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Alabama, Georgia Matchup Guarantees SEC Will Claim A 12th National Title In 16 Years

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For the third year in a row and 12th time in the last 16 seasons, a team from the SEC will win the national championship. The rematch between Alabama and Georgia, which will be played Monday night in Indianapolis, guarantees that will be the case.

Getting to this stage is old hat for the Crimson Tide, who have been crowned national champs six times in the past 12 seasons. They will be going for the second straight title after defeating Ohio State, 52-24, a year ago behind the 464 yards passing and five touchdowns of Mac Jones.

This time around it will be Bryce Young under center. He will be the seventh quarterback to start a national championship game under Nick Saban, joining Greg McElroy, A.J. McCarron, Jake Coker, Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Jones. McCarron is the only one to start and win two national championship games, having done so in 2011 and 2012.

The Bulldogs have not won it all since 1980 when they capped a 12-0 season under Vince Dooley with a 17-10 Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame. Freshman Herschel Walker, playing for the final in a UGA uniform, carried the ball 36 times for 150 yards and both UGA touchdowns.

Since defeating the Fighting Irish, Georgia has played for the national title on two occasions. The top-ranked ‘Dawgs lost to No. 2 Penn State, 27-23, in the Sugar Bowl to conclude the 1982 season and they lost in overtime to the Crimson Tide, 26-23, in a memorable matchup for the 2017 national title.

The teams did not meet during the 2017 regular season, so there was no rematch on national championship stage. It is worth noting, though, that on its way to the national championship game, Georgia won a rematch with Auburn to win the SEC title (28-7) after losing to the Tigers at Jordan-Hare (40-17) three weeks earlier. That brings us to Monday night’s rematch, a little more than one month since Alabama and Georgia played for the SEC championship December 5 in Atlanta.

Alabama won that first meeting rather handily, 41-24, improving Nick Saban’s mark with Alabama against the Bulldogs to 7-1, including 4-0 against Kirby Smart. (Saban was 1-1 against Georgia when he was at LSU. The loss was in 2004, the lone season Smart was on his staff in Baton Rouge.)

What stood out about the final score in this year’s SEC championship game, is that the 17-point margin of victory equaled the most points Georgia has otherwise allowed this season, a 41-17 win at Tennessee on November 13. Let that sink in for a moment.

In fact, the 41 points the Crimson Tide scored exceeds the total number of points (33) the Bulldogs yielded in their first six games — six! — of the season. As it is, UGA enters the national title game allowing all of 9.6 points per game. Remove the loss to ‘Bama and the average drops to 7.2.

Alabama has been there before when it comes to rematches with a national title on the line. Though the teams did not meet in the SEC championship game, the Crimson Tide and LSU nonetheless met twice in 2011.

“Those two games were extremely hard-fought, close games in both circumstances and I would expect the same in this game,” said Saban, during a CFP press conference.

The first meeting between the Tide and Tigers, who Saban coached from 2000-2004, resulted in a 9-6 overtime victory for LSU. The Tigers entered the game, played in Tuscaloosa on the first Saturday in November, as the nation’s top-ranked team while Alabama checked in at No. 2.

From there, both teams won out — LSU defeated Georgia for the SEC championship — and when the final BCS standings were released, they were Nos. 1-2 once again. Hence, a rematch was set for the national championship game in New Orleans.

Alabama, with five field goals from Jeremey Shelley, prevailed 21-0 and held the Tigers to 92 yards on 44 plays. The architect of the Crimson Tide’s defense? Kirby Smart.


For the third year in a row and 12th time in the last 16 seasons, a team from the SEC will win the national championship. The rematch between Alabama and Georgia, which will be played Monday night in Indianapolis, guarantees that will be the case.

Getting to this stage is old hat for the Crimson Tide, who have been crowned national champs six times in the past 12 seasons. They will be going for the second straight title after defeating Ohio State, 52-24, a year ago behind the 464 yards passing and five touchdowns of Mac Jones.

This time around it will be Bryce Young under center. He will be the seventh quarterback to start a national championship game under Nick Saban, joining Greg McElroy, A.J. McCarron, Jake Coker, Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Jones. McCarron is the only one to start and win two national championship games, having done so in 2011 and 2012.

The Bulldogs have not won it all since 1980 when they capped a 12-0 season under Vince Dooley with a 17-10 Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame. Freshman Herschel Walker, playing for the final in a UGA uniform, carried the ball 36 times for 150 yards and both UGA touchdowns.

Since defeating the Fighting Irish, Georgia has played for the national title on two occasions. The top-ranked ‘Dawgs lost to No. 2 Penn State, 27-23, in the Sugar Bowl to conclude the 1982 season and they lost in overtime to the Crimson Tide, 26-23, in a memorable matchup for the 2017 national title.

The teams did not meet during the 2017 regular season, so there was no rematch on national championship stage. It is worth noting, though, that on its way to the national championship game, Georgia won a rematch with Auburn to win the SEC title (28-7) after losing to the Tigers at Jordan-Hare (40-17) three weeks earlier. That brings us to Monday night’s rematch, a little more than one month since Alabama and Georgia played for the SEC championship December 5 in Atlanta.

Alabama won that first meeting rather handily, 41-24, improving Nick Saban’s mark with Alabama against the Bulldogs to 7-1, including 4-0 against Kirby Smart. (Saban was 1-1 against Georgia when he was at LSU. The loss was in 2004, the lone season Smart was on his staff in Baton Rouge.)

What stood out about the final score in this year’s SEC championship game, is that the 17-point margin of victory equaled the most points Georgia has otherwise allowed this season, a 41-17 win at Tennessee on November 13. Let that sink in for a moment.

In fact, the 41 points the Crimson Tide scored exceeds the total number of points (33) the Bulldogs yielded in their first six games — six! — of the season. As it is, UGA enters the national title game allowing all of 9.6 points per game. Remove the loss to ‘Bama and the average drops to 7.2.

Alabama has been there before when it comes to rematches with a national title on the line. Though the teams did not meet in the SEC championship game, the Crimson Tide and LSU nonetheless met twice in 2011.

“Those two games were extremely hard-fought, close games in both circumstances and I would expect the same in this game,” said Saban, during a CFP press conference.

The first meeting between the Tide and Tigers, who Saban coached from 2000-2004, resulted in a 9-6 overtime victory for LSU. The Tigers entered the game, played in Tuscaloosa on the first Saturday in November, as the nation’s top-ranked team while Alabama checked in at No. 2.

From there, both teams won out — LSU defeated Georgia for the SEC championship — and when the final BCS standings were released, they were Nos. 1-2 once again. Hence, a rematch was set for the national championship game in New Orleans.

Alabama, with five field goals from Jeremey Shelley, prevailed 21-0 and held the Tigers to 92 yards on 44 plays. The architect of the Crimson Tide’s defense? Kirby Smart.

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