No. 3 Georgia enters the College Football Playoff with an 12-1 record and a chance to win a national championship under coach Kirby Smart.
The Bulldogs fell down the rankings after a 41-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game. Georgia faces No. 2 Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Gardens, Fla.
Here is a closer look at Georgia’s playoff history, and the reasons why the Bulldogs will (or won’t) win a national championship in 2021:
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Georgia’s College Football Playoff history
Georgia is making its second College Football Playoff appearance. The Bulldogs made the CFP championship game in 2017, where they lost a 26-23 overtime thriller to Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
|2017||4||Beat No. 3 Oklahoma 54-48, Lost to No. 4 Alabama 26-23|
|2021||3||vs. No. 2 Michigan|
Georgia has not won a national championship since 1980.
CFP championship odds
According to Fanduel.com, The Crimson Tide have the best odds to win the national championship.
Georgia vs. Michigan odds
According to Fanduel.com, Georgia is a 7.5-point favorite in the Orange Bowl matchup against Michigan. The teams have split two previous matchups. The Bulldogs are 8-5 ATS this season. The Wolverines are 11-2 ATS in 2021.
Why Georgia will win national title
The Bulldogs can make adjustments from the 41-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game and go from there.
Georgia did have a 10-0 lead, and the key will be playing from ahead if a rematch happens. It’s still a defense that allowed 9.5 points per game in the regular season, and motivation won’t be a question.
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The Bulldogs still have to get past Michigan first. That’s a matchup of teams that like to rely on running the football and playing tough defense, and quarterback Stetson Bennett should get enough opportunities in the down-field passing game. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is 1-2 in bowl games against SEC schools.
A victory there, and Georgia likely gets that rematch against the Tide, which will be without receiver John Metchie III (knee). Yes, Georgia has lost the last seven meetings, but that defense has seen Bryce Young and can have success the second time around.
Remember what Alabama did to LSU in 2012 in a rematch? That kind of scenario would lead to Georgia’s first national championship since 1980.
Why Georgia won’t win national title
That Alabama hurdle has become a massive mental block. Seven straight losses, and Bennett struggled to play keep up while the offense could not generate a dominant running game. The Bulldogs did not adjust to playing without a lead.
Smart will have a lot of scheming to do if it comes to that to get the better of Alabama coach Nick Saban, who has owned the CFP championship spotlight.
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Michigan cannot be overlooked either. The Wolverines have been itching to prove themselves on this stage, and the edge 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 matchups on the big stage can produce unexpected results.