Can the Bulldogs go back-to-back?
That’s the question as we head into this weekend’s NCAA’s four-team playoff to name a national champion.
In the semifinals on New Year’s Eve, top-seeded 13-0 Georgia will face No. 4 Ohio State (11-1) at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The other game features No. 2 Michigan (13-0) vs. No. 3 Texas Christian University (12-1) in the Fiesta Bowl, from Glendale, Ariz. The winners square off Monday, Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Georgia sports betting is not legal. If it were, the money surely would be wagered heavily on the Bulldogs.
Stacey Abrams had been pushing sports betting heavily as part of her platform to raise funds in the state, but she lost in her bid to become governor to Brian Kemp.
Alabama Was Last Repeat Champ
Should the Bulldogs pull off another national title, they will be the first team to repeat since Alabama in 2011 and 2012. Before that, USC did it in 2003 and 2004. Nebraska won two straight titles in 1994 and 1995 and Alabama did it in 1978 and 1979. Over the past 50 years, that’s it, according to ncaa.com.
It did happen before then, for teams such as Minnesota, Oklahoma and Notre Dame, but being the best two years in a row is rare. Princeton and Yale achieved the feat a few times in the 1800s, but they were basically the only colleges playing football back then.
Georgia was named national champion for the first time in 1980. At that time, Georgia Tech had more titles. Times have changed.
Now the Bulldogs are one of the sport’s bluebloods, sitting atop the powerful SEC, which has had five different teams win the national title this century.
How This Season Shaped Up
This season Georgia went 13-0 and beat the peaches out of everyone, their closest game being a 26-22 win at Missouri. Even at 7-0, BetGeorgia.com speculated about another national title.
Against ranked opponents, the Bulldogs brought their A-game: 49-3 against No. 15 Oregon, 48-7 at No. 19 South Carolina, 27-13 vs No. 6 Tennessee, 45-19 at No. 22 Mississippi St., 50-30 vs No. 17 LSU.
Ohio State, meanwhile, backed into the playoffs, after getting pummeled at home, 45-23, by No. 2 Michigan. As usual, the Buckeyes blew out their fair share of teams but had wins over only two ranked opponents: 21-10 vs. No. 21 Notre Dame, 44-31 at No. 11 Penn State.
There are no Georgia sports apps, but nationally Georgia is a 6.5-point favorite over Ohio State at BetMGM and the over/under is a hefty 62.5. That means oddsmakers are expecting a shootout with a final around 35-28 Georgia. The Buckeyes are +220 on the moneyline and the Bulldogs are -275.
To place a bet on the Bulldogs, folks in northern Georgia can drive across the border into Tennessee, where mobile betting is legal. Or they can drive to North Carolina and find a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. They also can drive west to Mississippi, where sports betting is legal in licensed establishments, but not on your phone or computer.