Credit: AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
Georgia Bulldogs are 'here to stay': Here's a pre-game analysis of the title match
LISTEN: The UGA Bulldogs are hoping to win their second straight national title tonight against No. 3 TCU. Undefeated Georgia could become the first school to repeat as champs in major college football since Alabama a decade ago and the first to go back-to-back in the nine year history of the four team playoff. GPB's Peter Biello speaks with Graham Coffey.
The University of Georgia Bulldogs are hoping to win their second straight national title tonight against No. 3 Texas Christian University. Undefeated Georgia could become the first school to repeat as champs in major college football since Alabama a decade ago and the first to go back-to-back in the nine-year history of the four-team playoff. For a little pregame analysis, let's turn now to Graham Coffey. He's the co-founder of Bulldogs sports analysis site dawgscentral.com. He spoke to GPB's Peter Biello.
Peter Biello: So it seems like we've got an exciting game ahead of us tonight. We know the dogs have had a great season. They've got a 14-0 record. What should fans know about TCU?
Graham Coffey: They're also at 14-0. I think that's the important thing to remember and realize. And it's really hard to get through a college football season and not lose the game. And they've done that to this point. They're a smaller private school. They're in Fort Worth, Texas. It's a Christian university. Enrollment is about 10,000. So definitely not the normal kind of player that you see on this stage. You only see the big state universities with the the deep blueblood football traditions, but they've also been underdogs kind of all the way. So this will be a comfortable spot for them.
Peter Biello: And these two teams are led by quarterbacks who were Heisman Trophy nominees, Stetson Bennett of the Bulldogs and Max Duggan of TCU. What can you tell us about this QB matchup?
Graham Coffey: Both of them are kind of unlikely to be in this spot, right? I mean, Bennett was not even the starter at Georgia in 2021 and then obviously came in and led them to a national title. And they're 14-0 this year. And Duggan has a similar path at TCU. And when he came to the school, [the coach] started someone else. And at their opener at Colorado, he started Chandler Morris and Duggan came in late in that game and looked good. And then Morris eventually got hurt a couple of weeks into the year and [Duggan] played so well that he never really gave the spot back. But if you had told the most knowledgeable people about the sport that this would be the quarterback match up for the national championship game back in August or September, I don't think any of them would have believed you.
Peter Biello: So are the Bulldogs favored to win tonight?
Graham Coffey: They are, yeah. They're favored by 13.5, which is the largest spread that we have seen in a College Football Playoff championship game in the nine-year history of the College Football Playoff. So definitely a large favorite. There have been people that have gone so far as to say that, you know, Georgia and Ohio State last week was probably like a national title game just before it because Ohio State and Georgia are comparable rosters. They both have a ton of talent. Georgia has 15 five-star recruits on their roster and I believe 54 four-stars. TCU in total has one five-star and I believe 14 for starters. So 15 four- and five-star recruit versus 70 almost. So there is a very large delta in terms of how these rosters are composed.
Peter Biello: Well, win or lose tonight, it seems like the Bulldogs have a lot to be proud of this season, do they not?
Graham Coffey: Absolutely they do. Yeah. And you know, that was a conversation that I was having with with some folks during the game last week when it looked like they were going to lose to Ohio State. Coming off of the national title win and going 13 and 0 and losing in the playoff — you know, you were one of the four best teams in the sport to get to this point. Now you're you're one of the two best teams in the sport to get to this national title spot. You just won a national title. So yeah, Georgia is here to stay. They are one of, if not the preeminent program in college football right now with how they followed up last year's national championship season in terms of being so successful this year. They have definitely put their stamp on the sport and they're here to stay. But I do think that many people in the fan base and also within the UGA football program are going to feel like this was an opportunity lost if they are not able to finish the deal tonight.