2023 CFP National Championship most lopsided matchup in decades

EHC221008109 aub vs uga

Despite being touchdown underdogs in their respective College Football Playoff semifinals, TCU and Ohio State gave us two of the best games we’ve seen in the CFP era. The Horned Frogs upset the Wolverines, and the Buckeyes nearly outlasted the Bulldogs but fell on a last-second field goal. Now, TCU will attempt to finish one of the greatest Cinderella stories in sports, going from a sub-.500 record to National Champions; however, Cinderella story might not adequately describe the CFP National Championship matchup. In fact, it’s the most lopsided contest we’ve seen in quite a long time.

In 2013, Florida State barely beat Auburn 34-31. Alabama won back-to-back titles with a 42-14 victory over Notre Dame. And they covered the spread once again against the Buckeyes in 2020 by a score of 52-24. In those three contests, the heavy favorites covered in two of the championships, both ironically being Alabama. Now, Georgia opens as even bigger favorites, as Vegas projects them to win by nearly two touchdowns.

Some might point to the 2013 BCS National Championship as a precursor for TCU making Monday’s contest a close game, but I think that’s asinine. The Horned Frogs have had a magical season. Max Duggan and Sonny Dykes deserve a ton of credit, but this is where their story ends. The Dawgs will dominate them in every facet of the game.¬†Georgia is bigger, faster, and stronger in every phase.

TCU’s defense gave up 45 points to a Michigan offense that is inferior to Georgia. The Bulldogs feature a superior rushing attack than the Wolverines, the better signal caller and offensive play caller. UGA could put up 50 without even blinking.

Granted, the Horned Frogs put up 51 points on a very good Wolverines defense, but there were two pick-sixes, and Georgia’s front seven is as physical and fast as any in the nation. The one suspect area for the Bulldogs is their secondary. LSU and Ohio State threw all over the Dawgs, but there’s a big difference between the Tigers, Buckeyes, and Horned Frogs.

Quentin Johnston is a stud. He might be the best receiver in the 2023 draft class, but the matchup favors Kelee Ringo and Georgia’s corners. Ringo has been knocked a fair amount, but he is a mauler at the line of scrimmage. LSU’s Malik Nabers and Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. were shifty enough at the line of scrimmage and in the scramble drill to hurt Ringo and the rest of the Dawgs’ secondary. Johnston is a physical freak but does not possess the same skillset as Nabers or Harrison. I expect Ringo to be the difference maker.

TCU has a chance, but its path to a CFP National Championship and one of the greatest upsets in sports is long and narrow. The Horned Frogs will have to play an absolutely perfect game for four quarters while the Dawgs play a similarly flawed game as the Wolverines did. If Georgia throws two pick-sixes and turns the ball over three other times, including on the one-yard line, TCU has a chance. However, nobody should expect that from Kirby Smart‘s team. Dawgs waltz to the first back-to-back title in the CFP era.

Photographer: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire

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