The Georgia Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in the polls and coming off a 37-14 home win over Georgia Tech, is set to return to Atlanta, where the season began, for the 2022 SEC Championship against No. 11 LSU. Nov. 19. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET, with CBS televising the game.
Circa Sports released its line Sunday evening and has the Dawgs as considerable favorites in the conference title matchup, placing Georgia as a 17.5-point neutral site favorite. Two weeks ago, Draft Kings Sportsbook had Georgia as a 16-point favorite in its early lookahead line. The same look-ahead line had LSU favored by 3.5 points for the 2019 SEC Championship. Georgia has been favored in every game this season and is 6-6 against the spread, with a -1.7 margin against the spread.
“I’m excited to see our team,” Smart said of the upcoming postseason play. “It’s much easier to coach on a week like this week then it was a week like last week. It’s different. Nothing against Thanksgiving. It’s not my favorite vacation, I like to eat but it’s tough. There’s a different schedule. There’s a lot of variables that you can’t control. You know what? Brent Key can’t control it either. It’s not like I’m saying it’s an unfair advantage but you lose a routine as a coach. It worries you a little bit. I like the routine we keep when school’s in and we have our normal schedule. I’m looking forward to watching our guys prepare for LSU. They’re a really good, hot football team.”
The Bulldogs are now 78-15 under seventh-year head coach Kirby Smart, with a 48-9 record in conference play. It is the fifth SEC Championship appearance for Smart, tying him with Mark Richt, in just his seventh season as the head coach. It is Georgia’s 10th appearance since the SEC began holding a conference championship game in 1992, having won it in 2002, 2005, and 2017.
The December showdown between Georgia and LSU marks the fifth time the two teams have faced off in the SEC Championship Game. LSU won 34-13 in the 2003 battle, Georgia got the upper hand 34-14 in 2005, LSU demolished Georgia 42-10 in 2011, and LSU took care of Georgia 37-10 in 2019. Smart is 2-0 against Kelly, having faced him twice during his tenure at Notre Dame in a home-and-home series.
“He’s an incredible coach,” Smart said. “He was an incredible coach when he was at Notre Dame and he’s an incredible coach at LSU. He came to this league because he wanted an opportunity to play the best and get opportunities to go to the playoffs and win SEC championships. He’s at a storied place that’s got a lot of tradition and history.”