Does Michigan stand a chance against Georgia? Yes. Will Michigan beat Georgia? No. The reason the SEC can get away with bragging is that it walks the walk. Since 2005, the longest gap between SEC national titles has been two years, and that happened only once.
Yeah, the Bulldogs lost a couple of second-tier bowls to the Big Ten – the Outback to Michigan State, the Gator to Nebraska – in the latter days of Mark Richt. Second-tier bowls often hinge on which team is happier to be there. (Nor were those vintage Georgia teams.) The Bulldogs are very happy to be in Miami.
We hear about SEC speed. We hear about SEC defense. We especially hear about SEC defensive linemen. It’s not as if teams from other leagues can’t run fast and hit hard. That said, there haven’t been many times this century when a standout SEC team has been beaten by a non-SEC opponent that hasn’t recruited to SEC specifications. Florida State had Jameis Winston, Jalen Ramsey and Devonta Freeman when it beat Auburn. Ohio State had Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Thomas and Joey Bosa when it beat Alabama. Clemson had Deshaun Watson and then Trevor Lawrence.
Michigan has good defensive linemen. It has a clever offense and a stout O-line. Georgia will have to play well to win, but the Bulldogs have played well in every game save one, and that was against Alabama. The Orange Bowl stands to be a game in which depth matters, and Georgia has depth everywhere – even, and perhaps especially, at quarterback. As Kirby Smart said earlier this season, you can’t outcoach recruiting. Only one program recruits like Georgia. Guess which.
The SEC doesn’t win every time. For better or worse, it does win most of the time. Michigan’s biggest win was over Ohio State, but the Buckeyes lost at home to Oregon. Michigan’s loss came against Michigan State, which lost to Purdue and was obliterated by Ohio State. Georgia has lost only to Alabama.
The belief remains that only one team can beat Georgia. That team won’t be playing in Miami. It will be playing in Indianapolis.