Top 25 Roundup: No. 8 Alabama Secures SEC Title, Downs No. 1 Georgia

Top 25 Roundup: No. 8 Alabama Secures SEC Title, Downs No. 1 Georgia
Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Amari Niblack (84) and tight end Danny Lewis Jr. (87) celebrate after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Dec. 2, 2023. (Jordan Godfree/USA TODAY Sports via Field Level Media)
Field Level Media

Jalen Milroe passed for two touchdowns and No. 8 Alabama notched a crucial upset by dispatching top-ranked Georgia 27–24 in the Southeastern Conference title game on Saturday, Dec. 2, in Atlanta.

Jermaine Burton and Jamarion Miller caught touchdown passes and Roydell Williams scored on a run as the Crimson Tide (12–1) won their 11th consecutive game. The victory snapped Georgia’s SEC record 29-game winning streak and greatly bolsters Alabama’s hopes of crashing the four-team College Football Playoff field.

Kendall Milton rushed for two touchdowns and Carson Beck added one for Georgia (12–1). Beck completed 21 of 29 passes for 243 yards. Bulldogs star Brock Bowers played despite an ankle injury but was largely ineffective, with five receptions for 53 yards.

Milroe was 13-of-23 passing for 192 yards for the Crimson Tide and was named MVP of the game. The two-time defending national champion Bulldogs lost to Alabama for the eighth time in the past nine meetings.

No. 2 Michigan 26, No. 16 Iowa 0

Blake Corum rushed for two touchdowns and the Wolverines notched their third straight Big Ten title by blanking the Hawkeyes in Indianapolis.

Corum tied Anthony Thomas’ school record of 55 rushing touchdowns while gaining 52 yards on 16 carries. James Turner kicked four field goals and Semaj Morgan had an 87-yard punt return to set up one of Corum’s TDs. J.J. McCarthy passed for 147 yards for Michigan (13–0).

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh returned to the sidelines after serving a three-game suspension issued by the Big Ten that stemmed from a signal-stealing scandal. Michigan’s defense had three sacks and three fumble recoveries. Iowa (10–3) was limited to 155 total yards of offense.

No. 4 Florida State 16, No. 14 Louisville 6

The Seminoles relied on a smothering defense and a two-headed ground attack to defeat the Cardinals in the ACC championship game in Charlotte, N.C.

Now the Seminoles (13–0) will await their postseason fate as the College Football Playoff committee weighs where to rank them without their injured star quarterback, Jordan Travis. Lawrance Toafili, tabbed as the game’s MVP, took 10 carries for 118 yards and the game’s only touchdown and Trey Benson added 67 rushing yards for Florida State. The victory gives the Seminoles their fifth ACC title and first since 2014.

Meanwhile, Louisville (10–3) was held to 188 total yards, with Jack Plummer going 14–for–36 for 111 yards and an interception. Braden Fiske had three of Florida State’s seven sacks, including one on fourth down with 2:35 to play. Jared Verse recorded two sacks.

No. 7 Texas 49, No. 18 Oklahoma State 21

Quinn Ewers passed for a record 452 yards and four touchdowns, and the Longhorns’ defense did the rest in a shellacking of the Cowboys in the Big 12 championship game in Arlington, Texas.

Texas (12–1) captured its first Big 12 title since 2009. Ewers completed his first 12 passes of the game to eight different receivers and finished 35–for–46 while throwing for the most yards ever in a Big 12 championship game.

The Longhorns’ defense did not allow Oklahoma State (9–4) to broach the 200-yard barrier until the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Cowboys quarterback Alan Bowman threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns, but star running back Ollie Gordon, the Big 12’s offensive player of the year, managed only 34 yards on 13 carries.

SMU 26, No. 22 Tulane 14

Kevin Jennings threw a touchdown pass in his first college start, the Mustangs’ defense dominated and SMU defeated the Green Wave in the American Athletic Conference championship game in New Orleans.

Jennings, a redshirt freshman who had thrown just 24 passes this season, stepped in for injured Preston Stone and overcame three turnovers by passing for 203 yards and rushing for 63. The Mustangs (11–2) won the conference title in their last season before departing for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Michael Pratt passed for 238 yards, but Makhi Hughes, the AAC’s leading rusher who rushed for at least 100 yards in seven of his past eight games entering Saturday, managed just 44 yards on 11 carries for the Green Wave (11–2), who had won 10 straight games.