It doesn't get much better than playing a New Year's Day bowl game in primetime in the world of college football. That's where both the Georgia Bulldogs and the Baylor Bears find themselves come the new year.
The Sugar Bowl will feature the SEC East champions vs. the Big 12 runner-up on January 1. Both of these teams lost in their respective conference championship games.
The Bulldogs will enter the game with an 11-2 record and a No. 5 ranking in the last College Football Playoff rankings. The Bears are also 11-2 and are ranked No. 7 in the country.
Georgia vs. Baylor: Sugar Bowl time, TV channel
The Sugar Bowl will kick off at 8:45 p.m. ET on Jan. 1st in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The game will be aired on ESPN and can be streamed on ESPN's streaming platforms.
Georgia vs. Baylor: Sugar Bowl preview, prediction
Both Georgia and Baylor were just a game away from most likely making the College Football Playoff, but that won't stop them from competing in what should be fun SEC-Big 12 Sugar Bowl.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season 11-2 atop the SEC East with quality wins over Florida, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Auburn. The Bears finished second in the Big 12, only behind playoff-bound Oklahoma. They have quality wins against Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
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Out of the two squads, Georgia has the worst loss. The Dawgs fell to unranked, and now 4-8 South Carolina 20-17 in overtime in mid-October. They also lost to No. 1 LSU in the SEC championship game. Baylor's two losses came at the hands of Oklahoma, one in the regular season and one in the Big 12 championship game.
Both teams will be looking for a bounce-back win from their respective conference championships but Georgia will be looking to redeem themselves after last year's bowl performance. The Bulldogs lost to another Big 12 team in Texas 28-21 in last year's Sugar Bowl.
Georgia is a little more experienced this year though, as quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D'Andre Swift have proven time and time again this season that Georgia can compete in a crowded and competitive SEC. Fromm has thrown for 2,610 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, as Swift has racked up over 1,200 yards with seven TDs.
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On the other side of the field, Baylor emerged as an underappreciated darling about halfway through the season. The Bears were 9-0 to start the year before facing Oklahoma. They were up a majority of that game, but due to a late-game comeback from the Sooners, Baylor suffered its first loss on the year.
The Bears will have to look to their defense if they want to stay in this game. Both teams average 31.15 points per game, but Georgia's defense looks more impressive. Not only have they played one more ranked opponent than Baylor this year, but they also only allow 12.46 points per game.
The Bears allow 19.31 points per game and are have an average of almost twice as much rushing yards allowed than Georgia, which may spell trouble for Baylor when going up against a back like D'Andre Swift.
Expect Georgia to pull away late against Baylor and avenge their loss to Texas in last year's Sugar bowl.
|The Pick||Georgia 35,
Georgia vs. Baylor: Stats, how they compare
|11-2 (7-1 SEC)||Record (Conference)||11-2 (8-1 Big 12)|
|No. 5||CFP ranking||No. 7|
|31.15||Points per game||31.15|
|410.2||Yards per game||431.2|
|274.2||Yards allowed per game||358.9|
|198.54||Passing yards allowed||215.08|
|75.7||Rushing yards allowed||143.8|
2,610 yards (22 TDs, 5 INTs)
|Passing yards leader||Charlie Brewer
2,950 yards (20 TDs, 6 INTs)
1,216 yards, 7 TDs
|Rushing yards leader||John Lovett
637 yards, 5 TDs
552 yards, 7 TDs
|Receiving yards leader||Denzel Mims
945 yards, 11 TDs
84 total tackles, 2 tfl, 0 sacks
|Defensive leader||Terrel Bernard
107 total tackles, 9.5 tfl, 4.5 sacks
Georgia vs. Baylor: Series history, scores
Georgia owns the series between them and Baylor over the course of history, winning all four of the previous matchups. The last time the Bears and the Dawgs played was in 1989 where Georgia won 15-3. All four games were played in Athens.
|Sept. 16, 1972||Georgia||24-14||Baylor||Athens, Georgia|
|Sept. 16, 1978||Georgia||16-14||Baylor||Athens, Georgia|
|Sept. 14, 1985||Georgia||17-14||Baylor||Athens, Georgia|
|Sept. 16, 1989||Georgia||15-3||Baylor||Athens, Georgia|