SEC Championship 2012: Georgia Eyeing Upset over Vulnerable Alabama

Steven GerwelContributor IIINovember 25, 2012

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 10: Coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs warms up with his team before their game against the Auburn Tigers on November 10, 2012 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. Georgia defeated Auburn 38-0 and clinched the SEC East division.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

For several weeks, the Georgia Bulldogs had the minor misfortune of being the top-ranked one-loss team behind a platoon of undefeated schools—including Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame and Kansas State.

As recently as two weeks ago, there were four unbeaten teams wedged between Georgia and the top spot, so a National Championship appearance remained a possibility but hardly a highly discussed scenario. 

Then, once the unranked teams starting dropping over a course of two weeks, we became stuck with just one undefeated team—the Notre Dame Irish—and Georgia suddenly has just as good a chance to land a spot in the BCS Title game as anyone. 

Georgia hasn't won a title since its last championship appearance in 1980. Ironically, the opponent was Notre Dame. 

But if the Bulldogs wish to experience deja vu from that title victory over 30 years ago, they'll have to conquer the SEC Championship game and drive through Alabama, which many still consider the best team in college football despite its one loss to Texas A&M. 

If the Bulldogs can come out on top, they'll have the opportunity to hand Notre Dame its first loss of the season and win a National Title. 


Defeating Alabama

We witnessed Alabama's moment of weakness in a 29-24 loss to Texas A&M two weeks ago, and that game can map out a blueprint for Georgia on how to conquer the Crimson Tide. 

During that game, Alabama coughed up three turnovers—two interceptions and a fumble—which gave the Aggies an opportunity to ride out the game in the driver's seat. 

Furthermore, the Aggies gashed the Alabama defense with 165 rushing yards, while remaining steady through the air with 253 yards. 

In the week prior, LSU nearly knocked off Alabama after forcing two turnovers and rushing for 139 yards, though the Tigers eventually lost the game. 

After watching Alabama's struggles with Texas A&M and LSU, it's clear that the only way Georgia can win the game is by forcing multiple turnovers and running the ball consistently and effectively.

Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have been a devastating duo in the backfield for Georgia. The two have combined for 1,858 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, and this upcoming game will be put on their backs.

Additionally, Jarvis Jones is key on defense. His ability to create pressure on the quarterback will force turnovers and put the entire Alabama offense out of sync.

It's a lot to ask, but Georgia has enough talent on both sides of the ball—certainly enough to outshine Alabama if luck is on its side. 

It's nearly a guarantee that an SEC team will face Notre Dame in the championship, and no team from the SEC conference is hotter right now than the Georgia Bulldogs.