Monday night, the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship takes center stage with No. 1 Alabama battling No. 3 Georgia. It’s the second meeting between the two teams in over a month, with Alabama earning the SEC title over Georgia on Dec. 4 in a 41-24 win. Both the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs blew through their respective CFP semifinal matchups against No. 4 Cincinnati and No. 2 Michigan, setting up a battle of titans in Indianapolis.
Georgia spent most of the year as the top-ranked team in college football, finishing the regular season as the lone undefeated Power Five team. However, the Bulldogs lost by three scores against Alabama in the 2021 SEC Championship Game, dropping to the No. 3 seed in the CFP.
Alabama became the first No. 1 to lose to an unranked opponent since 2008 after dropping a 41-38 stunner to Texas A&M in October. The Tide also showed vulnerability in close wins over Arkansas, LSU, Florida and Auburn, beating the four by a combined 17 points. But since the postseason started, Bama has looked like a death machine with wins over Georgia and Cincinnati by a combined 38 points. Quarterback Bryce Young threw for more than 400 yards against the Dawgs in Atlanta as a rubber stamp to his Heisman Trophy-winning season.
How to watch national championship 2022
Game: 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship
Date: Monday, Jan. 10 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium — Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alabama vs. Georgia: Alternate viewing options
- Coaches Film Room — ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free)
- Command Center — ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free)
- Skycast — ESPNEWS, fuboTV (Try for free)
- Hometown radio (Alabama 1H, Georgia 2H) — SEC Network, fuboTV (Try for free)
- All-22, halftime band performances and more available via ESPN’s app
Alabama vs. Georgia storylines
Alabama: The Crimson Tide are the most dominant dynasty in college football history, but coach Nick Saban is searching for his first back-to-back titles since 2012. This iteration of the Tide can accomplish that feat despite replacing 10 players to the NFL Draft, including tying Miami’s record with six first round picks.
Young became the first Alabama signal-caller to win the Heisman, later breaking program records for yards passing and passing touchdowns in the semifinal win over Cincinnati. He sits with 4,503 yards passing, 46 touchdowns and five interceptions entering Monday’s game. Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. set a program record with 34.5 tackles for loss and added 17.5 sacks with nine quarterback hurries.
While the Tide have been lights-out since the end of the regular season, they head into the final game with receptions leader John Metchie III out of the lineup with a torn ACL. Top cornerback Josh Jobe will also miss the final game, as will offensive guard Emil Ekiyor. The Crimson Tide’s depth will be put to the test against perhaps the only team in the nation that can match them talent-wise.
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Georgia: The Dawgs recaptured some of their momentum after crushing Michigan 34-11 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score. Georgia features one of the great defenses in college football history after allowing game averages of 253.1 yards and 9.6 points while holding 13 of 14 opponents to fewer than 20 points.
Unfortunately, the one performance that cleared that mark was Alabama’s 41 points in a 17-point Georgia defeat in the SEC title game. Despite five straight years of top-10 finishes, coach Kirby Smart’s tenure in Athens has been defined by being not quite good enough to beat the Tide. Smart is 0-4 against Saban, while Georgia hasn’t beaten the Bama since 2007.
Hanging over the proceedings is one fact: Georgia has not won a national championship since 1980. Over that stretch, Colorado, Georgia Tech, BYU, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan and Tennessee have all won titles. Smart was hired to bring a national championship back to Athens, Georgia. Monday night could define his legacy.