The Georgia football program last week won the NCAA championship for the second straight year. Georgia destroyed the TCU Horned Frogs 65-7 in the most one-sided title game in history. They surpassed the previous record set by the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 1996 when they defeated the Florida Gators 62-24.
Interestingly, Nebraska actually shared this national championship with Michigan, with each school topping a poll. But I digress.
The Georgia Bulldogs became the first school to win back-to-back titles since the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2011-2012. That got us wondering which school is now the preeminent force in esports. I am here to say that we have witnessed a changing of the guard. It’s Georgia and there are a number of reasons for that.
So let’s examine exactly why Georgia football has surpassed Alabama in terms of CFP dominance.
3. SEC East vs. SEC West
The first reason has less to do with what’s happening on the field and more to do with what’s happening before the season starts. Anyone familiar with college football knows that the SEC is by far the preeminent conference in America. They keep producing more NFL players. The conference has also won 13 of the last 17 national championships. That really is an amazing number.
Considering how good the conference is, there can be a big benefit. Georgia plays in the SEC East Division. Meanwhile, Alabama plays in the SEC West.
While there is some overlap, most conference games are played between teams in their own divisions. The SEC East consists of Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Vanderbilt. The SEC West has Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas A&M.
Until last season, Georgia has had a recent pie walk to the SEC title game. Yes, Tennessee has banged its head up this year. But once Hendon Hooker turns pro, how long do we expect that to last? There is no other school in the East Division that can compete. Long gone are the days when the Florida Gators competed against each other.
However, LSU is always a threat to Alabama. Although Auburn hasn’t been good in recent years, the Iron Bowl will always be difficult. Mississippi State and Arkansas each pose a threat most years.
So going forward, Georgia is in a far better position to consistently claim the conference title game.
2. Transfer portal resembles the playing field
For nearly two decades, every five-star recruit wanted to be a part of what was happening in Tuscaloosa. But once the NIL became something that allows student-athletes to go where the money takes them, there is now an incentive to go elsewhere. Alabama is no longer a shoemaker to have the best recruiting class in the nation.
From 2011 to 2017, the Crimson Tide had the best recruiting class in America. Since then, they’ve achieved this feat only once. Meanwhile, Georgia has suddenly been in the top three for the past six seasons.
Gone are the days when the Crimson Tide could pick and choose the trash.
1. Georgia Football produces so much NFL talent
It’s 100 percent undeniable that Alabama was the cream of the crop for over a decade. They recruited the best players and drafted the most players into the NFL. But that has also changed in recent years.
In 2022, Georgia led all of college football with five players drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. The year before, they had drafted six players in the first three rounds, behind only Alabama.
The gap between Alabama and the rest of college football has shrunk significantly. At the start of the 2022-2023 NFL season, there was just a six-man gap in the league.
Georgia has been bringing elite names to the NFL for a number of years. Veterans Matthew Stafford, Justin Houston, AJ Green, Roquan Smith and Leonard Floyd were or still are elite players in their positions. In recent years, Georgia has produced an even greater number of next-level Impact players.
RB’s Nick Chubb and D’Andre Swift, C. David Andrews, OLB Travon Walker, DT Jordan Davis and WR George Pickens are just a few who have joined the league in recent years.
Basically, the landscape of college football has changed so drastically. The NIL deals and the advent of the transfer portal have made it impossible for Alabama to consistently land all of the best players. Georgia proved they can recruit, lose elite talent to the NFL and never miss a beat. With UGA facing the easier path to dominance and all else being equal, I don’t see things changing for Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs any time soon.