ATHENS — It doesn’t get much bigger when the SEC’s two highest ranked teams and only unbeaten members meet.
Those are the stakes next Saturday, when No. 3 Georgia (3-0) plays at No. 2 Alabama (3-0) in an 8 p. showdown at Bryant-Denny Stadium under the lights in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide has opened as a 5-point favorite with an over/under on the total points scored of 49 1/2, per VegasInsider.com.
The programs are favored to meet again in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 19 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. But a lot can happen between now and then, and neither the Bulldogs nor the Tide are wanting to burn a mulligan.
Georgia needed to come from behind in two of its first three games. The Bulldogs rallied from 7-5 down to beat Arkansas (37-10) opening week and were behind Tennessee 21-17 last Saturday before dominating the second half (44-21).
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Alabama, meanwhile, has had its defensive struggles in wins over Missouri (38-19), Texas A&M (52-24) and Ole Miss (63-48).
The Tide’s offense, however, has been running on high octane.
One of the more interesting statistics to emerge this weekend is how Alabama put up 723 yards offense and 63 points in the win over Lane Kiffin’s Rebels — while Georgia has surrendered 710 yards and 37 points in its first three games combined!
Alabama has won five straight in the series dating back to a 2007 Bulldogs’ overtime win in Tuscaloosa directed by Matt Stafford over then-first-year coach Nick Saban.
The Tide’s past two wins over Georgia have come in the postseason; a 26-23 overtime win in the 2017 College Football Playoff Championship Game, and a 35-28 decision in the 2018 SEC Championship Game.
Alabama coach Nick Saban has a streak of 21 straight wins over his former assistants, including the two aforementioned wins over UGA coach Kirby Smart.
Alabama (Home) – 5 over Georgia, 8 p.m. CBS
Tennessee (Home) -7 Kentucky, Noon, SEC Network
Auburn -3 at South Carolina Noon ESPN
Florida (Home) -14 over LSU 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Ole Miss -2 at Arkansas 3:30 p.m. ESPN2
Texas A&M (No line yet) at Mississippi State 4 p.m. SEC Network
Missouri (Home) -16 over Vanderbilt 7:30 p.m., SEC Network