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College Football Title Prediction

Last week’s College Football Semifinals were lacking in competitiveness. After the carnage died down, fans took to social media to complain about how boring an all-SEC final will be. The fact is, the two best teams in the country won. No injustice occurred, so we should just move on and get the popcorn ready for tonight’s showdown.

Last week, we correctly called both moneyline picks but only got one of the two spreads correct. Michigan was not even in the same class as Georgia. Though it was good for the SEC believers and fans, it was bad for the rest of the country. Now, we get a rematch of the SEC Championship for all the marbles.

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Keys to Victory

In their last meeting, Georgia had a clear plan. Their plan was to establish the run, force Bama into third and long situations, and choke-off the Tide throughout the course of the game. In fighting terms, Georgia was a wrestler looking to avoid strikes and simply wear their opponent down. In reality, Georgia got punched in the face, punched in the groin, and finished-off by a roundhouse kick.

This week, Georgia’s preparation is most certainly focused a little more on the Tide air attack than they were in the SEC title game (we have to expect that’s the case). No matter what the game plan ends up being, the fact is, Alabama is in Geogia’s heads right now. They can prepare for everything in Bama’s playbook but they can’t erase the memory of the offensive clinic Bama laid on them the first time around.

Georgia’s Keys

  • Exotic Blitzes (CB and delayed LB blitzes)
  • Defensive Audibles (pre-snap)
  • Utilizing heavy run to play action rates
  • Pressuring and confusing Bryce Young

Georgia was eaten alive by big plays through the air last time. Despite their success against Bama’s rushing attack (as they intended), it was Bryce Young who was able to nullify all their hard work. Georgia committed too much stopping the run last game, leaving the secondary thin. This time around, Georgia needs to employ more blitz and coverage-friendly schemes, sacrificing the run, to an extent.

Alabama’s Keys

  • Test the Georgia defense to see if they’ve made the right adjustments
  • Spread the Georgia defense to open-up the run game
  • Stay balanced on offense
  • Get Bryce Young outside the pocket
  • Focus defensive attention on Brock Bowers

Brock Bowers was one of the few bright spots the first time these two met. Alabama needs to focus on blanketing Stetson Bennett’s favorite target. If Alabama can limit Bowers and force Bennett to look elsewhere, they could increase his time in the pocket (forcing him through his progressions), which should result in increased pressure and more offensive risk for Georgia.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

Alabama +120 vs Georgia

We’ve seen Georgia twice now in the CFP. The first time around, Georgia beat Oklahoma in a classic shootout. That run ended in the hands of Devonta Smith in Overtime, sealing the National Title for Bama. Last week, Georgia looked re-focused and ready for the CFP. After dominating Michigan, Georgia will make its second CFP title game.

Alabama has been here many times before. Even before the CFP was a thing, Bama was here, under the watchful eye of Nick Saban, winning titles. Nick Saban has 7 national titles. He’s 7-2 in national title games. Given how Bama appeared to make the better in-game adjustments the first time the two played, it’s hard for me to move away from Alabama in this prediction.

I expect both teams to play on the conservative end of things, each waiting to pounce on the other’s first mistake. If anyone breaks from the script early, I expect it to be Georgia, who stands a substantially better chance winning the game played from ahead. I think this game to be very close at the half, but Bama will change strategies to open the second half, giving Georgia only timeouts to make adjustments.

Alabama 30 Georgia 27

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