The rematch is on.
After routing their respective semifinal opponents Friday, the No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide (13-1) and No. 3 seed Georgia Bulldogs (13-1) will play for the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 10, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The two powerhouses last met, of course, just four weeks ago in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia, which lost that battle, rebounded in resounding fashion versus No. 2 seed Michigan on New Year's Eve.
The Bulldogs scored on their first five possessions and stifled the Big Ten champs' vaunted rushing attack in a 34-11 triumph in the Capital One Orange Bowl. UGA's Stetson Bennett completed 20 of 30 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Any remaining suspense was effectually quelled late in the first half when the former walk-on QB connected with Jermaine Burton on a 57-yard TD heave down the sideline to give Georgia a 27-3 lead.
It was more than enough cushion for the nation's No. 1 scoring defense. The Bulldogs, who came into the semis allowing only 9.5 points per game, held Michigan to five offensive snaps in the red zone before the game was out of hand. They also forced three turnovers, with cornerback Derion Kendrick intercepting two passes.
The decisive win earned Georgia a return trip to the CFP final against Alabama, which was similarly impressive during Friday's earlier semifinal against No. 4 seed Cincinnati in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Crimson Tide put together a dominant rushing and defensive effort to overpower their plucky Group of Five challenger, 27-6. Brian Robinson Jr. tallied 204 of Alabama's 301 yards on the ground, while Heisman winner Bryce Young tossed three scores. The Crimson Tide registered six sacks and six passes defensed, gave up 218 yards, and didn't surrender a touchdown. Like Georgia, they never trailed.
The conference counterparts now have nine days to prepare for a sequel to their SEC title bout, a 41-24 Alabama romp on Dec. 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. That result knocked the Bulldogs from the top of the rankings, which they'd occupied since early October following the Crimson Tide's loss to Texas A&M. Georgia and Alabama also squared off in the 2018 CFP championship match -- an instant classic that featured a 13-point second-half comeback and overtime victory for the Crimson Tide.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart, a former Alabama assistant under Nick Saban, is 0-4 against his old boss. The Bulldogs last won the national championship in 1980. The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, are aiming for their second straight title and seventh in 13 years.