2023 College Football Playoff National Championship preview, top players

2023 College Football Playoff National Championship preview, top players originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The TCU Horned Frogs and Georgia Bulldogs are headed to the ‘ship!

The 2023 College Football National Championship is just days away and these two SEC/Big 12 rivals meet again after not facing off since 2016 – a showdown in which Georgia won 31-23.

Historically the Bulldogs have been the more dominant team in this match up, claiming a winning record of 4-0 over the Horned Frogs.

Heading into next week’s championship game, TCU (13-1) defeated Michigan 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl while Georgia (14-0) took down Ohio State 42-41 in the Peach Bowl.

While defending champions Georgia are the heavy favorite (-12.5), it doesn’t secure them a win this weekend. Here are the players to watch and more information about the showdown: 

When is the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship?

The game is set to kick off on Monday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Where is the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship?

The game will be held at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.

What happens if TCU beats UGA in the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship?

While it is not to be expected, TCU can certainly pick up a big upset this weekend which would give the Horned Frogs its third-ever College Football Playoff National Championship.

Heading into the game, TCU is the first team to play for a national championship after entering the season unranked. While a win for the Horned Frogs would be iconic, it also would make them the second straight team to win a national championship after not winning their conference and the first Big 12 team to capture the title. 

Horned Frogs coach Sonny Dykes became the first coach to reach a College Football Playoff Championship game in his first year on the job and therefore will become the first to win if the Horned Frogs prevail. 

The last time TCU won a national championship was in 1935 and 1938. A win this year would give the Horned Frogs the same number of national titles as Georgia at three. 

Who are the players to watch?

Georgia Bulldogs:

Stetson Bennett (QB):

Bennett is the first quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back national championships since 2011-12 when former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron did. The 25-year-old is 71 passing yards away to set a school’s single-season record and needs 177 passing yards to become the school’s first 4,000-yard passer in program history. All in all, the 2022 Peach Bowl Offensive MVP was made for the big stage. 

Jalen Carter (DT):

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman makes his presence known in defending the ‘Dawgs on the field. Despite being injured up until Oct. 29, Carter has been a force to be reckoned with and will apply heavy pressure on the TCU offense. 

Brock Bowers (TE): Bowers steps in as one of the best offensive attackers in this match up with his remarkable hands and movement. Bowers has had at least four receptions in each of his last three CFP games and will be targeted early on by the Horned Frogs. 

Kelee Ringo (CB):

Ringo knows how to rise in the big moments. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound corner secured the 2022 CFP Championship for the Bulldogs with a clutch pick-six to lead the squad to their first title since 1980. All eyes will be on the strong, speedy sophomore as he looks to break TCU’s offense.

TCU Horned Frogs:

Max Duggan (QB): Duggan's performance in the title game will determine a lot for the Horned Frogs. The 21-year-old explosive quarterback has 3,546 yards, 32 passing touchdowns and six interceptions this season. He has added 461 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns just this year.

Dylan Horton (DL): TCU has to hope Horton brings the same intensity he brought in the Fiesta Bowl to the CFP Championship, finishing with four sacks and six total tackles. He enters the title game as TCU’s star pass rusher with 10 sacks to his name this season.

Quentin Johnston (WR): The 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver will want to bring his strength and speed into the national championship as one of the best wide receivers in the collegiate landscape to date. He has accumulated 1,088 yards, six receiving touchdowns and 59 receptions this season. 

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (CB): The nation’s top defensive back may not be the biggest guy out there – standing at 5-foot-9, 177 pounds – but he is impressive when it comes to stopping opposing teams’ star receivers. 

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.