The TCU mascot celebrated a 51-45 Horned Frogs win over Michigan in the CFP Fiesta Bowl Semifinal on Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.

Georgia football historically big betting favorite over TCU in CFP Championship Game

ATLANTA — Georgia football opened as a 14-point favorite to beat TCU in the CFP Championship Game on Jan. 9 in Inglewood, Calif., representing the largest point spread in the history of unified title game formats dating back to the start of the BCS Era in 1998.

The Horned Frogs’ head coach has already addressed his team’s underdog status, and seems to embrace it.

“It’s kind of been that way all year,” Sonny Dykes said on SportsCenter, per On3. “Our group will get ready. We’ll get back to Fort Worth, start our prep tomorrow, and guys we get ready to play. We’ll play our tail off.

“Georgia is obviously a really good football team. Started the year as the preseason favorite to win the national championship. You know, we didn’t start that way. We were picked seventh in our conference. Our guys will be ready, we’ll prepare well. I know we’ll play well a week from Monday.”

The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs (14-0) beat Ohio State by the slimmest of margins in the CFP Peach Bowl Semifinal on Saturday, getting by 42-41 when a 50-yard Buckeyes’ field goal attempt went wide.

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Georgia had opened as a 6 1/2-point favorite, and many bettors scrambled late to win money by taking the Buckeyes and the points, as the line dropped to 5 1/2.

The Horned Frogs (13-1) surprised No. 2 seed Michigan in the CFP Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., holding off a furious Wolverines’ rally to win 51-45.

TCU was an 8-point underdog and the longest of long shots to win the CFP Championship when the four-team player was announced.

Georgia has won 16 straight when Kirby Smart has had more than a week to prepare for an opponent, dating back to a Sugar Bowl loss to Texas following the 2018 season.

National championship trends, however, would seem to work against Smart as only three teams have won back-to-back consensus titles in the modern era:

• Alabama 2011-12

• Nebraska 1994-95

• Alabama 1978-79

Smart, of course, was a part of the most recent team to repeat in Tuscaloosa, serving as Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator in 2011-12.

The Georgia head coach left Atlanta in the early Sunday morning hours making it clear his team has work to do between now at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 when it faces TCU at SoFi Stadium.

The coaches will be working in their new $80 million football building adjacent to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall while the players get some rest on Sunday.

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The coaches will be working in their new $80 million football building adjacent to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall while the players get some rest on Sunday.t

“We’ve got a short window; Can’t start when we get back home, we’ve got to sleep,” Smart said. “We’ll (coaches) get started tomorrow and jump back on.

“I think it’s important to get healed. Our players have had a long season and a long week of practice this week. I want them to get away, remember what they’re fighting for, and come back rejuvenated and ready to go because this is what you do it for.”

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