Top-ranked Alabama and Georgia square off for the national championship Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The home of the Indianapolis Colts, the Big Ten Championship Game and numerous Final Fours in basketball serves as the site this season for the title tilt in the College Football playoff.
Both the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs were dominant in their major bowl semi-final victories on New Year’s Eve. Alabama shut down previously unbeaten Cincinnati and put up an impressive 27-6 win over the Bearcats in the Cotton Bowl. Georgia raced to a 27-3 halftime lead and posted a sparkling 34-11 triumph over Big Ten Champion Michigan.
These two SEC heavyweights collision course has produced a second meeting this season.
For the second time in five seasons the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are playing for the crown. Georgia lost a devastating heartbreaker 26-23 in Atlanta on 1/8/18 for the 2017 national championship. That is the most significant in a streak of seven straight wins for Alabama against the Bulldogs. The streak was extended to seven on December 4, when Bama defeated Georgia 41-24 in Atlanta in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game. That was an identical score to the Tide’s regular season victory over Georgia in 2020.
Nick Saban has established himself as arguably the greatest and most successful coach in the history of the sport, right there with the likes of Bear Bryant and Knute Rockne. He is undoubtedly the coach of the 21st century. Saban has led Alabama to six national championships and, along with the title he led LSU to in 2003, has an astounding seven over the last 18 years.
Monday night will mark the 10th time that Saban has coached a team in a BCS or CFP national title game.
Smart is in his sixth season at the helm of his alma mater, and has done a tremendous job, driving Georgia into college football’s elite. The former Saban assistant has led the Bulldogs to four major bowl titles and now has Georgia on the brink.
There have been so many agonizing close calls, none more so than 1/8/18, as the Bulldogs aim for the program’s first national championship since 1980.
Both teams come in supremely confident.
Since Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young directed a scintillating 97-yard game-tying drive in Alabama’s overtime victory at Auburn, the Crimson Tide has won the SEC Championship Game and Cotton Bowl over previously undefeated teams by a combined score of 68-30. Not since the fifth-ranked Bulldogs beat No. 2 Tech 34-0 in 1942 en route to the national championship, has Georgia won a top five vs. top five matchup by a margin as impressive as the 23-point win over Michigan.
The stage is set.
The national title awaits the winner. Will Alabama, ho hum, do it again? Or will these Bulldogs pull it off and register a victory that would mean so much to so many?