The championship of the SEC is on the line Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta as No. 1 Georgia faces No. 8 Alabama in the 2023 SEC Championship Game. It's familiar territory for both teams. This marks the second SEC Championship Game in the past three years, and third since 2018, to feature the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide. As always, there are huge stakes beyond conference bragging rights.
The winner of this game is virtually guaranteed a spot in the final four-team College Football Playoff. Alabama beat top-ranked Georgia in Atlanta in 2021 and both teams made the field. The Bulldogs won a rematch in the CFP National Championship game to claim their first of back-to-back national titles.
Despite Georgia's recent run of dominance -- it's won an SEC-record 29 straight -- Alabama owns the Dawgs when it comes to the SEC Championship Game. The Crimson Tide have never lost to the Bulldogs on the SEC's biggest stage, holding a 3-0 all-time record in three meetings since 2012. Alabama also leads the SEC in title game appearances with 15 and wins with 10, eight of which have come under coach Nick Saban.
How to watch Georgia vs. Alabama live
Date: Saturday, Dec. 2 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium -- Atlanta, Georgia
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
Streaming on Paramount+ with Showtime (Try It Free)
Georgia vs. Alabama: Need to know
Injuries to watch on both sides: Both teams have some major injuries to track entering the conference title game. For Alabama, top running back Jase McClellan is questionable with a foot injury. He suffered the setback in the Iron Bowl and was seen walking around after the game with crutches and a medical boot. McClellan leads the Crimson Tide with 803 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
Georgia is significantly more banged up on the offensive side of the ball. Wide receivers Ladd McConkey and Rara Thomas haven't practiced much this week as both are dealing with lower-body injuries. Offensive lineman Tate Ratledge injured his knee against Tennessee and didn't play in the regular season finale against Georgia Tech. Then there's Mackey Award finalist Brock Bowers, who had TightRope surgery to fix an ankle injury he sustained in October against Vanderbilt. He returned almost a month later against Ole Miss and played against Tennessee but sat out against Georgia Tech.
Something's got to give: The SEC Championship Game could be a classic battle between "unstoppable force and immovable object" when Georgia has the ball. The Bulldogs are led by one of the nation's best quarterbacks in first-year starter Carson Beck. With him running the show, Georgia averages almost 311 yards passing per game, good for second in the SEC. He had at least 250 yards passing in all but one game this season and boasts 25 total touchdowns to just six interceptions. But Alabama's pass defense could give him trouble. The Crimson Tide rank second in the SEC, allowing 184.3 yards through the air per game. They have a pair of potential NFL Draft first rounders at cornerback in Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold. Freshman safety Caleb Downs is already one of the nation's best players on the backend and he has veterans all around him. It's going to be an absolute battle whenever Georgia decides to air things out.
The end of an era: This will be the last SEC Championship Game -- for the foreseeable future at least -- to feature two teams from different divisions. Moving forward, the SEC is doing away with its current model to accommodate for the additions of Texas and Oklahoma. This is also the last SEC title game of the four-team playoff era. Most likely, whichever team wins Saturday will be in the 2023 College Football Playoff. But with the 12-team model, starting in 2024, both teams could make the field regardless of result.
Georgia vs. Alabama prediction, pick
Odds via SportsLine consensus
On paper, this game is way too close to call. Alabama has looked like a completely different team since its loss to Texas. Quarterback Jalen Milroe is playing as well as anyone in the country and can affect the game in so many different ways. While Georgia's offense is potent enough to move the ball against a tough Crimson Tide defense, the Bulldogs are really banged up. There's no telling who will be able to suit up for them -- and who will be at 100% if they are able to play. It's hard to bet against Kirby Smart's squad given its recent success, but this one should be a lot closer than the line might suggest. Prediction: Alabama +5.5
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in conference championship games? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned well over $2,000 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.