The 2022 Peach Bowl looms, with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Georgia Bulldogs squaring off Dec. 31 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
While there's still plenty of time for pundits to offer analysis on who they think will prevail, most are picking Kirby Smart's Bulldogs to advance to the national championship. As evidence of such, the Bulldogs are entrenched as -260 favorites on US sportsbooks, while the Buckeyes will have a +6.5 spread to cover.
But not all are counting out Ryan Day and the Buckeyes. One of the most prominent analysts to offer this prediction so far is Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports.
In an interview with Alabama radio station WJOX 94.5 FM, Sallee gave his Buckeyes prediction with conviction.
"If I had to pick right now, I think Ohio State upsets Georgia," Sallee began. "I think getting those two running backs back [TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams] is huge for Ohio State."
The Buckeyes won't be at full strength for the game, as receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba declared for the NFL draft and won't participate in the Peach Bowl. But Sallee thinks Smith Njigba's absence will be negligible.
"Obviously the Jaxon Smith-Njigbia thing would have been nice, but they didn't have him essentially all year. So, how much different is it going to be for their offense?"
Combining these factors with a Georgia defense that didn't cover LSU receivers, per Sallee, and a Bulldogs secondary that is "a little susceptible," and this makes for a recipe for C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes to spring the upset.
"Styles make fights," Sallee concluded. "And while I am perfectly fine thinking that Georgia can have success in a game where they have to score 30 to win, it's not their comfort zone. They would rather not do that. And Ohio State is a team that can force them to do that."