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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: John Bunch/Icon Sportswire, Kevin C. Cox, Marianna Massey, Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.

Alabama and Georgia will play for a championship Monday night — five weeks after their SEC title game matchup, and four years after their national title game thriller.

State of play: The Bulldogs are slight favorites to win their first championship in 41 years, but they've lost seven straight to the Crimson Tide, who have won a casual six national titles in 14 years.

Game info:

  • Kickoff: 8pm ET
  • Lines: UGA -2.5 | O/U: 52.5
  • Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
  • How to watch: ESPN (Main telecast), ESPN2 (Film room with Jimbo Fisher), ESPNU (Command Center), ESPNews (AT&T 5G Skycast) and more.

The intrigue: The QB matchup is fascinating. On one side is Bryce Young, a former five-star recruit and Heisman winner. On the other side is Stetson Bennett, a former walk-on who uses a flip phone.

By the numbers:

  • 25-1: Nick Saban boasts a 25-1 record against his former assistants, including a 4-0 record against Kirby Smart.
  • 9.64: Georgia has allowed just 9.64 points per game this season, by far the best mark in the nation (Clemson is second at 14.85).
  • 61%: The crowd is projected to be 61% Georgia fans, per Vivid Seats. And the top two cities for people traveling to Indy this weekend are Atlanta and Athens, per Airbnb.

Notes:

  • Top prospects: This game features 17 of Todd McShay's top 100 prospects, including Alabama OT Evan Neal (3), Alabama WR Jameson Williams (6), Georgia LB Nakobe Dean (8), Georgia DE Travon Walker (14) and Georgia DT Jordan Davis (26).
  • Fun fact (for Georgia fans): Since 2008, six teams have squared off in bowl games after meeting in the regular season. The teams that won the first meeting all lost the second meeting.
  • Fun rewind (for Alabama fans): It's hard to forget what happened the last time these teams met on this stage. Tua to DeVonta ... Bama wins in overtime.

Go deeper

A museum of virtual lockpicks

Museum of Mechanics: Lockpicking showcasing the lockpicking system from Thief 4. Screenshot: Dim Bulb Games

An unusual new PC game this week features more than two dozen recreations of other games’ approaches to virtual lockpicking.

Driving the news: Museum of Mechanics: Lockpicking, which can be completed in about 30 minutes, lets players move through a virtual museum where each exhibit is a playable lockpicking system.

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.