Battle of SEC for national title
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs will meet for the national title on January 8th at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Considered the 4th and 3rd seed respectively coming into the semi-finals the Tide comfortably defeated the defending national champion Clemson Tigers while the Bulldogs prevailed in an instant classic over the Oklahoma Sooners.
Defense was the name of the game for Alabama as they held Clemson to 64 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Kelly Bryant completed 18-of-36 for 124 yards and no touchdowns in the 24-6 loss while being picked off twice.
Curiously this was the third consecutive play-off meeting between the two sides where the lower seed secured the victory.
Meanwhile over in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl, the Bulldogs and the Sooners had no such need for something as inconsequential as defense.
Sony Michel rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries and Nick Chubb added 145 yards and two scores on 14 more as Georgia outlasted Oklahoma 54-48 in double overtime.
Jake Fromm was a tidy 20-of-29 for 210 yards and a couple of touchdowns, but was not intercepted on the day while his counterpart, Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, was picked off once while throwing for 287 yards, also with two scores.
And so the Bulldogs get to play for the national title in Georgia in what already sets up as the costliest ticket in college football history.
This, quite simply, is why former head coach Mark Richt was dismissed after 15 successful seasons in charge of the Bulldogs. Richt could never get Georgia over the hump and in a position to play for the national title.
That led to the arrival of Kirby Smart, the former defensive coordinator at Alabama, who now has the Bulldogs in the national championship game in his second season.
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