Zucker: "I Think Georgia's Got A Shot"

Adam Zucker believes Georgia has a legitimate chance of beating Alabama in the SEC Championship

The DA Show
November 27, 2018 - 12:33 pm

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In January, Georgia went toe-to-toe with Alabama in the national championship, ultimately losing in overtime. The Bulldogs (11-1), though, will get a chance at revenge this Saturday in the SEC Championship.

Should we give them a shot to beat Alabama (12-0)?

“I do,” College Football Today on CBS analyst Adam Zucker said on The DA Show. “I think Georgia can run the ball, and their offensive line has been really banged up. D’Andre Swift was banged up most of the year. He was out there, but he wasn’t 100 percent. He’s fierce. I didn’t think Georgia would be able to get back to this level a year after losing Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. We knew Swift was good; we didn’t know (Elijah) Holyfield could be counted on this much.”

Swift and Holyfield have rushed 272 times for 1,858 yards and 16 touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Mecole Hardman, meanwhile, has 32 receptions for 519 yards and six touchdowns.

(He’s) a crazy-dangerous weapon,” Zucker said. “Jake Fromm’s got the highest passer rating – depending which metric you look at – in the last five weeks. And their defense, they don’t get pressure on the quarterback, but its almost like they don’t try. They just send three or four and then they try to just cover you. I don’t know that they can stop Alabama enough, but if they can score enough on Alabama, then we have a repeat – in the same location, mind you – of the national championship game. I think Georgia’s got a shot.”

Georgia began the year 6-0 before losing, 36-16, at LSU. 

“Georgia against LSU is something we only get once every five, six years,” Zucker said. “Georgia had to go to LSU. They got blown out. But that game normally wouldn’t have been on their schedule anyway. They could have played Bama, yeah, but they always played Auburn. Any other SEC-West team, they are coming into this game undefeated themselves, and we are talking about both of these teams being able to carry a loss out of Saturday if it’s a close game.”

If Georgia does upset Alabama, Zucker would still include the Tide in the playoff.

“If it’s close and Tua’s not hurt, I would,” he said. “I don’t know that Oklahoma beats Texas. I think Ohio State beats Northwestern, but Ohio State has surprised us with their effort against Maryland on defense and they got run over by Purdue. It would be hard to keep Alabama out.”

That said, if Alabama loses to Georgia and still makes the playoff, changes are coming, Zucker said.

“While I think they are a top-four team with a loss – and I don’t really care about Alabama fatigue or what happened last year and all that – but what are we doing if a conference-championship game is not a national quarterfinal?” Zucker asked. “Whether it’s one team or two teams that are in play for that playoff, how can you lose that game and still be in? It doesn’t sit right with me. I think if Alabama loses this game and gets into the playoff, it’s either the end of conference-championship games, or it’s the end of the four-team playoff the next time things get negotiated. Give me six teams. Give me eight teams with a G5 qualifier in there. Otherwise it just doesn’t feel right.”

If Alabama loses to Georgia and still makes the playoff, it would be the second year in a row that the Tide qualified despite not winning the SEC.

“It didn’t feel great after they got in (last year) after losing the Iron Bowl,” Zucker said. “But they were compared with an Ohio State team that had a bad loss – and had two losses – but were noble enough to play Oklahoma. Again, the committee’s job is not always easy.”

Saturday’s kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. ET.