The 2023 College Football season is set to come to a close. There have been a few teams that have been at the center of the college football season since the beginning. One team at the center of the season and the playoff chase is the #8 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1). Alabama is heading into the SEC championship again to take on the top-rated Georgia Bulldogs as huge underdogs. Normally Alabama is a legitimate contender for the playoffs, but this season, they’re having to fight their way in due to the number of high-quality teams ahead of them. If they get into the playoffs, they will be serious contenders for the national championship, but they need two things to happen. Alabama will need help from other teams to knock off higher-ranked teams. Most, importantly, Alabama needs to defeat Georgia eight of the last nine times.
Alabama To Take on Georgia and Tough Cfb Playoff Odds
Alabama Is Playoff Worthy, but It Is Not That Simple
This 2023 season has been unusual for the Crimson Tide. Normally, Alabama would dominate teams that are less than their level. This season, however, the Tide has played down to their competition as they have found themselves down by multiple scores to teams like Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. To make matters worse, Alabama either had a slow start against South Florida or almost failed to finish with a win against Arkansas. It wasn’t until the bye week when they faced LSU did the team play more efficiently. After the bye week, Alabama was easily one of the top four best teams in the nation.
Meanwhile, going into conference championship week, there are legitimately six teams that have a better shot of making the CFP playoffs than the Tide. Alabama faces this weekend against the undefeated Georgia Bulldogs. The Pac-12 was going to have a representative from the conference regardless of the#3 Washington or #5 Oregon outcome. #2 Michigan is more than likely to dominate #16 Iowa in the Big Ten Conference Championship.
Alabama’s best chance to get into the CFB playoffs is #14 Louisville defeating an undefeated #4 Florida State in the ACC championship. Florida State is without their starting quarterback Jordan Travis and could be without their backup as well. #18 Oklahoma State will have a chance to knock off #7 Texas for the second time this season. The Longhorns have a serious edge over the Tide based on their head-to-head 34-24 win. Even if Alabama defeats Georgia in the SEC Championship if Texas, Florida State, and Michigan all win, Alabama will be left out.
Alabama Needs To Shut Down Georgia’s Offense
The Tide’s defense has a tough task to stop one of the most productive offices in the nation. Georgia averages 39.6 points per game, which is seventh in the nation. The Bulldogs haven’t exactly faced huge defenses throughout the season. Alabama’s star edge rushers Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell have each accounted for eight sacks and at least 10.5 tackles for loss this season. Another big contributor in the pass rush is strongside defensive end/defensive tackle Justin Eboigbe, who has accumulated 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.
The two biggest concerns that Alabama must watch out for are the offensive line and the two most reliable pass-catchers. Georgia’s offensive line has allowed only 10 sacks this season, which says a lot about the defenses that Georgia has faced. Their offensive line can create huge running lanes for their top two runners. Not only do the Bulldogs have an efficient deep-threat receiver in Dominic Lovett, but they have a matchup nightmare in tight end Brock Bowers. The Tide’s front seven and their safeties will need to ensure Bowers doesn’t extend plays after on runs after catching the ball. The less that Bowers is a factor in the game, the more that quarterback Carson Beck will be limited.
Jalen Milroes Needs To Be the Best Player in This Game
It is not enough that Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe will be the top player for Alabama on Saturday. He will need to be the best overall player on the field. Much of Milroe’s 33 touchdowns have come after the bye week. As the season has progressed, Milroe has become a more confident and more dynamic playmaker. It wasn’t long ago that he was benched after the loss to Texas to see what the other options were at quarterback. He has learned from that experience and become one of college football’s biggest future stars.
His biggest test of his career will be on Saturday as the Tide’s offense takes on a Bulldogs’ defense that ranks sixth in points allowed per game (15.8) and 10th in passing yards allowed per game (162.7). They will have to rely on other running backs with Jase McClellan out. Milroe will have to create a high-power offense while avoiding key turnovers.