Georgia, number 3, enter the college football qualifiers with a 12-1 record and a chance to win a national championship under coach Kirby Smart.
The Bulldogs fell in the standings after a 41-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game. Georgia faces Michigan’s No.2 in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Gardens, Florida.
Here’s a closer look at Georgia’s playoff history and why the Bulldogs will win (or not win) a National Championship in 2021:
MORE: Why Alabama Can Win It All
The history of the Georgia college football playoffs
Georgia are making their second college football playoff appearance. The Bulldogs played in the CFP Championship game in 2017, where they lost an overtime thriller 26-23 to Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
|2017||4||Beat Oklahoma No.3 54-48, lost to Alabama No.4 26-23|
|2021||3||against Michigan # 2|
Georgia has not won a national championship since 1980.
CFP Championship odds
According to Fanduel.com, The Crimson Tide has the best chance of winning the National Championship.
Georgia vs Michigan odds
Georgia is a 7.5-point favorite in the Orange Bowl game against Michigan, according to Fanduel.com. The teams have divided two previous clashes. The Bulldogs are 8-5 ATS this season. The Wolverines are 11-2 ATS in 2021.
Why Georgia will win the national title
The Bulldogs can make adjustments from the 41-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game and go from there.
Georgia had a 10-0 lead, and playing forward if a rematch comes up will be key. It’s still a defense that has allowed 9.5 points per game in the regular season, and motivation will not be in question.
BENDER: Enlargement? For 2021, a field of four teams is enough
The Bulldogs have yet to pass Michigan first. It’s a clash of teams who like to rely on football management and solid defense, and quarterback Stetson Bennett should have enough opportunities in the down pass game. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is 1-2 in bowl games against SEC schools.
A win there, and Georgia likely get that rematch against Tide, which will be without wide receiver John Metchie III (knee). Yes, Georgia have lost the last seven games, but this defense has seen Bryce Young and may be successful the second time around.
Remember what Alabama did at LSU in 2012 in a rematch? This kind of scenario would lead to Georgia’s first national championship since 1980.
Why Georgia won’t win the national title
This obstacle from Alabama has become a huge mental block. Seven losses in a row, and Bennett struggled to keep pace as the offense failed to generate dominant running play. The Bulldogs haven’t gotten used to playing without a lead.
Smart will have a lot of conspiracy to make if it comes to gaining the upper hand over Alabama coach Nick Saban, who held the CFP championship spotlight.
MORE: Bowl tracker for the 2021 playoffs
Michigan cannot be overlooked either. The Wolverines are eager to prove themselves on this stage, and the peak pressure from Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo could be a challenge for Georgia’s tackles. Michigan plays the same style, and Big Ten-SEC bowl games on the big stage can produce unexpected results.