World Capital of College Football Chronicles
Han Vance on American college football: Georgia’s soon-to-be breakout true freshman George Pickens goes high for a snag in the front of an ATL end zone, as junior Jake Fromm has just thrown his last in-state touchdown, the 22nd of yet another lost 11-1 regular season.
Each year of his command, his Dawgs finished up with wins over Atlanta’s Georgia Tech at 11-1…then went on to fall short of ultimate glory.
UGA slips to 3-5 in SEC championship games and a shabby 1-3 vs LSU in such SECCGs (1-5 vs Bama/LSU). A win could have pushed our proud program to .500 in both records’ metrics, which wouldn’t have been good enough longterm historically, but would feel better than this. And, Georgia would have been bound for a second ever CFP berth, instead of a second consecutive relegation to the NY6 sUGAr Bowl, in New Orleans. Where days later they – not us – would play a national championship game.
The glass was way less than half empty…UGA down 34-10 to an eventual national champion, who’d tack on a kick. Losing by 27 to LSU in my hometown of Atlanta-proper, after our recent nightmares in my city at the Crimson hands of our white wale, Bama.
An unfortunate streak he’d soon stop on the first night of 2020 in an NOLA dome where he was embarrassed by Texas exactly a year prior, alumnus Kirby Smart suddenly matched the longest postseason skid in long school history by dropping the Natty in Atlanta, then the SECCG, then Kirby’s first Sugar Bowl, and then yet another SECCG…and Georgia was at the highest levels trending downward, since a January 1st (I was there) of 2018 double overtime CFP Rose Bowl win.
A bad 4th and 11 special teams coaching call from a CFP berth via SEC title in the 2018 season, after being a busted coverage bad play and bad special teams ref call away from a Natty to end the 2017 season, the Bulldogs were way further from a league and national title in the 2019 season, made obvious by a bad score in lights.
Founded in 1785 as the birthplace of American public higher education, a less know fact is that true powerful Southern college football itself commenced at UGA’s Herty Field, way back in winter of 1892. Georgia took care of Mercer on a Classic City day then, before a tough loss to Auburn on February 20th in Piedmont Park of Atlanta; the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry was born, and Southern (and Atlantan) culture would never be the same. Rightly called a city of transplants though many of my friends are from here, The ATL is the undeniable world capital of college football today, and many of her residents are Americans from elsewhere in the South, meaning probably huge college football fans of one program or another, drawn to an enviable bright lights big city constant commerce, in the capital of both the old state and whole region, a beacon.
Georgia needs to do better in Atlanta, and misses Midtown’s Tech this time around altogether; there will be no state rivalry win to lean on in talking of any owning. Georgia must win the SECCG or bust.
The first round playoff sites are Pasadena and New Orleans this year, so reaching the CFP ensures a historic venue and familiar bowl experience. With the exception of the fact that we as fans may not be invited in.