Georgia Cements #1 Ranking In College Football Playoff With Dominant SEC Title Win

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ATLANTA – The best team in college football put on an exhibition Saturday afternoon in front of, essentially, a home crowd at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Not only did Georgia demoralize LSU in the opening quarter, they tied Alabama for most points in the first half of an SEC Championship game, with 35, leading to the 50-30 win.

There was nothing exciting about this game, besides the crazy field goal play in the first quarter or the wild interception Georgia made off an LSU helmet. No, this was a beatdown from the start, sending a message to the rest of college football.

Kirby Smart also picked up that SEC Championship that alluded him in 2021.

“These players wanted to do something that last year’s team didn’t. This fan base, get an opportunity to come into this place and play in this game, it’s just awesome,” Kirby Smart said postgame.

Georgia returns field goal for a touchdown
Christopher Smith of the Georgia Bulldogs returns a blocked field goal. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Stetson Bennett Delivers Again For Georgia

It was quarterback Stetson Bennett that led the Georgia offense, throwing four touchdowns, while looking in-command of this team from the start. As thirteen different teams have now learned, Bennett is dangerous, becoming the oldest quarterback to win an SEC Championship.

Not only did Bennett lead his team to its first SEC title since 2017, he has been the leader for this Georgia group over the past two years. If Stetson Bennett wasn’t playing quarterback for Georgia, I don’t know if they win a National title and the SEC.

GEORGIA QB STETSON BENNETT
Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the LSU. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

If there is one player deserving of an invitation to the Heisman ceremony in New York, it’s Bennett. Not that he would win, but the former walk-on has now etched himself in the college football history books. After throwing 29 touchdowns in 2021, Bennett has thrown for 20 this season after tonight, while rushing for seven.

“A thrill a minute man. The guy is really good, really athletic, he plays within our system and makes everybody around him better. Nobody watches more tape and prepares more than he does,” Kirby Smart pointed out about Stetson Bennett.

Now, there is no question of whether or not Georgia should be first in the final playoff rankings on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs defense held LSU to eight yards rushing in the first half, while sacking Jayden Daniels three different times. The push from Jalen Carter along the defensive line should give whoever they play in the semifinals serious nightmares.

There is no discussion on who the best team in the country is. It’s very simple. We all witnessed Stetson Bennett and his squad find redemption from last season’s loss to Alabama. Holding up a trophy in Atlanta was one of the main goals for this Georgia team, which they accomplished without the starers really breaking a sweat.

“This is special, we hadn’t won the SEC since 2017, it’s been awhile. This one’s pretty special. I got good players around me, I’m not that bad at football either and we got a good team,” Bennett said about being the oldest QB to win an SEC title.

The running backs will continue to be a problem, with Kendal Milton and Kenny Mcintosh leading the way, while others struggle to keep up. This is what makes them so deadly, the one-two punch of Bennett and his backs.

Looking Ahead To Georgia’s College Football Playoff Run

The attention is now solely focused on who Georgia will play in the semifinals. Will it be Ohio State, who most likely found a way back into the playoff after the USC loss on Friday? Does the committee push TCU back to fourth as a way to punish them for losing the Big 12 Championship?

Ladd McConkey #84 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates with his teammates. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

What the Bulldogs did to LSU should be a clear signal that this football team is showing zero signs of weakness. Georgia had the ball for 4:07 and scored 21 points in the first quarter. I don’t know of another team in college football that could cause this much chaos for an opposing team. Not only can Georgia get it done on the ground, Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington proved once again that it will take an army to stop these two tight end’s.

There isn’t one team that is currently in the playoff that should worry Georgia, not even Michigan. The Bulldogs defense is more than capable of handling JJ McCarthy and the Wolverines, while TCU will most likely be Georgia’s first victim.

Strip back the layers of this Bulldogs football team and you’ll find a group that is willing to lay it on the line for each other on a weekly basis. There is nothing about this team that screams ‘selfish’ or a group that’s looking ahead. In Atlanta, it was about finishing a job that they fell short at last season, which they did by holding up the SEC Championship.

Mercedes Benz Stadium, home of the SEC Championship

This will not be the last time Georgia plays in Mercedes Benz Stadium, with the upcoming playoff game scheduled to take place on New Years Eve. It turned out to be an obvious home game for the Bulldogs, with just a few thousand LSU fans making the trip. In three weeks, when the Dawgs return to Atlanta, it will again look like Athens West, again.

At the end of the day, this is how Georgia will win the national championship: by repeatedly hitting you with body shots. The Bulldogs have everything they need to become repeat national champions, now we’ll find out if they can finish the job.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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