Randy Smith: SEC Championship Preview

  • Saturday, December 2, 2023
  • Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
This season I picked 95 of 112 SEC games correctly (85%) including 9 of 10 in the final week. It's hard to believe the season is over for most schools but it is and on Saturday the SEC's super powers....Georgia and Alabama will meet in Atlanta for the SEC Championship, ...and it should be a super match up.

Georgia has won the last two SEC and national championships. The Bulldogs have the SEC's longest winning streak at twenty-nine in a row and the 'Dawgs have been ranked number one in the AP top 25 poll since the pre-season.
Still....a lot of folks in the media think Alabama is going to pull the upset. If they do, then you can look for both trams to make the College Football Playoffs. Even though the two teams are a combined 23-1 on the year, they have both struggled at times. Most recently Alabama was taken to the limit by rival Auburn, in fact the Crimson Tide was very fortunate to come away from Auburn with a win last week.

You can credit both teams success to their new starting quarterbacks. For Alabama, after a slow start, Jalen Milroe has developed into one of the best young quarterbacks in the country, putting away all concerns about replacing Bryce Young. For Georgia, quarterback Carson Beck quieted all of the skeptics right away who doubted that he would be able to replace Stetson Bennett IV.

Add those two young men to the other ultra-talented athletes on both rosters and you have national championship contenders. Then you have the coaching factor....and that's about as even as it gets. Georgia's Kirby Smart who has a career record of 93-15 in nine seasons in Athens, is a former understudy of Alabama's Nick Saban and in the last ten years either Georgia or Alabama has won has won five titles. Even an Alabama win in the SEC Championship Game will not guarantee 'Bama a spot in the playoffs even though they'll be 12-1. As Coach Nick Saban knows, Alabama needs to take care of its pwn business and let the chips fall where they may.

A Georgia win will keep the Bulldogs at the top of the poll and send Alabama to a really good bowl game. A Crimson Tide win shakes up he entire stack of teams making it very difficult to choose the four best teams in the country. One thing to remember....2023 will be the last year for a four team playoff. Next year it will be twelve teams chosen for a four round playoff. Coming with that big change is an almost total conference realignment. The Pac 12 will be no more with some of the teams on the west coast moving to the Big-Ten and ACC.

As for the SEC, no more divisional play as Texas and Oklahoma expand the league to sixteen teams. But for now, Alabama and Georgia are clearly the two best teams in the SEC and they should put on a tremendous show. As for my pick....Alabama throws the playoff into a real tizzy.
Alabama 33 Georgia 28.

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com
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