Alabama started the season fast, picking up where it left off after winning last year's national championship. The Crimson Tide was No. 1 after beating a then top 10 team in Michigan the first week of the season and followed up by shutting out its next two opponents.
The rest is history. Alabama went 9-0, lost to Texas A&M in Week 10 and fell to No. 4 in the rankings. All it needed, just like last year, was for a couple teams ranked ahead of them to lose and they'd be back in the national championship saddle. It seemed unrealistic, but then Kansas State and Oregon lost—in the same night—and lightening had officially struck twice for the Tide.
A similar scenario happened to Bama's SEC Championship opponent Georgia. Unlike the Tide, the Bulldogs got a slower start to the season. Their defense allowed 145 points in the first six games, which was eventually capped by a loss to a then-No. 11 South Carolina team that whooped them in Columbia, 35-7.
"They started hot," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "We just couldn't stop the momentum."
But after that loss—UGA's only one of the year—the team refocused and some of those magical things that happen in college football happened to put the Bulldogs back in the hunt.
Following the loss to South Carolina, Georgia had its bye week. That week, the Gamecocks lost to then-No. 9 LSU. Then the following week, UGA was playing Kentucky at night and earlier in the day, USC lost to then-No. 5 Florida.
"So by the time we played again, we were already back with the ability to control our destiny," Richt said.
Sound familiar? Just like Alabama, Georgia started the season undefeated and when they hit adversity, they didn't succumb, but rather relished the opportunities that were presented before them.
"I thought Georgia was a very, very good team before they played South Carolina," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "More importantly is, they responded well and continued to improve through the season and played with a lot of consistency. That's why they are where they are now."
Earlier this week, Richt was asked how his team has changed since that loss back in the first week of October.
"We lost together, so we had to regroup together," Richt said. "We didn't panic. We just went back to work."
Not only are Alabama and Georgia similar in personnel and schematics, but they've also experienced and overcome adversity this season and put themselves in position to win their conference and make it to Miami.
For more Alabama coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!