Alabama Football: A first look at the Tide and the Bulldogs

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Unlike Miss Terry, we will not get in trouble for looking ahead to Alabama Football in December. And for what it’s worth, a hunch is when a Saban gets in trouble at home, it is not Miss Terry.

So, with the risk of a double helping of rat poison, let’s jump forward to which team is best between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

No final conclusions will be offered. Instead, let’s review certain data points from the last five games for both teams. The five games for Alabama were at Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, and at Kentucky. For the Bulldogs the games were Kentucky, at Vanderbilt, Florida (neutral), Missouri, and Ole Miss.

Four sets of data points based on either total points scored or touchdowns scored are listed below. Two more sets of data points are based on 3rd down offense and defense conversions.

Alabama Football and Georgia Bulldogs – Scoring Offense

  • Georgia averaged scoring 42.6 points per game
  • Alabama averaged scoring 35 points per game

Crimson Tide and Georgia – Scoring Defense

  • Georgia allowed opponents an average of 17.2 points per game
  • Alabama allowed opponents an average of 22 points per game

Red Zone Touchdown Conversions

  • Georgia, 31 red zone possessions and 20 touchdowns; 64.5%
  • Alabama, 16 red zone possessions and 14 touchdowns; 87.5%

Opponent Red Zone Touchdown Conversions

  • Georgia, nine opponent possessions and eight touchdowns; 88.9%
  • Alabama, 16 opponent possessions and nine touchdowns; 56.2%

Third Down Conversion Offense

  • Georgia, 60 third-down plays converted to 34 first-downs; 56.6%
  • Alabama, 64 third-down plays converted to 33 first-downs; 51.7%

Third Down Conversion Defense

  • Georgia, 59 opponent third-down plays converted to 19 first-downs; 32.2%
  • Alabama, 64 opponent third-down plays converted to 23 first-downs; 35.9%

Note: Data provided by

Readers may draw your own conclusions. In doing so, what must be considered is the strength of the teams that Alabama and Georgia have played. The data points come from October and November games so full-season Strength of Schedule (SOS) calculations do not apply.

What can be compared are the current rankings of the opponents. More than a top 25 ranking is needed, so to compare the computer rankings by ESPN and Jeff Sagarin are used.

Georgia Opponents (the ESPN FPI  ranking is listed first)

  • Kentucky Wildcats (No. 40 and No. 38); Vanderbilt Commodores (No. 101 and No. 110); Florida Gators (No. 39 and N. 41); Missouri Tigers (No. 19 and No. 25); Ole Miss Rebels (No. 15 and No. 15)

Alabama Football Opponents

  • Texas A&M Aggies (No. 14 and No. 16); Arkansas Razorbacks (No. 46 and No. 37); Tennessee Vols (No. 16 and No. 12); LSU Bengal Tigers (No. 11 and No. 10); Kentucky Wildcats (No. 40 and No. 38)

Even a few Georgia fans will admit the Crimson Tide has competed against tougher opposition across the five games compared.

How far the Crimson Tide has come. dark. Next

What Alabama football fans know is the Crimson Tide of November is better than the Crimson Tide of October and far superior to the Alabama of September.