“It just means more” is more than a slogan for a college football conference as the Southeastern Conference (SEC) will once again be sending two teams to compete for the national championship. For the seventh straight year at least one SEC team will be featured in the title game, which is an incredible feat. Alabama and Georgia will meet each other once again for the right to be called champions of the college football world. These two teams met each other a few years ago in an epic championship game where Alabama shocked everyone and had an explosive second half comeback to beat the Bulldogs in overtime. This time around will be another rematch as these two teams just faced each other in the SEC title game a few short weeks ago.
Some people may not like the fact that the SEC is having a dual team championship game but for the goal of any sports season is to showcase the two best teams. All season long it was pretty clear that these were the two best teams in the country, so it is only fitting that they play each other in the title game. Both teams faced challenges in the College Football Playoff semifinals, but both easily overcame them and now the true test begins. Alabama ousted Cincinnati and didn’t play their best in doing so while Georgia completely dominated Michigan in impressive fashion. We all became normalized to Georgia dominating teams throughout the season, until they played Alabama in the SEC title game where the script was flipped. Now head coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs will have another shot at taking down head coach Nick Saban and the defending champion Crimson Tide.
This game may look a little different from their first meeting as the Bulldogs will have more tape to look at. We saw the best version of Alabama all season long when they first played Goergia weeks ago so the question coming into this game will be if they can do it again? Additionally, Alabama will be without top wide receiver John Metchie III who torched Georgia and their defense for six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. The Alabama offense focused heavily on the run against Cincinnati but will likely need to return to the air attack if they want to take down the Bulldogs once again. The absence of Metchie was apparent against the Bearcats as no Alabama receiver had over 70 yards. However as mentioned, they relied on their ground game which had struggled throughout the season and the emergence of Brian Robinson Jr. could factor into the title game.
In the first matchup of these teams, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett didn’t play his best game but came out and played well against a very good Michigan defense. Bennett will need to have another good game if Georgia is to take down the Crimson Tide and one advantage that he may have is that he has seen many of the coverages that Alabama will likely throw at him from their first meeting. The biggest question surrounding this Bulldogs team was how they would respond after being punched in the mouth by Alabama and they did so in a big way, both offensively and defensively. However once again they will be tested going up against Saban, who has owned Smart in their matchups since Smart left Alabama for the Georgia job opening.
This Georgia team is better than the team that lost to Alabama a few years ago in the title game so it is now or never for them. For his own reputation, Smart needs to win this game and I believe that he has a good shot at doing so. Early in the preseason, I predicted that Alabama would take down Georgia in the SEC title game but then that Georgia would respond and ultimately beat Alabama in their rematch in the National Championship game and I am sticking to this prediction. Look for this game to come down to the wire and be another classic game between these two programs but when all is said and done, Georgia will come out on top. The SEC remains the most dominant conference in college football by far and it will be the third straight year that an SEC team wins the title, with three different programs winning it all. Prediction: Georgia 31 Alabama 25