Nick Saban lost to a former assistant head coach earlier this season in College Station and wasn't going to fall again. Inside the walls of Mercedes Benz-Stadium, the Crimson Tide prevailed over Georgia, picking up the 41-24 win to claim their 29th SEC Championship title.
The Crimson Tide, who entered the week as the No. 3 team in the College Football Playoff rankings, all but have punched their ticket to the postseason. Cincinnati, which took care of Houston at home for the AAC title, likely punched its ticket as well after going 13-0 on the campaign.
Alabama's Bryce Young made his case for the Heisman Trophy in Atlanta. Throwing for 421 yards and three touchdowns, he torched his way through the Bulldogs' defense through three quarters of action. Young finished 22-of-46 passing and tacked on a 14-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Kirby Smart elected to keep QB Stetson Bennett IV in the game following a interception returned for a touchdown by Alabama safety Jordan Battle. He would connect with tight end Brock Bowers for an 18-yard touchdown, putting the Bulldogs down by 14.
Two drives later, Young would rebound, connecting with wide receiver Slade Bolden for a 24-yard gain on third down to keep the drive alive. Kicker Will Reichard would seal the win and extend the lead by 17.
Bennet finished 29-of-48 for 340 yards and three touchdowns.
The biggest question will be how the College Football Playoff committee views this loss for Georgia. Following a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M, Alabama moved out of the No. 1 ranking, allowing the Bulldogs to close out the season at the top-ranked team.
With the 21-16 victory by No. 9 Baylor over No. 5 Oklahoma State, the Cowboys won't be able to jump into the top four should Iowa upset No. 2 Michigan in the Big 10 Championship. This likely means that the Bulldogs should fall no lower than No. 4 in the final College Football Playoff rankings Sunday.
Should two SEC teams be represented in the CFP rankings, Ole Miss would take the SEC automatic bid to the Sugar Bowl as the SEC representative. The Rebels would face Baylor, who claimed its first Big 12 Championship title since 2014.
Should the CFP committee believe that Georgia is not a top four team this season, they would head to New Orleans to face the Bears. Ole Miss would still be in the running for a New Year's Six Bowl, likely to face either winner of the ACC in the Peach Bowl, or head out west to the Fiesta Bowl.
The Rebels made history in 2021 under second-year coach Lane Kiffin, finishing with 10 regular season wins for the first time in program history.
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