ever, a wild 54-48 victory that eliminated No. 2 Oklahoma and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. By AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 900 words, photos. Moved on Jan. 2

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