The 2023 SEC Championship Game this year is between the 12-0 Georgia Bulldogs and the 11-1 Alabama Crimson Tide. This will be the third time the two teams have met in the SEC Championship Game since 2018 with the Crimson Tide winning in 2018, 35-28, and again in 2021, 41-24.
Lately however, the Bulldogs have gotten the best of the Tide in the college football playoff when it really counted beating them 33-18 for the 2021 national championship, which was also the last time the two teams matched up.
This will arguably be the most hyped game in college football since that matchup.
The Alabama Crimson Tide under head coach Nick Saban are a bit of a comeback story in the second half of this season after looking poor in the first few matchups including a 34-24 loss against Texas in week two in Tuscaloosa, and a concerning 17-3 win against non-power five opponent USF the following week that saw the game tied 3-3 at halftime with the Tide struggling to get anything going on offense.
On the other side of the coin, the Georgia Bulldogs have done nothing but keep on winning under head coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs are back-to-back national champions and are looking to three-peat in 2023. This hasn’t been done since the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team in the 1940’s. Additionally, the Bulldogs haven’t lost a single game since December 4th, 2021, when they lost to the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game.
While both teams look strong heading into this one, here are my predictions on why the Crimson Tide will take the game:
Why Alabama beats Georgia in the 2023 SEC Championship Game
Alabama has more to play for – With the Crimson Tide already having one loss, if they want any chance at making the college football playoff, they’ll need to win this one. No two-loss team has ever made the college football playoff, and this year would look to be no different with a bunch of one loss teams surrounding the Tide in the rankings. The Georgia Bulldogs on the other hand could arguably afford a loss and most likely still make the playoffs as a three or four seed as it’d be their first loss of the season. This was a similar situation in the 2021 season when the Tide needed to win to get into the playoffs, and the Bulldogs still had a strong chance of getting in if they lost. And that’s exactly what happened.
Jalen Milroe – Since the game against the LSU Tigers, Jalen Milroe has noticeably been using his legs more in the running game as it seems the Crimson Tide have adjusted their playbook to include some designed runs that weren’t being called by offensive coordinator Tommy Rees earlier in the season. This was a definite x-factor against LSU where Milroe ran the ball 20 times for 155 yards. Look for this trend to continue as Milroe seems like the player that can really take over a game and put the team on this back.
For these reasons, look for the Crimson Tide to take the matchup and try to squeeze themselves into the playoffs most likely as the three or four seed. While other key matchups going into the week have to play out a certain way for both teams to make it, there’s a strong possibility that the Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs could square off again in the semifinals, or finals of the 2023 college football playoff.