Georgia vs. Alabama: Preview and Predictions for SEC Championship 2021

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 4, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 30: head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs takes the field before the start of a game against the Florida Gators at TIAA Bank Field on October 30, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

No college football team in the country has been as dominant as Georgia this season. But no program in the SEC has had as much success over the past decade than Alabama. But only one of these two schools will become this year's SEC champions on Saturday.

The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide are facing off in a huge clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. In addition to the conference title being on the line, this game will have big implications for the College Football Playoff, as Georgia is currently ranked No. 1 and Alabama is at No. 3.

The Tide are looking to win their seventh SEC title in 10 years, while the Bulldogs are aiming to win their first since 2017. It's the first time the two teams are facing each other in the conference championship game since 2018, when Alabama won.

Here's everything else you need to know heading into this year's SEC Championship Game.


2021 SEC Championship Game Info

Date: Saturday, Dec. 4

Start Time: 4 p.m. ET



Preview, Predictions

Georgia's defensive numbers this season are ridiculous. It's been rare to see a team shut down opposing offenses as much as the Bulldogs have through their first 12 games of the year. And that's a big reason why they're unbeaten this season.

At this point, Georgia ranks first in the country in both points (6.92) and total yards allowed (230.8) per game. No other team is allowing fewer than 15 points per game.

How much of that can be attributed to the Bulldogs' schedule? We may be about to find out.

The SEC East was a bit down this year, as no team other than Georgia had fewer than three conference losses. The Bulldogs' most challenging non-conference game was their opener against Clemson, but the Tigers have had a disappointing season, as they have three losses heading into bowl season.

If Georgia wants to prove that its defense hasn't just been impressive because of its opponents, then it can shut down Alabama's offense. The Crimson Tide are led by quarterback Bryce Young, one of the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy, and they have plenty of playmakers for him to get the ball to.

But Alabama's offense wasn't too impressive in its regular-season finale at Auburn. It went nearly four full quarters without scoring a touchdown, before finally coming back to rally for a four-overtime victory. The Tide likely will need to avoid that kind of a slow start in order to have success against the Bulldogs.

Even though Georgia has been the better team to this point, the program has struggled against Alabama in recent history. The Crimson Tide have won the previous six meetings between the schools, with the Bulldogs' last victory coming in 2007.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart doesn't want his players to think about what's happened to past teams.

"This year is this year," Smart said, per Paul Newberry of the Associated Press. "I don't think there's any overlap between the two. I know people want to make it that, make it some kind of overlap, but every year is independent of the previous."

And that's why the Bulldogs are going to finally break through to beat the Crimson Tide.

While its defense shuts down Alabama early, Georgia will have enough success on offense to score a couple early touchdowns. The Crimson Tide will try to come from behind again this week, but they're going to fall short as the Bulldogs' defense will make a late final stand.

Georgia will go on to be the No. 1 seed in the CFP, while Alabama will miss out for only the second time since the system was implemented in 2014.

Prediction: Georgia 27, Alabama 20