First of all let me congratulate the University of Georgia Bulldogs for winning the east division of the SEC and making it to Atlanta for the Championship game against the University of Alabama, winners of the west. That was quite an exciting championship game between both Bama and the dawgs this past Saturday afternoon and I was fortunate to be able to catch it prior to walking over to BOA Stadium and watching what was certain to be a pathetic ACC Championship Game. Given the incredible stakes on the line heading into this game with the winner playing against the University of Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game, it only increased the excitement level. Although I generally prefer to watch football in the confines of a warm and inviting home, a restaurant had to suffice given the unique situation involved.
It was hard to understand how UGA was almost a touchdown underdawg heading into this contest after the way they manhandled a Yellow Jackets squad headed to their very own Championship Game one week earlier that was fighting a flu bug that had even reached their head coach Paul Johnson. Add to that the remarks made earlier in the week by several of the dawgs players crowing that they had the vastly superior players compared to Alabama, and the mood was set for another lopsided contest with those dawgs no doubt riding that momentum all the way into the BCS Title Game against the Fighting Irish. This had the makings of 1980 written all over it.
Let me first say that I was somewhat baffled after hearing those remarks regarding athletic superiority as my recollection was that there was another comment made earlier in the year by a fellow member of the UGA defense about several Bulldawgs being called out as “soft” and not playing very good football after a humbling 35 to 7 loss at South Carolina to the “Old Ball Coach.” Perhaps my memory is poor and that never happened, or it’s conceivable that statement was made by an inferior athlete that was somehow able to make his way onto the elite and vastly superior dawgs football squad and this was just his way of motivating the bulldogs into playing even better. Regardless of the explanation this was certain to be another chapter in the book entitled; fantastic dawgs games of the century.
After watching them dawgs jump ahead 7 to 0 it appeared that this was going to be their day as for the first time in nearly 32 years they were once again headed to the national championship after an extremely long time with a team that didn’t even include their best running back ever; Herschel Walker. Despite having history and superior athletes on their side, ironically somehow Bama was ahead at the half 10 to 7.
That was a real head scratcher? Frankly, I don’t know how a 220 Lbs. running back named Eddie Lacy could possibly outrun eleven superior athletes on that dawgs defense let alone score a touchdown. It’s just bewildering to me. My hunch is that some of those “soft” kids were in the game at that point as I believe just like in “T-ball”, you have to let every player participate or some type of penalty is imposed by the NCAA. That had to be the answer as there is no way Bama could have scored a touchdown other than the “soft” kids being out on the field at a most inopportune time.
That rule needs to be changed immediately next year by the NCAA as that touchdown against the “soft as cotton squad” was the difference in this game. That is so unfair! It wound up costing them dawgs a certain national championship trophy! You just watch as Bama goes out and stomps those Fighting Irish in the BCS National Championship on January 7, 2013. All the while the Crimson Tide players are thinking to themselves; how much worse a beating it would have been if those dawgs were in this game instead of us.
Once the second half began everything started to fall right into place just like the inside of a fine Swiss watch. The dawgs scored a touchdown to not only retake the lead at 14 to 10 as they were entitled, but then pulled off the; piéce de résistance by blocking a Bama punt. As impressive as it is to ever block a punt, this one was even more special. Alec Ogeltree, a star junior linebacker for the dawgs and certain NFL high first round selection was in the game on the punt return team and made just a phenomenal play. If this isn’t the # 1 all time YouTube video for the current millenium then something just isn’t right.
After one of his equally amazing teammates was able to block the Bama punt merely by sticking up a hand, the gyrating ball bounced off the ground in a manner that defied the intrinsic laws of physics. Despite that happening, Alec was somehow able to pluck the ball in midair and glided 55 yards for a touchdown at a pace that not even Usain Bolt from Jamaica would be able to match even with the Olympic gold medal on the line. Not to mention Mr. Ogletree had on about twenty Lbs. of football gear at the time of this incredible play. With superior athletes like Alec no wonder Coach Richt has plenty of time to spend perfecting his platform diving form.
Also, if I’m not mistaken, the network had to replay that touchdown in ultra-slow motion as it happened just way too fast for the average human being to even see; much like a high pitched whistle that only a dog can hear. The average viewer really likes to watch these special athletes perform their incredible feats regardless of whether it’s real time or a slow motion replay format. I wish I had TiVo’s this game!
But then the unthinkable happened; Bama came back to take the lead 25 to 21. Once again that darn NCAA participation rule led to that happening as there is now way Bama would even be in the game if the dawgs were able to play every down with their superior athletes. Once the A-team was back on the field the dawgs came back with a touchdown themselves and went ahead 28 to 25.
In and around that time Coach Richt was forced to take a time out as he disagreed with the officials who were insisting that he had not complied with the participation rules as additional players were still sitting on the bench that had not yet played a down in the contest. Back into the game they went but now the dawgs only had two timeouts remaining and that proved to be a huge factor in losing this game.
After putting those “soft as cotton” kids back into the game, of course right on cue Bama scored another touchdown to go ahead 32 to 28 with only 1:08 remaining on the clock. Coach Richt had already used his final two timeouts when Bama still had the football. But now that he had already cleared the bench, everything was going to be fine as all of his A-Team was back on the field for the final drive.
The dawgs started on their own fifteen yard line and in 1:08 went eighty yards for the potential go ahead score. Only one problem, well actually two; they needed to go 85 yards and also ran out of time at the 5 yard line since they were forced to squander a timeout earlier in the half arguing with the officials over player participation.
Making this loss even more frustrating given the dawgs motto; “Finish the drill!” Now they will have to go play the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2013. I certainly hope in that game they save their timeouts for the end and play those “soft” kids early in the game to avoid having this situation occur again and resulting in losing this bowl.
In order to avoid another unfortunate situation from occurring just like the one in the SEC Championship Game, on behalf of a very caring Yellow Jackets fan that made the suggestion, it brings me back to the title for this article as well as the new motto for them dawgs heading into 2013; “Finish the drill in Orlando!”