The Georgia Bulldogs are ranked No. 4 in the nation and, at this moment, included in the quartet of college football teams that are slated to receive invitations to the College Football Playoff (CFP).
However, likely the only way they maintain their name on that exclusive guest list and keep the door open is if they go full on Bruce Lee and kick it in with a win over the invincible Alabama Crimson Tide. As we see it, a victory over Nick Saban’s indomitable crew on Saturday at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta would propel Georgia to as high as No. 1 but definitely land them somewhere in the fab four with Alabama tumbling from their lofty perch at the top to a notch or two below but still in the CFP mix.
As many of you know, this is a rematch of last year’s College Football Playoff championship game and although the venue is the same, the odds are not. The best online sportsbooks, found all in one place at Sportsbook Review, tells us that Alabama was being offered at last year’s CFP title game as 3½ point favorites, a number they narrowly failed to cover in their 26-23 overtime victory.
However, this season the oddsmakers are not viewing the rematch nearly as close with Alabama favored by 13 points at most of the best online sportsbooks. More to the point, and to illustrate what a juggernaut the Tide has been this season, Alabama has been favored by at least 21 points in every game this year except earlier this month at LSU where they were installed as 13½-point road chalk. Oh, and if you’re wondering, the Tide had no problem covering that number as evidenced by their 29-0 shutout of the Tigers in their own playground. Alabama comes into this one at 12-0 straight up and 8-4 against the spread while Georgia checks in at 11-1 straight up with an identical 8-4 ATS mark.
This is a game of whatever you can do, I can do better. Unfortunately for Georgia fans, Alabama is not only singing it but backing it up as well. Consider for a moment that Bama is No. 2 (49.0 PPG) in scoring while Georgia is No. 13 (40.1 PPG). Passing yards goes to the Tide ranked sixth with 332.1 per game while Georgia is tied at No. 73 in that category, averaging just 221.0/game. Georgia’s rushing attack is their only real offensive edge as the Dawgs are averaging 259.8 yards on the ground, good for 11th in the nation, while the Tide averages 205.9 and rank No. 32 in that category.
Defensively the Tide boasts the third-ranked unit in points allowed (13.8 PPG), while the Bulldogs are No. 10 (17.2 PPG). Alabama is No. 15 in rushing yards allowed (114 yards per game) versus Georgia’s 27th ranked run-stop unit, surrendering 128.4 yards per game. Lastly, Bama’s pass defense is once again just a little bit better than Georgia’s at No. 10 (168.2 yards per game) while the Dawgs clock in with 14th ranked pass D (175.1 yards per game).
Essentially, the Crimson Tide owns an advantage in five of the six major statistical categories with Georgia holding only a slight edge in running the ball thanks primarily to the dynamic duo of D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield.
Should Alabama win, that means a very talented Bulldogs team will end the season in the Top 10 but relegated as just another “too bad, so sad” story that is no longer in the CFP conversation. However, should the Dawgs pull off the upset it would virtually guarantee that two SEC schools will once again be in college football’s Final Four just like last year. The SEC keeps proving it is the greatest conference in college football and if someone says any different, just tell’em: “Roll Tide!”