Vince’s View: Georgia vs. TCU National Championship score prediction; pick straight-up & vs. spread

Vince’s View: Georgia vs. TCU National Championship score prediction; pick straight-up & vs. spread

By Vince Ferrara @VinceSports

Here’s a look at my game prediction, straight-up and against the spread, for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game with some game notes provided by the Southeastern Conference office.

Check back on my “Vince’s View” blog page for future posts including weekly SEC football and NFL game predictions. Bookmark my blog page and check back often.

2022 SEC Bowl Games Straight-Up Record: 7-4 (64%)
2022 SEC Bowl Games Spread Record: 5-6 (45%)
2022 Season Straight-Up Record: 91-29 (76%)
2022 Season Spread Record: 64-56 (53%)
2021 Season Straight-Up Record: 92-34 (73%)
2021 Season Spread Record: 63-63 (50%)


No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 TCU
Monday, January 9, 2023 • 8 p.m. ET
Inglewood, Calif. • SoFi Stadium (71,000)

THE TEAMS: Georgia (14-0, 8-0 SEC) is the SEC Champion and will face Big 12 runner-up TCU (13-1, 9-0 B12) in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Georgia is looking to win its second consecutive national championship under Kirby Smart. This will be the third CFP National Championship Game appearance for Georgia since the 2017 season.

NATIONAL RANKINGS:  Georgia is the No. 1-ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings, while TCU is ranked No. 3 by the CFP.

SEC IN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: This will mark the 16th time in the last 17 seasons, and 18th overall since 1998, a team from the SEC has advanced to the national championship game. On twelve occasions since 2006 the SEC has won the college football national championship. Overall, the SEC has won 14 of the previous 24 national championship games since the 1998 season, while appearing in 17 prior to this season. The SEC has won three consecutive national championships, with three different programs accounting for those last three championships.

TELEVISION: ESPN will televise the game nationally for the 10th straight year (Chris Fowler, Play-by-Play; Kirk Herbstreit, Analyst; Molly McGrath and Holly Rowe, Sidelines). ESPN has aired the game nationally since the 2011 BCS National Championship Game when Auburn defeated Oregon. ABC carried the game 1999-2006, and 2010, with Fox Sports owning broadcast rights in 2007-09.

RADIO: ESPN Radio will broadcast the game (ESPN Radio: Sean McDonough, Play-by-Play; Todd Blackledge, Analyst; Kris Budden, Ian Fitzsimmons, Sidelines). The game is available on SiriusXM Channel 81, with the Georgia broadcast on Channel 84. ESPN Radio has carried the game since 1999.

SERIES: This is the fifth meeting between Georgia and TCU, with Georgia holding a 4-0 series lead. The last meeting came in the Liberty Bowl at the end of Kirby Smart’s first season at UGA in 2016. The Bulldogs won that contest 31-23.

GAME NOTES: This is Georgia’s second consecutive appearance in the CFP Championship Game and third in the last six seasons. The SEC has appeared in eight consecutive CFP Championship Games.

SEC IN THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF: The SEC is 15-5 (.750) all-time in College Football Playoff games, now playing in eight of the nine CFP National Championship Games, while winning five. The SEC is 10-1 in CFP Semifinals, winning 10 consecutive, and 13-3 (.813) overall in CFP games not versus each other. The SEC leads the nation with 11 teams advancing to the Playoff since its inception in 2014. Three different programs (Alabama, Georgia, LSU) have made Playoff appearances in the SEC. The league also leads the nation in the CFP era with championship game appearances (10). The SEC is the only league that has placed at least one of its members in the College Football Playoff each season since its inception. This is Georgia’s second consecutive appearance in the CFP Championship Game and third in the last six seasons. The SEC has appeared in eight consecutive CFP Championship Games and 16 of the last 17 national championship contests.

TCU Horned Frogs (13-1, 9-0 Big 12)
Head Coach: Sonny Dykes (Texas Tech ‘93)
Overall / Years: 84-64 / 12th season
TCU / Years: 13-1 / First season
National Rankings: 3 CFP, 3 AP, 4 Coaches
Bowl Appearances: 35
Bowl Wins: 18

Key Performers In The Regular Season
QB Max Duggan (6-2, 210, Sr., Council Bluffs, Iowa)
Heisman Trophy finalist … Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and unanimous First-Team All-Big 12 selection … Among national leaders in passing efficiency, touchdown passes of at least 20 yards and has accounted for three or more touchdowns in nine of his 13 starts this season.

OL Steve Avila (6-4, 330, Sr., Arlington, Texas)
Walter Camp and Football Writers Association of America First-Team… All-American as well as an Outland Trophy Semifinalist … Team Captainand anchor of the TCU offensive line … Has started all 14 games this season.

CB Hodges-Tomlinson (5-9, 180, Sr., Waco, Texas)
First-Team All-Big 12 for the third consecutive season and Honorable-Mention Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year … 45 total tackles …Two tackles for loss … Interceptions vs. Kansas State, Texas Tech and Texas.

WR Derius Davis (5-10, 175, Sr., Saint Francisville, La.)
First Team FWAA All-America Team … Five receiving touchdowns this season … 430 receiving yards … 437 kick return yards … 268 punt return yards this season … Returned punts for touchdowns against Colorado and Texas Tech.

Georgia Bulldogs (13-0, 8-0 SEC)
Head Coach: Kirby Smart (Georgia ‘98)
Overall / Years: 80-15 / Seventh season
Georgia / Years: Same
National Rankings: 1 CFP, 1 AP, 1 Coaches
Bowl Appearances: 60
Bowl Wins: 36

Key Performers In The Regular Season
QB Stetson Bennett (5-11, 190, Sr., Blackshear, Ga.)
One of four finalists for the Heisman Trophy … Threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns in the SEC Championship Game … Threw for a season-high 368 yards in the season-opener vs. Oregon … 3,823 passing yards this season … 23 passing TDs and 8 rushing TDs.

TE Brock Bowers (6-4, 230, So., Napa, Calif.)
Mackey Award winner … Walter Camp All-America … Team leader with 56 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns … Has seven carries for 94 yards and three scores … Has been a pivotal blocker for a Bulldog offense that averages 202 yards on the ground.

DL Jalen Carter (6-3, 300, Jr., Apopka, Fla.)
Associated Press & Coaches’ All-SEC First Team … Has played in 14 games, starting in eight, and has 30 total tackles and 29 QB hurries … Finalist for Rotary Lombardi Award as nation’s top lineman … Four tackles, a QB sack and six QB pressures in SEC Championship Game vs. LSU.

DB Christopher Smith (5-11, 195, Sr., Atlanta, Ga.)
Butkus Award winner … Bednarik Award semifinalist … Associated Press First Team All-America … 58 total tackles this season, with a season-high 8 vs. Ohio State … 5.0 tackles for loss … Interceptions vs. Oregon, Kent State and LSU.

2022 Statistical Comparison ( ) – SEC Ranking; [ ] – NCAA Ranking
TCU Georgia
Scoring Offense 41.1 [5] 39.4 (3) [8]
Total Offense 474.1 [13] 494.9 (3) [8]
Rushing Offense 204.5 [20] 201. (4) [23]
Passing Offense 269.6 [29] 293.0 (3) [15]
Scoring Defense 26.4 [64] 14.8 (1) [5]
Total Defense 395.3 [80] 304.6 (1) [11]
Rushing Defense 152.1 [70] 80.0 (1) [2]
Passing Defense 243.2 [92] 224.6 (10) [65]
Turnover Margin 0.64 [20] -0.14 (10) [79]

Line: Georgia -13.5
Pick vs. Spread: TCU +13.5
Score Prediction: Georgia 38 TCU 31

Knoxville, TN – November 13, 2021 – Neyland Stadium: Head coach Kirby Smart of the University of Georgia Bulldogs during a regular season game. (Photo by Randy Sartin / ESPN Images)