Georgia’s made it. The 13-1 Dawgs pulled off a victory in thrilling fashion over the Sooners in the Rose Bowl to reserve a spot in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
They’re here. Kirby Smart and staff have steamrolled just about everyone this season, with exception of Notre Dame, Auburn and Oklahoma.
But, there’s one game left.
In 1942, Georgia won it all. 38 years later, in 1980, Georgia won it all again. In 2017-18, yet another 38 years have passed, and the Dawgs are one victory away from another national championship.
As proven by the 38 year gaps in between Georgia’s championships, bringing home a national title isn’t easy, and often luck, and the presence of a superstar player, is on your side.
That got me thinking… Georgia’s made it this far without both luck and a Heisman Trophy contender.
Where has the luck been for Georgia this season? Where has the last second wins and fortunate penalties been? Can you recall a game in which the Dawgs needed luck to pull out a victory? I can’t. Sure, there’s been a share of miraculous plays – looking at you Terry Godwin against the Irish – but Georgia has relied on what it knows to win games: strong, fast and physical football. And often, Georgia not only had beat its opponent, but the refs as well.
I can recall Auburn needing luck in 2013. I can recall Alabama thanking the ole lady at times throughout its incredible decade of pure dominance. Clemson sure had some luck on its side when it beat North Carolina in the ACC Championship. The Buckeyes, things went their way in 2014. But, for Georgia and Kirby Smart, the Dawgs just simply won, and they did’t rely on anything or anyone but themselves.
In addition to luck, think of past national champions and what most had in common: A Heisman Trophy contender.
Deshaun Watson, Derrick Henry, Jameis Winston, Trent Richardson, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, Tim Tebow.
Nearly every team to win, or play in, the national title in the past decade has been led by a Heisman winner or contender.
Now, obviously Georgia has not won the title yet, but to make it this far without a “superstar player” is an impressive feat. Instead, the Dawgs went with the “win by committee” approach.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Roquan Smith is the best player in the nation, but #3 does not garner nearly the same media attention as an offensive player would. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are undoubtedly two of the best running backs in college football, but they share the load with each other and D’andre Swift.
Georgia is made up of multiple great players rather than one superstar who soaks up all the love.
If Georgia manages to beat Alabama, the Dawgs will be a different kind of champion.