STAFF PICKS: The Red & Black football writers predict who will win the national championship

January 9, 2018 GMT

On Monday evening, Georgia and Alabama will battle for the top spot in college football in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship. Our football writers chime in on who will win and what will make the difference in the game.

Everything about this season has gone just about according to plan. Sure, there was that one loss, but then Georgia dominated Auburn a few weeks later. And then there was the road Notre Dame win, the first SEC title in a decade and the dramatic victory in the Rose Bowl. It seems fitting that this season will continue to go Georgia’s way. As long as Nick Chubb and Sony Michel can run again Alabama’s defense and Georgia’s defense can adjust like it did last week, Kirby Smart will prove he’s not the normal Saban disciple.


Georgia 32, Alabama 28 — Emily Giambalvo

Going up against one of the nation’s top defenses, Jake Fromm and the Bulldog offense will struggle to get anything going in this one. Georgia will keep things close until the end, but a late defensive or special teams touchdown for the Crimson Tide will seal things up in Atlanta.

Alabama 27, Georgia 17 — Nathan Berg

It’s been a story book year for Georgia so far this season. An SEC Championship victory and one of the best Rose Bowl games in recent history went in favor of the Bulldogs. But now Georgia will face an Alabama defense that is on the same level as the Bulldogs defense. In this game, it will come down to each team’s offense. Georgia has the edge in that area with its running back trio, talented receivers and impressive Jake Fromm under center. The Bulldogs won’t lose this game in its home state.

Georgia 28, Alabama 21 — John Durham

Georgia proved in its 54-48 win over Oklahoma it can rely on either part of the ball, offense or defense, to win games. This season, Alabama has only proven its offense is mediocre, if it gives up more than 21 points, it’s in trouble. Count on Georgia to put up a balanced effort and edge out the Crimson Tide.

Georgia 31, Alabama 28 — Alex Soderstrom

This game will come down to the turnover battle. If Georgia can take care of the ball, which it has all season, then I believe the Bulldog defense will be able to shut down the Alabama offense enough to give Georgia a low-scoring win.

Georgia 17, Alabama 10 — Jed May