Who will win revenge?
The College Football Playoff Championship is scheduled for Monday at 8:00 PM ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. No. 1 Alabama meets No. 3 Georgia in the rematch of the SEC championship match that Crimson Tide won 41:24.
However, the Bulldogs are 2.5-point favorites and for Kirby Smart it is a chance to lead Georgia to its first national championship since 1980. Alabama is looking for its seventh national championship led by Nick Saban. The stakes are high in this all-SEC showdown.
MORE: Betting trends that need to be known before retaliation in Georgia and Alabama
Sporting News staff give their tips on the College Football Playoff Championship:
CFP Championship Selection
Bill Bender: Alabama 27, Georgia 24
Remember that Georgia led 10-0 in the first match before Bryce Young hit Jameson Williams with a 67-yard TD. That reversed the course of the game. The Bulldogs’ defense looked upset against Michigan, and Alabama will have to run the ball better when John Metchie III and the losing second are out. Stetson Bennett will soon stick to this scenario and Georgia could lead in the third quarter. It will be tight, but Young remains an X-factor. The TD in the fourth quarter for Williams gives Alabama the lead and they stick. A field goal in both directions could decide that, and Will Reichard may play the role of a hero. Alabama, to Georgia’s great displeasure, will win again.
MORE: What would the Alabama NFL team versus the Georgia NFL team look like?
Bill Trocchi: Georgia 27, Alabama 20
You stand in position many times, eventually breaking through. The obvious story is how Georgia puts pressure on Young, which she failed in the first match. Alabama has shown a strong running game against Cincinnati, but it will not work against the Bulldogs. The tide will have to throw the ball and Georgia will have to push Young and have fewer breakdowns in the second round. If that happens, Alabama will have trouble gaining more than 20 points than Georgia’s other rivals. Can Georgia score enough against Tide? It had 24 points in the first match and an average of 24.8 points in four Smart-Saban matches. That should be enough to win. Georgia blew a double-digit lead in three of these games, and Smart still scares me with its management in the game, but now is the time for Georgia to take the crown.
MORE: Spurrier has advice for Smart before retaliation
Zac Al-Khateeb: Alabama 30, Georgia 20
It is true that Georgia enjoyed a return to dominance in its demolition of the Orange Bowl in Michigan 34-11. Also true: Alabama was far from impressive with a 27-6 win over Cincinnati, which is considered the weakest of the four playoff teams. But Alabama’s defense scored only two goals – both field goals – on pre-scripted rides. The attack did not have to open its game against the Bearcats and decided to push through a hasty attack from the old school instead of testing All-American corners Coby Bryant and Ahmad Gardner. It was a completely different strategy from the one Crimson Tide had used against the Bulldogs, one that showed that no one was better than Saban in planning the game around opponents’ exploitable weaknesses on a weekly basis. Expect to find them again against Georgia in a closer victory.
Mike DeCourcy: Alabama 28, Georiga 21
I’m still not entirely sure if Georgia has shown its best looks against Alabama – not because of some rope and drug strategy that has paid off in this championship match, but rather because there was no way bulldogs could be as motivated as the tide was, when they first met. Alabama played for life; UGa played for the trophy. Now the question of existence is the same for both teams. However, if the two most important positions in any team are the head coach and the quarterback, Alabama has a huge advantage with both. This makes it terribly difficult to stand upstream. Georgia’s spectacular defense was able to stop the “great” attack closest to the semi-finals against Michigan, and the Wolverines were so “great” in the season: 26. Alabama Division I is fifth and Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. It’s close enough for it to rock a break or a mess, but I find it ridiculous to choose against Saban.
DECOURCY: Jameson Williams becomes a star in Alabama
Vinnie Iyer: Alabama 34, Georgia 27
Kirby Smart may have a smart-sounding last name, but Nick Savant … er Saban … will not lose to one of his former defensive assistants in such a game with an excellent young Heisman who won a QB and lost another QB whose first name is a hat and the whole The name sounds like the character on “Yellowstone.” The attack wins the championship in the 21st century, not some archaic battle of wear and tear. Georgia got it out vs. Michigan pedestrian and it will not work against Alabama again. Saban knows this and it makes him a “smart” and then his far situationally inferior counterpart. Saban also knows that it would be Championship No. 7 and will also troll the SEC – his team will win by exactly as many points. The “Underdogs” win, the Dawgs lose and the elephants are amazing.
MORE: Winners and losers of the bowling season
Matt Lutovsky: Georgia 27, Alabama 24
It might seem crazy to choose Georgia just a month after the tide defeated the Bulldogs, but Georgia did not show any bad consequences from this loss during the dismantling of Michigan. The UGA has looked more determined than ever to bounce back and win its first national title since 1980. There is an old enemy in the way, and while it’s easy to say that Alabama “owns” Georgia, breakthroughs will eventually occur. This is a year for Georgia, which is characterized by better defense, better quick attack and a stardom with a ball control with Brock Bowers. The loss of Metchie, who had 97 yards at the first meeting and TD before he injured his knee, will hurt Tide, and even though they still have a few offensive creators, Georgia will learn from her previous mistakes and do enough to growl. out and finally get over the hump.