This weekend, No. 1 Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC) and No. 8 Alabama football (11-1, 8-0) are set to square off in Atlanta for the SEC Championship — yet another classic Kirby Smart vs. Nick Saban matchup with massive implications. Right now, everyone is picking the Bulldogs, and perhaps rightfully so; however, don’t count out the Crimson Tide just yet.
Alabama football has upset potential
A major reason that Alabama is ranked toward the bottom of the top 10 is their ugly loss against Texas — a game that led most folks in college football to write off the Tide from a College Football Playoff perspective toward the start of the season.
That said, it’s foolish not to realize that Bama has turned things around in a major way since then. Sure, the Auburn win was ugly, but it was ugly in 2021 as well, and the Tide still marched into Atlanta and managed to upset the then-No. 1 Bulldogs, punching their ticket to the CFP.
While Alabama remains out of the picture for now, a win this weekend would likely throw Nick Saban and his team right back into the top-4. Additionally, barring some unforeseen upsets throughout conference title weekend, there is a good chance that only one SEC team gets into the playoff this year — there are simply too many other contenders (Michigan, Texas, Oregon/Washington, and Florida State) this year to put in a non-conference champion.
All this to say: Alabama football could pull off the upset, punching their own ticket to the playoff while also eliminating Georgia at the same time.
Jalen Milroe is starting to settle in
Toward the beginning of the 2023 regular season, Alabama football star Jalen Milroe looked and felt off — he was simply not getting the job done and was a major part of Alabama’s September loss against Texas.
Still, Milroe has been picking things up lately and appears to be peaking at the right time. For Alabama football fans, this is good news because Georgia’s defense is no joke (per usual).
When Bama fell to Texas and then proceeded to struggle against South Florida, the QB play was notably below average. Since then, Nick Saban appears to have straightened everything out, Milroe has settled in, and Bama looks (mostly) like its usual self.
Never count out Nick Saban in Atlanta
In a streak that dates back to the 2009 SEC Championship Game, Alabama football has won 15 straight games in Atlanta, including a massive upset win against No. 1 Georgia back in the 2021 conference title game.
Nick Saban is perhaps the greatest college football coach of all time, and with College Football Playoff hopes on the line, counting Saban out would be foolish.
Georgia is the safe bet, but don’t count out Alabama football just yet.