For the second time this season, Alabama and Georgia will meet with a championship at stake. More importantly, for the second time in the college football playoff era, Alabama and Georgia will meet with the national championship on the line.
No. 1 Alabama (13-1) and No. 3 Georgia (13-1) will put it all on the line again Monday after meeting in the 2021 SEC championship game. The Crimson Tide won the first round 41 -24 to claim the conference title, and Georgia would be happy to return the favor with a jackpot up for grabs. This is also the second time these teams have met at this stage, with Alabama scoring a 26-23 overtime victory in the 2018 CFP championship game.
Say what you want about parity, a long-standing problem that seems to get worse every year, but there’s no question the playoff committee got it right this season by including the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs, SEC superpowers who demonstrated their dominance with a 27-6 win. over Cincinnati and 34-11 over Michigan in the semifinal, respectively.
How did Alabama and Georgia get to this stage again? Well, training certainly has a lot to do with it, as Nick Saban is hands down the greatest college football coach of all time. Kirby Smart, Saban’s assistant for 11 years at LSU, Georgia, and Alabama, has structured his program the same way Saban has with Crimson Tide.
Just as important: the players that each team has in their respective squads.
Players like Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr. of Alabama and Nakobe Dean and Nolan Smith of Georgia are easy to point to, all former five-star players who represented the best recruits in their classes. But those are simply the crown jewels of Saban and Smart’s recruiting prowess.
Both teams’ rosters are packed with four- and five-star talent, not that the teams focus on those star ratings. Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis, for example, was classified as a three-star prospect and the No. 424 general player in the 2018 class. John Metchie III, out of a rematch with a torn ACL, was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2021 after getting buried behind receivers like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. He was the player n ° 275 in the class of 2018.
So here’s your answer: Having the best talent available, and developing behind some of the best coaches in the nation, makes for another SEC-wide championship meeting. With that, here’s how Alabama and Georgia have built their rosters over the years, including recruiting rankings, the number of players rated four and five stars on the list, All-Americans, and award winners:
Alabama, Georgia Recruitment Ranking
Alabama and Georgia have built their rosters with some of the best available talent from the high school ranks, routinely ranking among the top recruiting teams in the country (according to 247Sports Composite). In fact, the two teams have often battled for the highest national ranking during the past five recruiting cycles, with neither team being left outside the top five.
|ranking 2017||2018 ranking||2019 ranking||2020 ranking||ranking 2021|
Georgia has 18 five-star players on its roster and Alabama has 14 dating back to the class of 2017. Alabama has 60 four-star prospects and Georgia has 42. Below is the number of players, per year, who are still in the respective teams lists. :
|5 stars||4 stars|
|5 stars||4 stars|
Alabama 2021 All-Americans
- Quarterback Bryce Young (consensus)
- Offensive tackle Evan Neal (consensus)
- Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (unanimous)
- Wide receiver Jameson Williams (Associated Press)
Georgia 2021 All-Americans
- Defensive line Jordan Davis (unanimous)
- Linebacker Nakobe Dean (unanimous)
- Defensive back Lewis Cine (Sporting News)
Alabama 2021 Award Winners
- Bryce Young (Davey O’Brien, AP Player of the Year, Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Sporting News Player of the Year)
- Will Anderson Jr. (Bronko Nagurski Trophy)
Georgia 2021 Award Winners
- Nakobe Dean (Butkus Award)
- Jordan Davis (Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy)