Is Georgia the next Alabama?
For the second year in a row, the Georgia Bulldogs have won the National Championship. Georgia has consistently been on the top of the SEC East since Kirby Smart became head coach, winning the division in five of the last seven seasons. With Georgia winning back to back national championships, the team is being called the next Alabama: the top football powerhouse. Is this an exaggeration?
Alabama’s football program became one of the most consistently dominant teams in all of sports when Nick Saban became head coach in 2007. Since, Alabama has lost more than two games only twice. However, with many key players heading to the NFL after a season where Alabama missed the playoffs with two losses, some fans believe Alabama’s dynasty is over.
Like Alabama, Georgia has an unbelievable amount of depth. Carson Beck, Georgia’s backup quarterback and likely starter next season, put on a show in his small amount of playing time this year, completing 75% of his pass attempts for 310 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Georgia’s defense has defined it the most in the past two seasons. They had a defense that people consider one of the best defensive units of all time in 2021, with a record five defensive players being taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, including the number one overall pick, Travon Walker,
Georgia has also done an incredible job in the transfer portal and in recruiting, adding star receivers Dominic Lovett and Rara Thomas. The top player in the class of 2024, quarterback Dylan Raiola, recently decommitted from Ohio State and Georgia is now the favorite to enroll him.
Georgia has a relatively weak schedule next season, with easy non-conference games and Ole Miss as their SEC West opponent, making a third consecutive College Football Playoff appearance a strong possibility.
In order for Georgia to usurp Alabama, the Crimson Tide will need to keep declining, and since Alabama will have some unanswered questions concerning the quarterback position, that could become a real possibility this coming season. With Bryce Young leaving for the NFL, they will have to choose between Ty Simpson or Jalen Milroe, and with Simpson being inexperienced and Milroe having serious inconsistencies in his playing time, things could get interesting under center in Tuscaloosa next season.
Alabama was the last team before Georgia to win back to back national championships, as they were the titleholders in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Alabama, just like Georgia, was also led by a strong defense, leading the FBS in opponent points per game in both seasons.
In order to be good in the future, you need to recruit high school talent, and both teams have done great jobs when it comes to recruiting.
Alabama has a whopping eight five star recruits, and 19 four stars, with Georgia having two five stars and 20 four stars. This likely won’t matter until further into the future, because as teams like Texas A&M have shown us, a good recruiting class doesn’t mean immediate success.
Georgia isn’t the only team looking to become the next Alabama. Michigan, a team that started the 2021-22 season unranked, beat their rival Ohio State twice, won back to back Big Ten championships, and made the College Football Playoffs as a two seed twice. Additionally, USC has the Heisman Trophy winner, Caleb Williams returning to one of the most explosive offenses in all of college football. Finally, there’s Florida State, a former dynasty that’s starting to return to the glory days.
There are some flaws with the other teams, however. Michigan is 0-2 in the playoffs, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is always rumored to be heading back to the NFL. USC, while having one of the best offenses in college football, also has one of the worst defenses in the NCAA, giving up over 30 points every other week. Florida State had three games against ranked teams last season, and they lost all three of those games. They were 10-0 against unranked teams, but 0-3 against ranked teams. In order to be the best, you need to beat the best, and Florida State was unable to do that.
Ultimately, Georgia dethroning Alabama depends on a number of factors and outcomes, but I think Georgia will become the next Alabama when Nick Saban retires. Saban has been the best coach in college football since he took over at Alabama, and he shouldn’t be counted out.
Since Saban took over, every two loss campaign by Alabama with the exception of the 2021 season and the 2013 season was followed up by a National Championship victory, showing that Alabama usually bounces back whenever they have a down year, but things couldn’t be as easy once Saban retires. Once Saban hangs up the headset, the college football world will be ran by Nick Saban’s former assistant Kirby Smart