Dec. 30 saw the Georgia Bulldogs defeat the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl, formally ending their 2023 college football year. Players have since announced their plans to enter the NFL draft while concentrating on the 2024 season. Even though week one is still a ways off, it’s safe to predict that Georgia will be well-positioned to contend for a national championship in 2024 because of one important reason. The Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines emerged triumphant from Monday night’s college football playoff semifinal action, and they will square off for the national title the following week. Despite the fact that those two teams play quite different football, they do have something that many other national championship teams had in their respective seasons. play by an experienced quarterback. JJ McCarthy is in his third season of collegiate football, and Michael Penix is in his sixth. This year marks McCarthy’s second year as the Wolverines’ full-time starter. These days, having an older and more seasoned quarterback is practically a need to contend for a national championship, and the teams that have won it before agree.
For the Bulldogs in 2021 and 2022—his fourth and fifth seasons as a college quarterback—it was Stetson Benett. In 2020, Mac Jones won the championship with Alabama while being a redshirt junior. Joe Burrow was playing for LSU in his fifth season of college the year prior. Since the college football playoffs began, there have only been three quarterbacks who have won a national championship who were either freshmen or sophomores. Cardale Jones, Trevor Lawrence, and Tua Tagovailoa. All three of those quarterbacks had one thing in common, though: they all began the season as backups to more seasoned quarterbacks.This is when Georgia enters the picture. Prior to the Orange Bowl, Carson Beck made it known that he will be joining the Bulldogs for his fifth season of college football in 2024. In his debut season as a starter this past season, he started all 14 games for Georgia and is now regarded as a true veteran of the game. It takes more than just a good quarterback to win a national championship, particularly with the extended playoffs kicking in next year. Still, a quarterback is perhaps the most crucial player on a team that hopes to win a national championship, and a longer season just makes that more crucial. Even though the Bulldogs lost in 2023, their early-season performance in 2024 should put them in a strong position to try again.