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2022 Georgia vs. 2019 LSU? Debate sparks up after back-to-back titles

Can the newly-minted back-to-back champs really compare to the epic Tigers team of Joe Burrow and Co.?

ATHENS, Ga. — In putting an exclamation point - mercilessly - on their national title defense on Monday night, the Georgia Bulldogs joined some rarified air.

The Dawgs sealed a 15-0 record, which put them on par with just three other teams in college football's history - two recent standard-setters, 2019 LSU and 2018 Clemson, as well as the 1897 Penn Quakers.

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Within that grouping, the LSU Tigers of Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase and Co. have generally been considered the gold standard among great modern teams. Do the Dawgs stack up at all?

2022 Georgia vs. 2019 LSU

First, it's worth noting that within the parameters of this debate, there don't actually really appear to be all that many Georgia fans wanting to make the case, and there certainly aren't any LSU fans conceding that there's any debate even to be had. That difference in conviction should at least be a little telling.

Still, it's worth looking at why LSU holds the place it does in college football lore. Some of their accomplishments included:

  • 15-0 record
  • Most points in a season by any team (726)
  • Never trailed in a fourth quarter
  • Went 7-0 vs. top-10 teams and 4-0 vs. top-5 teams
  • Their program accounted for a slew of major awards, including the Heisman, Biletnikoff Award, Davey O'Brien Award and AP Coach of the Year.

Between Burrow's excellence, the electric talents of Jefferson and Chase and the incredible season of running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU produced the greatest college offense of all time.

So what's the case for the Dawgs?

Well, for argument's sake, comparing the two teams is a little bit of an apples-and-oranges deal.

LSU was a historically great offensive team. Georgia, both with last year's title team and this year's, has been great defensively.

The 2019 Tigers notably pounded some really great teams - they beat No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship 37-10, No. 4 Oklahoma in the CFP Semifinal 63-28 and No. 3 Clemson in the National Championship Game 42-25. They scored more than 50 points on six different occasions and put up 45 on No. 9 Texas and 46 on No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

But. They only won that Bama game by five, allowing the Tide to score 41 points, only beat No. 9 Auburn by three, and gave up 37-plus points to Texas, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. By contrast, Georgia allowed more than 29 points in only two games, a 50-30 win over No. 14 LSU in the SEC Championship and the 42-41 semifinal win over Ohio State.

Georgia also allowed only seven points to TCU in their historic national championship win, the most by any team in any kind of bowl game in NCAA history. They also mauled an Oregon team that was in the CFP mix in their first game, 49-3. The 2022 Dawgs also beat a No. 1 team, Tennessee, in a pretty convincing fashion.

But. Georgia also had some notably awkward games this season - the comeback they needed to win 26-22 against an unranked Missouri, the 39-22 game against extremely unranked Kent State and the 16-6 slog against Kentucky. 

The 2019 Tigers didn't really play any games quite like that against clearly inferior opponents.

Ultimately, even though this year's Bulldogs went 15-0, it's last year's 14-1 team that might have stacked up better. 

Last year's Dawgs had a loaded supply of talent that at one point looked like it might produce something in the range of the best team defensive season in college history, allowing only a little more than 10 points per game. If Alabama doesn't run them out in the SEC Championship Game, they probably become the first team since the 2011 Tide to allow fewer than 10 points a game.

They also held No. 3 Clemson to three points in their opening game, blanked a top 10 Arkansas team 37-0, throttled Michigan in the semifinal 34-11 and in the national championship solidly beat an Alabama team, 33-18, which was probably better than any individual team they played this year.

But. They also lost, badly, to that same Alabama team in the SEC Championship Game, and a loss takes you out of the conversation.

So what's the verdict?

Doesn't seem like there's a highly serious case to be made for the 2022 Dawgs here, but they do have something the 2019 Tigers missed out on- back-to-back titles.


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