A lot of people saw it coming. I just happened to write it in ink and blow a trumpet.
I had Georgia as Next.
It’s the last chapter in the book: How The SEC Became Goliath. I didn’t look so smart Oct. 6 when the Bulldogs got smushed in Columbia, 35-7. That was ugly. Jadeveon Clowney set a tone against the Georgia offensive line. The Georgia defensive players kept taking chances on playing the ball and got burned.
I didn’t look so good when the Bulldogs played so desperately against Kentucky.
But here they are. Beat Alabama and they get Notre Dame in the national championship game. The SEC in the national championship game is a good bet these last six tries. 6-0.
So how did I fall into this? Looking like a prophet (almost), that is. It’s simple. There were 10 guys back on defense and defense wins championships. Georgia wasn’t going to win this thing with Aaron Murray and the offense. He can get rushed into mistakes and the offensive line needed some rebuilding.
But the defense was full of size, playmakers, and seniors. I have said it often. Big people beat up little people. Georgia has some badass big people. It also has Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator and he coaches like Nick Saban and he knows the 3-4.
Georgia is 11-1 and now that Murray is taking better care of the ball, the Bulldogs have something for Alabama. Are they good enough to win? No question. Alabama does not have an elite speed rusher like Jarvis Jones. Alabama’s safeties, if made to play pass coverage man-to-man, can get beat.
Two NFL guys told me last week that man-for-man, they would pick Georgia’s 11 on defense over Alabama’s 11 on defense. That’s stout. Bama’s Dee Milliner has not looked like the first round draft pick at corner everyone thought he would be. Jesse Williams, the nose guard, can take himself out of plays. The best player on defense, CJ Mosley, is not even part of the base defense. John Fulton, the corner who played solid pass defense against Texas A&M, is battling turf toe. He showed up in the participation chart against Auburn, but I don’t know his status. The guy behind him is a freshman in the dime six backs defense.
Georgia can win this game. The big issue is the offensive line. It doesn’t compare to Alabama’s O-line, but it doesn’t have to for UGa to win this game. All it has to do is make sure guards Dallas Lee and Chris Burnette do not allow the pocket to collapse in the lap of Murray. He’s short anyway. He can’t see to throw between the hash marks. If the pocket is back up on him, Murray is in trouble. He will have to slide right and you can bet Alabama will have a delayed rusher flying at him.
I have my doubts whether the freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall can run against Bama. When Georgia tried to burn clock against Tennessee and run the ball in the second half it couldn’t do it. We all know how bad UT was on defense this season.
I don’t like to pick teams that can’t run the ball. It should be a worry for Georgia fans, but they can still win the game
*One thing about this emerging debate about Alabama or Georgia trampling Notre Dame in the national championship game.
The Irish see rock em sock em SEC football every day in practice. They can deal with Bama’s one-back, downhill cuts behind an H-back. The Irish get it. They are tough enough. The same with Georgia’s I-formation plays.
Notre Dame is not some spread team that can’t cope. They will manage, believe me.