College football fans have been told this season that it’s Ohio against the world, and Michigan against the world. Everyone, Oregon vs. them, etc. etc.
Two weeks before College Football Playoff Selection Sunday, it’s truly Georgia on the field.
The two-time defending national champions had been in first place all season, but it was a systematic ascent to Death Star status for the Bulldogs. Georgia appears to be fully operational now.
After a week of playing Mississippi at home in what was a top-10 matchup only on paper, The Bulldogs go up to No. 21 Tennessee On the road Saturday for their 28th straight win.
“All we’re trying to do is find the best version of ourselves,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said.
On its way to trying to become the first team to win three consecutive national titles in the ballot era, Georgia became the first team from the Southeastern Conference to have three straight 8-0 seasons in league play.
“What (Georgia) has done the last two years is special,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said.
It’s hard to say that Georgia has been a real doubt this year. Some took a cautious approach as the Bulldogs played a weak non-conference schedule and then looked less than dominant against SEC lowlights South Carolina and Auburn.
They had a new quarterback in Carson Beck. They had key offensive players dealing with injuries: receiver Ladd McConkey, tight end Brock Powers, tackle Amarius Mims and running back Kendall Melton.
The defense, which has produced nearly 11 NFL running backs in the last two seasons, hasn’t been exactly terrible.
Just two weeks ago, Missouri State gave their all to the Bulldogs — which probably says more about the Tigers than it does about Georgia.
Bowers and Mims returned last week against Ole Miss, and now Georgia’s offense appears capable of doing almost whatever it wants. Whatever the Bulldogs lost in experience and mobility with Stetson Bennett, Beck makes up for by being a better passer.
There will be an interesting debate about who is the QB3 after Caleb Williams and Drake May in the upcoming NFL Draft. Beck could end up in that conversation.
This is the point in the season when the number of CFP containers shrinks. In the final year of the four-team playoffs, the race still has about nine teams with a chance.
How many can beat Georgia?
It would make the rest of the season more fun and interesting to think that as many as six or seven of these contenders could beat the Bulldogs. Fun, but maybe stupid.
The truth is that in the superteam era, when elite recruits are clustered at a handful of schools, parity at the top of college football is almost nonexistent.
Freshman quarterbacks at Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State, other recruiting superpowers, gave others hope of breaking through this season. None more so than No. 2 Michigan.
The Wolverines played their closest game of the season on Saturday at Maryland, stumbling on offense and needing two safeties, a defensive touchdown and several fourth-quarter stops To repel Terrapins.
“We all know what time it is,” linebacker Michael Barrett said. “Once this game was over, we knew where our attention was going to go.”
Michigan will try to make it three straight wins against them No. 3 Ohio State Next week in Ann Arbor, a brutal game for a competition that has had more than its share. The winner faces Iowa, which Striving to get another title in the Western Conference, In the Big Ten Championship with a CFP spot on the line.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh won’t be on the sidelines again next week as he serves the final of a three-game ban from the Big Ten as punishment for a sign-stealing scheme that brought… Off-the-field turmoil for Michigan’s season.
On the field, Michigan believes its experienced roster has closed the gap with Georgia. A long look at these two teams suggests that this is not enough.
Georgia faces rival Georgia Tech next week before play No. 8 Alabama (10-1) In the SEC Championship game.
The Crimson Tide may have the best chance to beat the Bulldogs, but even that may not keep them out of the CFP.
If Georgia Vs. field, the Bulldogs appear to be the best bet right now.
The season changed for No. 4 Florida State on Saturday night when Star quarterback Jordan Travis went down With what looked like a serious injury to his left leg in the first quarter of the year Win over North Alabama.
“When Jordan went down, no one ever wanted to see a player go down,” NFL coach Mike Norvell said. “I don’t have any updates on tonight, but I was proud of the way our guys responded in the game.”
The FCS opponent was supposed to be a tune-up and rest game for the Seminoles, a week before they played rival Florida.
Now the Seminoles will certainly have to face the Gators and No. 9 Louisville in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game without their Heisman Trophy contenders.
This would be a very sad way to end a great college career, and of course, the injury has huge ramifications. The Seminoles wouldn’t be nearly as explosive without Travis, and just beating Florida and Louisville becomes a much more difficult task.
In a season where there may be an abundance of playoff contenders making a case for one of the four spots, it’s fair to wonder how the selection committee’s view of the Seminoles (No. 4 CFP) will be affected without Travis.
all over the country: No. 5 Washington remains undefeated Without scoring any points in the second half against tenth-place Oregon State. Michael Penix Jr. didn’t do much to boost his Heisman Trophy candidacy, but needing a first down to sign him late, he fired a hit on Rome Odunze to earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game. … Oregon can still play spoiler Friday against No. 6 Oregon. If the Beavers win and No. 19 Arizona With a win over Arizona State, the Wildcats will reach the conference title game in a remarkable turnaround season for coach Jedd Fisch. …No. 7 Texas needs another victory to clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game next He survived his final trip to Iowa In the foreseeable future. There is still a tie between three teams for third place, however No. 24 Oklahoma State It will pick up a win at home against BYU next week because it has beaten both No. 14 Oklahoma And No. 23 Kansas State, which Beat Kansas for 15th in a row time. … UCLA beat USC (7-5) In what could be Heisman winner Caleb Williams’ last college game. This brings an end to the massive disappointment of a season for coach Lincoln Riley and makes speculation about the job status of Bruins coach Chip Kelly even more interesting. UCLA has one more game left against Cal, and it could be an 8-4 season. It’s reasonable for UCLA to think it can do better than Kelly when he enters the Big Ten, but it’s also risky to assume that. …LSU’s Jayden Daniels added to his Heisman resume by accounting for eight TDs (six passing, two rushing) v. State of Georgia. Daniels’ main competition will likely be Oregon’s Bo Nix, who threw six TD passes in the first half Against Arizona State. …Jeff Brohm’s first season at the helm of Louisville was Coach of the Year worthy. The Cardinals (10-1) clinched a berth in the ACC Tournament for the first time Winning in Miami in a back-and-forth game. …One problem with large non-division conferences is that rival teams don’t play each other. In the American Athletic Conference No. 17 Tulane,UTSA And SMU They are all 7-0. The Green Wave and Roadrunners play next week. SMU played neither and could earn a spot in the title game by defeating Navy (5-5) at home. … Auburn ordered a cupcake the week before the Iron Bowl and got a live rattlesnake. The state of New Mexico received $1.8 million and Win 31-10 For a late-season trip to the SEC. Coach Jerry Kill’s team is 9-3 and headed to the Conference USA title game against No. 25 Liberty (11-0) regardless of what happens next week against Jacksonville State. …The number of undefeated teams dropped to six after No. 18 James Madison Lost in overtime to Appalachian State. JMU may still find its way into a bowl game, but any talk about whether the Dukes should compete for a New Year’s Six bowl is over.
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