Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

So it was destiny: Bama/Saban vs. UGA/Smart for the whole enchilada

We’ll return to the astonishment of the Rose Bowl soon, but breaking news intervenes: The program that has modeled itself after Alabama will face Alabama in Mercedes-Benz Stadium one week hence. We’ve been dancing around this since October, and here it is:

Georgia vs. Bama.

Smart vs. Saban.

Winner gets handed a trophy.

Loser does not.

The rest of the nation may hate it, but this does seem preordained. In the first playoff to feature teams from the same conference, those two will meet for the title, and -- wouldn’t you know it? -- both teams are from the SEC.

I’m not going to lie: I don’t think this is a particularly accomplished Alabama team. I wasn’t surprised it lost to Auburn. I’m actually surprised it beat Clemson. I’ve thought for a while now that Georgia matches up well with the Crimson Tide. And after the wonders wrought by the Bulldogs here today, I see no reason they can’t win one more game.

Yeah, I know. Alabama is good. Alabama has Nick Saban. But Georgia is good, too, and Georgia just outscored a better offense and a better quarterback than it’s going to see in the big building off Northside Drive. I imagine Alabama will be favored because it’s, you know, Alabama. But I’m not picking against Georgia now. Fair warning.

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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.