Alabama could rewrite some history this season if they meet Georgia in the SEC Championship or post season. Georgia has lost to Alabama in their last five meetings. That ties the longest win streak going all the way back to their first meeting in 1895. Alabama has dominated the rivalry since Saban arrived, but is 2019 the year they pass the torch to Kirby Smart and company?
The Case For Georgia
Smart has been on a tear on the recruiting trail. Georgia has had a top three recruiting class in the last three years per 247 Sports. They have also landed 15 five star players in that time to Alabama’s 11.
Smart is now heading into his fourth year with the Bulldogs and have his players in his system. He has raced out to quick success but still hasn’t landed a National Championship. That is in large part due to Nick Saban and Alabama.
The powerhouse that is the Crimson Tide have continued to roll on and have become a fixture in the National Championship. 2019 features another loaded roster for Alabama but real questions loom for the upcoming season.
Alabama has been losing a ton of talent to the NFL like usual. But 2019 could be the first time in a while that some glaring holes start to show through. Losing players like Quinnen Williams, Mack Wilson and Deionte Thompson early to the NFL will cause some issues.
Another question will be around Tua. The Heisman finalist from 2018 has shown the ability to be one of the best players in the country. But he has also disappeared at times in big moments. 2019 won’t have Hurts to bail him out if he struggles like in the SEC Championship game.
Another year and one of the best offenses around Tua should continue to be explosive. But if he struggles when the lights are brightest again, Georgia could finally walk away the victor.
The More Likely Scenario
As great as Smart has been at Georgia, he isn’t Saban. Nick Saban has been the best coach of the last 15 years and has a strong case for best coach ever. His recruiting prowess hasn’t fallen off and he has been a fixture in the National Championship for most of his tenure in Tuscaloosa.
While Kirby Smart has been building a contender at Georgia over the last few seasons, Saban has been the thorn in his side. The series is starting to look like Harbaugh and Meyer at Michigan and Ohio State.
No matter how good Michigan is they always find a way to screw up or get blown out against Urban Meyer and Ohio State. It goes further than the players on the field. There is unexplainable coaching calls and dumb mistakes when the two meet. That should sound familiar to Georgia and Alabama fans.
Saban makes coaches do weird things, this is just another example. 4th and 11 at the 50 yard line and you run a fake punt. While this can look like one risky call backfiring, it cost them a playoff spot and was yet another win for Alabama.
While the two don’t meet in the 2019 regular season, there is a likely match up looming in the SEC Championship. Even with a down year at defense it would still end up ranked somewhere in the top 15. Tua could struggle and this offense is too deep to become non-existent and we’re still talking about the greatest coach possibly ever.
Georgia has so much talent that they will always have a chance to upset the Crimson Tide. Smart has his players in his system and has had Alabama on the ropes the last two seasons. Smart is out of excuses and could fall to 0-3 against their SEC rival if they lose again in 2019. Georgia can take the top spot in the SEC but another loss would likely mean they have to wait for Saban to retire.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. I have covered college football since 2017, wrote for Saturday Tailgate and Fansided. Covering all things Big 12 from recruiting to opinions on the best conference in college football.