Alabama Faces Uphill Climb to Reach CFB Playoff

by | Dec 3, 2021 | College Football, General | 0 comments

The Georgia Bulldogs nemesis enters the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, looking to extend an excruciating series of losses against their SEC East rival.

The 2021 SEC Championship showcases the two most dominant teams in SEC play since Nick Saban landed on the Alabama tarmac in 2007. Alabama ranks first, with a winning percentage of .869 (106-16), Georgia a distant second at .727 (88-33). This is their eighth meeting since 2007, with Alabama entering on a six-game win streak.

The Bulldogs defense ranks first in the nation in PPG (6.9 ), 2nd in Passing YPG (151.6), and third in rushing defense (79.0)

In their last three meetings, Georgia held a lead in the second half only to watch the Tide roll back to win. Despite Georgia’s masterful defensive dominance of the SEC this season, fans in Athens won’t accept another disappearing act in the second half.

Alabama – Georgia last 3 Meetings

Team1st Half Points2nd Half Points
Georgia5814
Alabama3462
Jaylen Waddle’s 90-yard TD reception ignited 21 unanswered in Alabama’s 41-24 victory over the Bulldogs last season.

Alabama Faces an All-or-Nothing Scenario

While Georgia almost certainly will remain in the top four with a loss, Alabama’s loss at Texas A&M earlier this season makes this a must-win to reach the CFB Playoff for the seventh time in eight years.

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Alabama could be the latest “regular” to be eliminated from contention in 2021, as previous mainstays Clemson, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are also watching from home. However, an Alabama victory on Saturday produces their fifth #1 seed in the CFB era and could treat fans to a rematch against Georgia in the National Semifinals.

Most College Football Playoff Appearances (since 2014)

TeamsApp./#1 SeedW-LNational Championships
Alabama6/48-33 (2015, 17, 20)
Clemson6/26-42 (2016, 18)
Ohio State4/03-31 (2015)
Oklahoma4/00-4None

Dominance vs SEC East

Two other impressive long streaks for Saban’s crew face extinction on Saturday.

1. Alabama’s 33-game win streak against SEC East opponents (last loss October 9, 2010, at South Carolina). Overall Alabama is 41-3 vs against the “other” division under Saban.

2. Since losing their first SEC Championship Game under Nick Saban to Florida in 2008, the Tide has won seven straight (beat Florida in 2009, 2015, 2016 & 2020, Georgia in 2012 & 2018, and Missouri in 2014).

Alabama needs complete efforts from Jameson Williams, John Metchie, and Bryce Young if they hope to defeat Georgia.

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Nick Saban vs #1 AP Ranked Opponents

Since taking over as Alabama Head Coach in 2007, the Crimson Tide is 5-2 against AP #1 Ranked Opponents. Saturday marks the second time Alabama plays them in the SEC Championship Game.

DateAP #1 Ranked OpponentResult Reference
November 7, 2019 vs. LSU L, 45-41
January 1, 2018vs. ClemsonW, 24-6National Semis
January 11, 2016vs. ClemsonW, 45-40National Championship
January 7, 2013vs. Notre DameW, 42-14National Championship
January 9, 2012vs. LSUW, 21-0National Championship
November 5, 2011vs. LSUL, 9-6
December 5, 2009vs. FloridaW, 31-20SEC Championship

2021 marks the fourth consecutive season and tenth time since 2008 to feature the number 1 ranked team. From 1992-2007 only the 1998 Tennessee Volunteers entered first in the nation (#1 ranked team is 8-2 overall, winning seven straight).

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