Can Georgia Bulldogs do something never before done in CFP era?

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The Georgia Bulldogs are set to defend their National Title on Saturday against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Kirby Smart‘s team rectified their 2021 SEC Championship loss to Alabama by beating Nick Saban’s team in the National Championship, capturing the school’s first title since the late, great Vince Dooley brought one to Athens in the early 80s.

Considering how oddsmakers feel about this contest, it seems the Dawgs are primed to become back-to-back College Football Playoff champions. Georgia has remained atop the rankings 13 out of a possible 14 weeks, and the only week they weren’t, Tennessee came to town and left beatdown. They’re by far the most balanced and versatile team left in the CFP, and everyone expects them to come away holding the trophy, which would make history.

Can the Georgia Bulldogs do something never before done in CFP era?

That’s right, there has never been a back-to-back National Champion in the College Football Playoff era. Since the AP poll began in 1936, there have been eight teams that have repeated as champions. Minnesota was the first to do so, accomplishing the feat in 1940 and 1941. The most recent was none other than Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

Alabama won championships in 2011 and 2012, posting a 25-2 record over that period. And neither of those title games was competitive. After losing to LSU in the regular season, the Tide pummeled the Tigers 21-0 in the 2011 game, then followed it up with another impressive win over Notre Dame 42-14 in 2012. However, no team has repeated in the CFP era.

Since its inception, the College Football Playoff has only been won by five different programs — Ohio State, Alabama (3), Clemson (2), Georiga, and LSU. And there have been more than a couple of opportunities for teams to repeat. In fact, defending champions are a combined 0-4 when making it to the National Title game.

Alabama won it in the 2015 season and lost to Clemson in 2016. They won it again during the 2017 season but again fell to the Tigers from South Carolina the following season. Then, it was Clemson who won it in 2018 and failed to defend it against the Bayou Bengals from LSU in 2019. And once again, Nick Saban’s team won the title in the 2020 COVID season and fell to the Georgia Bulldogs in 2021.

Now, the Dawgs have a chance to defend their title and make history as the first team to repeat in the CFP era.–

Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

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