College football’s biggest stars will be in full glory Monday night when No. 1 Georgia (14-0) and No. 3 TCU (13-1) take on this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship (7:30 p.m ) enter the field at SoFi Stadium ET).
Georgia, the nation’s top-ranked team, has lived up to its reputation for being one, if not one, of them the deepest and most talented team in the country. TCU also has plenty of star power on their list, despite being the smallest school to have ever played in the CFP title game and a massive 12.5-point underdog, according to FOX Bet.
TCU Horned Frogs
TCU quarterback Max Duggan and Georgia’s Stetson Bennett were both Heisman Trophy finalists, but which signal caller would you want in the middle if you only had to pick one?
On the defensive side of the ball, both Jalen Carter (Georgia) and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (TCU) have been named AP First Team All-Americans, but which team has the advantage on other defensive spots?
To answer these questions, we combined both teams’ predicted starters to create an ultimate national championship, starting at 11 on both offense and defense.
Quarterback: Max Duggan, TCU
The Horned Frogs senior quarterback had a stellar season, throwing for 3,546 yards and 32 touchdowns while adding 461 yards and eight points on the ground. He was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and received the Davey O’Brien Award and runner-up in the Heisman Trophy.
Previous race: Kendre MillerTCU
The junior defenseman was a dominant force in TCU’s backfield throughout the 2022 season. Miller led the Horned Frogs in 1,399 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns, both of which were in the nation’s top 15. Miller ranked second in the Big 12 in yards per carry (6.25) and surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in seven games this season. The talented running back injured his knee in the first half of TCU’s Fiesta Bowl win over Michigan and is ruled questionable ahead of Monday’s game.
wide receiver: Quentin JohnstonTCU
Johnston is a big-play wide receiver who is expected to be one of the first pass catchers in April’s NFL draft. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, the junior wideout has the ability to stretch the field and come down with 50/50 balls thrown his direction. He was named a first-team All-Big 12 that season after catching 59 for 1,066 yards and six touchdowns. Johnston was exceptional in TCU’s Fiesta Bowl win, catching six passes for 163 yards and a score.
wide receiver: Ladd McConkeyGeorgia
Like Miller, McConkey is struggling with an injury ahead of Monday’s game, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he’s enjoyed a stellar second season. The 6-foot, 185-pound wide receiver caught 53 passes for 674 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. He recorded more than four catches in 10 of the Bulldogs’ 14 games this season.
Short end: Brock BowersGeorgia
Considered by many to be the best tight end in college football, Bowers is one of the most accomplished players in the nation, regardless of position. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Bowers is a two-time All-SEC member, 2021 SEC Freshman of the Year, two-time All-American, and winner of the 2022 John Mackey Award. He has had a best 56 passes for 790 yards and six this season Touchdowns as a team.
Short end: Darell WashingtonGeorgia
It’s not every day that a team with two dominant tight ends come together on the field, but that’s the case with Georgia’s Bowers and Washington. At 6ft 7, 270 pounds, Washington is one of the most physically imposing players in college football. He’s an asset as both a blocker and pass catcher, totaling 27 catches for 426 yards and two points this season for the Bulldogs.
Offensive line: Broderick JonesGeorgia
Jones was a former five-star recruit in the 2020 class who had an outstanding redshirt second campaign, started 12 games in left tackle and was responsible for protecting Bennett’s blind side. Jones was an AP first-team All-SEC selection this year.
Offensive line: Warren McClendonGeorgia
McClendon is a three-year starter in right tackle and one of the top offensive linemen in the SEC. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman has started every game this season with right tackles for the Bulldogs and was a 2022 All-SEC first-team selection.
Offensive line: Steve AvilaTCU
As one of the top interior designers in the country, Avila has been a force on TCU’s offensive line throughout his career. He is a two-time All-Big 12 selection and was named a Consensus First Team All-American this season.
Offensive line: Tate RatledgeGeorgia
After missing all of last season with a foot injury sustained on the inaugural drive of the year, Ratledge has bounced back strongly this season. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Georgian has been a staple of the Bulldogs’ right guard all year.
Offensive line: Sedrick van PranGeorgia
Van Pran has started every game at center for the Bulldogs this season and helped pave the way for a speedy attack on Georgia, averaging more than 200 yards per game on the ground. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound redshirt sophomore was selected as an All-SEC second team in 2022.
Can TCU’s Offense Overcome Georgia’s Top Tier Defense?
Defensive Line/Edge Rusher: Robert BelGeorgia
Beal is a stat sheet stuffer who recorded 22 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two tackles for loss for the Bulldogs this season. He had his best game of the season in Georgia’s 50-30 win over LSU in the SEC championship, where he recorded four tackles, four QB hoes and a strip sack.
line of defense: Dylan HortonTCU
Horton has had a stellar senior season with 44 tackles and team-high 10 sacks earning first place in the Big 12. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound edge rusher was named the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention this season.
Line of Defense: Jalen Carter, Georgia
Carter, considered by many to be the most dominant centerback in college football, is a first-team All-American and could be the No. 1 pick in the April NFL draft. He’s an imposing force amid a Georgia defense that’s kept opponents at just 12.8 points per game this season.
line of defense: Nazir stack houseGeorgia
Stackhouse has started every game for the Bulldogs this season and recorded 31 tackles en route to second-team All-SEC designation. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound junior played a crucial role in a Georgia defense that kept opponents at just 3 yards per carry this season, which ranked fifth in the country.
Linebacker: dee winterTCU
Winters is a fast but undersized linebacker who has had a stellar 2022 campaign. The 6ft 1, 230lb senior totaled 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks and a memorable pick-six in the Horned Frogs’ win over Michigan in the CFP semifinals. He was an All-Big 12 first-team selection in 2022.
Linebacker: Jamon Dumas-JohnsonGeorgia
The 6-foot-1, 245-pound middle linebacker has had a stellar sophomore season. He has recorded 66 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble. Dumas-Johnson was a 2022 All-SEC second team member.
Linebacker: Johnny HodgesTCU
Hodges joined TCU after two years in the Navy and made an instant impression for the Horned Frogs in 2022. He totaled 81 team-high tackles and added two sacks during the season. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound junior was named the second-team All-Big 12 this season.
Defense Attorney: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
You won’t find a better cornerback in college football than Hodges-Tomlinson. He was the winner of the 2022 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defender. Hodges-Tomlinson is by no means a big corner – listed at 5-foot-9, 177-lbs – but he has plenty of big-play ability and a knack for knocking out the opposing team’s top receivers. He recorded 45 tackles, three interceptions and one forced fumble en route to being named an AP First Team All-American this season.
Defensive back: Kelee RingoGeorgia
From a purely talented perspective, Ringo is one of the best cornerbacks in the nation. He is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound corner with 4.3 speed, making it an ideal next-level companion. He will likely face the challenge of knocking out Johnston in what should be an intriguing matchup. The talented sophomore had a memorable 79-yard pick-six in last year’s national title game that sealed the win over SEC opponent Alabama.
Defensive back: Christopher SchmidtGeorgia
One of the nation’s best defensemen, Smith is the quarterback for Georgia’s secondary. He was named a first-team All-SEC member and was a finalist for the 2022 Bronko Nagurski Award for the nation’s top defensive player. The senior defenseman totaled 57 tackles, one sack and six interceptions for the Bulldogs this season.
Defensive back: Malaki StarkGeorgia
This talented freshman was a finalist for the 2022 Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award this season. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound starks finished second on the team with 68 tackles and added two picks in his freshman campaign.
Can TCU threaten Georgia in national title game?
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