Alabama and Georgia met on college football’s biggest stage last season. With a national title on the line, the Crimson Tide was able to edge out the Bulldogs 26-23 in overtime thanks to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s 41-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the game.
The constant comparisons between the two teams have only grown since that magical night in January.
One fact that may not come as a shock is how talented the two teams are. According to Athlon Sports, Alabama and Georgia are tied for having the most first-team All-SEC selections. Each team had six players make the list, which doubled the team with the third-most selections (South Carolina — three players).
The Bulldogs were a lot more balanced, however. They had two players make it on offense (running back D’Andre Swift, tackle Andrew Thomas), defense (cornerback Deandre Baker, safety J.R. Reed) and special teams (kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, punt returner Mecole Hardman).
The Tide, on the other hand, made most of their appearances on offense. Four of the six selections were on that side of the football, which included Tagovailoa, running back Damien Harris, tackle Jonah Williams and center Ross Pierschbacher.
It was interesting to see Pierschbacher listed at center despite starting 42 games at left guard during his first three years on campus. The rising senior did make the move to center during the spring, but that change had not yet been set in stone.
The other two Alabama players to make the first team were defensive lineman Raekwon Davis and linebacker Mack Wilson. Davis is coming off a breakout season in which he finished No. 3 in tackles (69), No. 2 in tackles for loss (10) and No. 1 in sacks (8.5).
Wilson only played in 12 games, but he showed flashes of dominance. The 6-foot-2, 236-pound junior is expected to be one of the Tide’s many breakout performers in 2018.
Like in the National Championship Game, the battle between these two teams can’t end in a tie. To settle which team has the more impressive roster heading into 2018, let’s look at who had the most players make Athlon’s All-SEC list, regardless of which team:
- Alabama: 11 players (first team, 6; second team, 1; third team, 1; fourth team, 3).
- Georgia: 13 players (first team, 6; second team, 1; third team, 5; fourth team, 1).
Unlike in the National Championship Game, the Bulldogs get the nod this time. Don’t be surprised if both teams make their way back into another College Football Playoff in 2018, though.