Yes, you read that right.
At the risk of eating my own words (not really; we’re talking about the SEC), I’m going to go ahead and call the winner of Saturday’s showdown between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs the defacto winner of the BCS National Championship.
Sorry, Notre Dame.
Both on paper and on television, it really isn’t much of a stretch to say so. Nor should it be taken in an offensive fashion. It’s simple reality that, pound for pound, the SEC boasts a depth of NFL-caliber talent that is nowhere near matched by any team Notre Dame has faced all season.
There’s an off-chance that I wouldn’t be so condescending about the Fighting Irish’s chances here if they hadn’t played like a mediocre team against a mediocre opponent in USC this past Saturday. A sloppy win against another overrated team (this one began the season #1 in the land) that reached 4-losses by kickoff? Not to mention that they were missing Matt Barkley’s arm on offense?
That’s hardly what championships are made of. Granted, USC is a fierce rival for the Irish, and such games are often closer than the totality of either team’s season may otherwise reflect. Of course, nevermind that Georgia defeated Georgia Tech 42-10, but whatever.
At any rate, this Notre Dame rant has now become a procrastination tool against picking the outcome of Saturday’s clash between Bama and the ‘Dawgs.’
According to a poll conducted by ESPN, 66% of Americans believe that the Tide are going to Roll in the SEC title game. That total amounts to a majority in 49 states; you can guess the outlier. There are several plausible scenarios for this game, all of which are solely based on Sports Guy’s observations of past big performances for each team.
Read em’ and weep:
Georgia could come out and get absolutely taken to the woodshed. This would equate to what happened the last time they played Alabama, in 2008, when the Bulldogs found themselves trailing by a meager margin of 30-0 at halftime en route to a 41-30 loss. Such an outcome also mirrors this year’s performance by Georgia against South Carolina, when they found themselves on the wrong end of a 35-7 shellacking.
That game also saw Georgia give up an overly excessive amount of points early on.
Georgia could also come out and play much like they did against LSU in last year’s SEC title game. That is, a strong first half followed by a team that was simply better overwhelming them in the second half. UGA definitely had its share of miscues, but stopping that LSU team was a job that, fittingly enough, only Alabama proved themselves capable of doing.
This scenario seems like the most likely to most unnamed sources I’ve spoken with, though I’m inclined to believe that this year’s set of Bulldogs is quite a bit better than last’s.
Then again, Alabama could very well come out and have a game much like they did in their one loss to Texas A&M earlier this season. Much like Georgia’s one-loss, the Tide simply didn’t answer the bell at the start of the game and never caught up. Should Bama start slow, and should UGA’s defense assert itself the way it did against Florida this season, then things will get really interesting.
In other words, I say all of that to say this: I don’t know what my prediction is. The mind should say Alabama, but I’m not willing to conform just yet. Should I catch a break from real life, I’ll be back with a prediction tomorrow.