Georgia vs. Mississippi State score: Dawgs prove they are legit CFP contenders

Say it out loud, and say it with feeling -- No. 11 Georgia Bulldogs is a contender for the College Football Playoff.

If the win at Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Week 2 with a true freshman quarterback in Jake Fromm making his first start wasn't enough to cement that idea in stone, Saturday's 31-3 dismantling of No. 17 Mississippi State Bulldogs certainly did. 

Coach Kirby Smart's crew proved that it's as complete as any team in the country against Dan Mullen and Co., and should be mentioned with Southern California Trojans , Clemson Tigers , Penn State Nittany Lions , Michigan Wolverines and even Alabama Crimson Tide among the nation's elite. 

Running game? Georgia's got that in bunches. 

Nick Chubb had 81 yards and two touchdowns, D'Andre Swift added 69 on 10 carries and Sony Michel didn't even see much action after sitting out last week. But Michel -- better known as "Robin" to Chubb's "Batman" -- is already established as one of the top all-purpose backs in the entire country.

Fromm? Yeah, he's just fine too.

All he did was complete every pass he attempted in the first half, throw for 201 yards on 12 attempts (16.8 yards per attempt) for the game and continue to make it very hard for the coaching staff to re-insert Jacob Eason back into the starting lineup when he gets a clean bill of health.

This, in more simpler terms, is a "rich man's problem." You know, the kind that Smart was accustomed to at Alabama when he was Nick Saban's defensive coordinator and the Crimson Tide had depth for days? The same thing is happening in Athens, and Saturday further proved it.

The Crimson Tide blueprint is being copied even further on the defensive side of the ball, where the Bulldogs are loaded with depth and speed up front -- particularly at linebacker. Lorenzo Carter recovered the fumble after a Davin Bellamy sack to ice the Notre Dame game two weeks ago, and joined fellow linebacker Roquan Smith in dominating Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and his upstart offense from the moment toe met leather. 

Ten of the 11 starters on Georgia's most recent defensive depth chart are upper-classmen. The only one who isn't -- safety J.R. Reed -- is a redshirt sophomore. Think about that for a second. Stud recruits from Smart's first two stellar recruiting classes like safety Richard LeCounte, corner Deangelo Gibbs and lineman Julian Rochester are serving as backups/quality depth players.

That's where Georgia is right now, and a big reason why it's firmly entrenched as a threat in the playoff hunt. 

Don't follow the same tired narrative that developed after Georgia topped Notre Dame two weeks ago when, suddenly, the Fighting Irish became an also-ran and the win didn't mean much. It did, as did the win over Mississippi State on Saturday night.

They meant that Georgia is for real, and it's time to start getting used to it.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, while also hosting on SiriusXM College Sports Nation and the... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories