Like It’s 1980
Private school glory for the remote control holders last night, as the Stanford Cardinal (without Andrew Luck) and the little Baylor Bears (without RGIII) beat the numbers one and two teams in the BCS. One and two had never before dropped games on the same day, and these upsets happened simultaneously last night. NCAA excitement!
I truly feel the BCS should read like this: 1. Notre Dame; 2. GEORGIA; 3. BAMA. Little talked about fact: Alabama has failed to win in a big divisional home game for the third straight year (Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M). Georgia lost on the road in a most hostile SEC night environment.
It has come out that the big Carolina game was shortly after QB Aaron Murray discovered his father has cancer. He hadn’t slept in days. His family is in my thoughts and prayers, and I empathize because cancer took my beloved dad a few years back.
SEC Rules. Consider this, in the many top 10 SEC match-ups only Georgia (at J-Ville) and Bama (at LSU) won away from home in this brutal conference. Though two-loss A&M has now emerged as a top 10 team, with the big win on the capstone of T-town coming when they were just top 15.
All the experts including me expect my 2-3 BCS order to be switched in favor of the coach-campaigning media darlings. Great program, but in all fairness they had no valid argument over Okie State to play for the crystal ball last year. Oklahoma State was, after all, a division and conference champion in a strong football league. Saban has one SEC title at Alabama; Richt has two at Georgia and a third would cement his coaching legacy.
Best team in the SEC is TBD in ATL, in a play-in game for the national championship. I like UGA’s talent over Alabama, but must give their coaching staff the nod over ours as they have proven it in the recent past. While UGA is yet to win it all in the modern era, though Ray Goff had a team lose two games by only three total points, Jim Donnan had a strong two-loss team which blew out the then very Mighty Gators, and Mark Richt has seen his Dawgs finish #2 and #3.
Football is much less an individual star sport than it is a true team sport, and true teams that win big are led by, above all else, smart leaders. Coaches and leaders on the field, players like Georgia’s soon-to-be all-time greatest quarterback in every major statistical category, junior Aaron Murray, a doctoral student in organizational psychology at the University of Georgia. I started off as a psych major, myself, before shifting over to my true calling in the communication realm. When I was first in school in Athens, Georgia was lead by former QB Ray Goff and by my sophomore year current radioman Eric Zeier. Good guys, but we have way upgraded since then.
Richt/Murray are quietly progressing toward establishing themselves as perhaps the best head coach/QB combo in a school history which includes Donnan recruit David Greene setting what was then the NCAA win mark under Richt, Zeier setting the then-total SEC yardage mark, #1 draft pick Matthew Stafford, NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton…True that Dooley/Belue still stand apart by owning a shiny ring, a big 1980 National Championship ring won in large part by a freshman runner named Herschel.
In the first half Saturday, Todd Gurley became only the second true freshman runner in school history to reach the 1,000-yard mark. His tandem running with roommate Keith Marshall – #GURSHALL – has netted more yardage than Herschel Walker did as a freshman in his only national championship winning campaign. That stat is further remarkable when considering how much more Murray throws it than Buck did. How good is this offense?
Our offensive coordinator deserves the DAWG-Nation’s respectful kudos. Mike Bobo has emerged as a strong candidate for conference and national coordinator of the year awards. Last year’s Dream Team (Crowell, Mitchell) and Aaron Murray led offense tied the school touchdown record mark set by the 1942 national champions. With Chris Conley’s second pretty touchdown reception Saturday in Athens – Murray’s fourth of the afternoon – the 2012 offense has scored more than any in school history. We have played football a long time at the nation’s oldest public university, and we will score many more touchdowns this season.
Bobo dialed up all of the deep pool of receivers and tight ends in a good move Saturday, getting the young guys ready for championship play. Last week it was the SEC East crown; next week it’s the Governor’s Cup for the Peach State, and then we get Bama for the SEC championship. And a chance to play for it all, finally, should we win in our home state again. Then we’d get Notre Dame (probably), in a 1980 rematch of the Sugar Bowl. This time in sunny Miami, Florida.
Georgia Southern people know how to tailgate and are great fans, and their team is of champion-caliber in the heart category, though they are not and never will be on par with GEORGIA. Southern hung around for a half and could have taken a lead into the locker room. They ran for a would-be first and goal on UGA’s five, but a chop block call pushed them back. I have reviewed the film several times, and the second block on mountain Jonathan Jenkins came in high enough to be 100% legal. Tough break on that Athens home cooking, and then a field goal was missed. Instead of maybe 14-10, they trailed 10-7. And Murray went to work, hooking with our best receiver, Malcolm Mitchell for a late touchdown. It was 17-7 at the half…and over.
Alec Ogletree was the clear defensive MVP in what became just a tune-up game facing the triple option offense, which pioneering coach Paul Johnson and Atlanta’s own Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have run to near perfection lately. Kickoff set for noon Between the Hedges. “DAWGS!”