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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Storied rivalry continues with Alabama-Georgia SEC championship game

CW Archive
Former Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams (#1) runs the ball against Georgia in the SEC Championship on Dec. 4, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.

On Dec. 2 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs will clash in the SEC championship game, for the third time since 2018.  

“I’m very, very proud of this team for the progress that they’ve made, the work they’ve done to give themselves the opportunity to play in the SEC championship game. This is one of the most competitive, best venues in college football,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in a press conference Monday.  

Georgia and Alabama have been the powerhouses of the SEC West and East, so the two programs have been on a collision course to face each other in Atlanta. This rivalry historically favors the Crimson Tide: Alabama has yet to lose to Georgia in the SEC championship game, with a record of 3-0 against the Bulldogs.  

“I’m not worried about lobbying for anything, I’m worried about winning an SEC championship, which is really hard to get,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said Saturday after the team’s victory against Georgia Tech. “One of the greatest venues in all of sports is the SEC championship.” 

Here’s the history. 

2012 SEC championship game (Alabama 32, Georgia 28) 

The first meeting between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs in the SEC championship game came back in 2012 at the historic Georgia Dome, where Alabama legends running back Eddie Lacy, quarterback A.J. McCarron and wide receiver Amari Cooper defeated the Bulldogs 32-28.  

The Crimson Tide rallied late in the fourth quarter with a McCarron 45-yard touchdown pass to Cooper to take the lead with three minutes left on the clock. Alabama’s defense shut down the Bulldogs in the final drives of the game leading Alabama to its first SEC championship win over the Bulldogs.  

After defeating the Bulldogs in the SEC championship, Alabama rolled into the BCS national championship game, defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 42-14. It was Smart, then the Alabama defensive coordinator, whose scheme and game plan for the Crimson Tide defense shut down the Fighting Irish, keeping them off the scoreboard until the third quarter. Alabama finished the season ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ and Associated Press end-of-season rankings.  

2018 SEC championship game (Alabama 35, Georgia 28) 

This was the first meeting where Smart coached against Alabama in the SEC championship game. The second chapter of this storied SEC championship rivalry did not disappoint.  

After entering the game as a 14-point favorite, the Bulldogs, led by quarterback Jake Fromm, held their own for a while against the Crimson Tide, shutting Alabama out in the first quarter and taking the lead into half time. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who had lost the starting job to Tua Tagovailoa for the SEC championship game, entered the second half to rally the Crimson Tide offense. The Crimson Tide offense came back to life as it rallied behind Hurts, who emerged as the hero in Alabama’s 35-28 victory.  

Coming off an SEC championship win, the Crimson Tide would head back to the College Football Playoff, playing the Oklahoma Sooners in the CFP semifinal game. Alabama took care of business as it defeated Oklahoma 45-34, once again securing its spot in the national championship game with a date with the Clemson Tigers. Alabama’s season would come to a disappointing end as the Tigers dominated the Crimson Tide in all four quarters, with a final score of 44-16.  

2021 SEC championship game (Alabama 41, Georgia 24) 

Entering the game as 6.5-point underdogs, the Crimson Tide put on an impressive performance. On the back of quarterback Bryce Young, Alabama rolled over the Bulldogs 41-24.  

After being down 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Crimson Tide put up 24 points on the board in the second and did not look back, seizing its 29th SEC championship and remaining undefeated in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in SEC championship games.  

However, Georgia finally caught Alabama’s number in the 2022 national championship game, the second between the two programs in the last five years. Unlike the previous meeting, Georgia outschemed the Crimson Tide. A Young interception late in the fourth quarter sealed Alabama’s fate, and Georgia won the national championship.  

2023 Matchup 

This year, the meeting between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs will have a lot more implications on the college football world than previous years, with the top eight spots in the AP college football poll all deserving of a top four spot and playoff berth.  

A win over Georgia could solidify Alabama in the top four.  

“I believe a win over Georgia, Alabama should be in, because I believe they will be one of the four best teams in the country,” SEC insider Paul Finebaum said on SportsCenter.  

Scheduled for a 3 p.m. CT start on CBS, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs will write yet another chapter in one of the SEC’s storybook rivalries.

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