college football writer
With old langousines blaring across the country and multicolored balloons raining far from the ceiling, college football fans could be forgiven for bypassing New Year’s Eve festivities for something simpler and more necessary. .
After the college football playoffs have delivered a night that is timeless and instantly unforgettable, what else needs to be done? It’s hard to even handle it all in nine improbable hours of continuous play.
However, TCU’s 51-45 masterclass against Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl provided a delicious appetizer to Georgia’s thrilling 42-41 comeback against Ohio State in the Peach Bowl, so the stakes involved have to be handled. Considering, if you want to label it the best night the sport has ever seen, you’re closer to finding out the truth than being a prisoner of the moment.
All of this adds up to a great western showdown at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on January 9th, a storyline worthy of Hollywood, and a more unpredictable outcome than we know what to do. Leads us to a fitting finale for this impeccable season we’ve created.
For TCU, a chance to win its first national championship since 1938 is more than just a new school adding a cylindrical golden trophy to its football facility. Horned Frogs doesn’t represent a trope of the tattered American dream, it’s about the vision, alignment, and unwavering belief it takes to reach the pinnacle of sport.
They never stopped dreaming of reaching the big leagues and stuck to those ambitions through many conference affiliations. When they thought they couldn’t do it, they became more and more resilient.
Former athletic director Chris Del Conte and current AD Jeremiah Donati moved mountains and persuaded former rivals like Texas to expand Big 12 invitations to small private Christian schools in metropolitan areas. How else can the facts be explained? Fully saturated with leagues? They hoped to make it happen 10 years before him, and now he’s at TCU, and it’s the lone star who can claim the Texas state program secures its first college football playoff win. None of the state’s bigger, wealthier, more powerful institutions. .
No, not Longhorns or Aggies, Bears or Red Raiders. Instead, they are the ones who entered the Hypnotoads into the college football lexicon.
Beating TCU’s Amazing Upset in Michigan
All this too, despite going 5-7 last year with the team literally having statues outside the stadium and firing longtime head coach Gary Patterson. The same group put him 7th in the league going into 2022 and, as multiple coaches noted in the aftermath of his Fiesta Bowl, the preseason odds are around 20,000-to-1, all in Las Vegas. I was able to win.
Through it all, they’ve made it to the top of the mountain, ready to go down in history as one of the most unlikely champions the sport has ever produced. We fully admit that we have greatly exceeded our most optimistic expectations of the team.
But since they’re here… why not complete a storybook that ends in a city that is so inextricably linked to making movie magic?
But if TCU is the destined team when it comes to domestic championship games, the opponent is not only the current title holder, but the current gold standard and a team ready to stamp firmly. Given that, that tall task looks even more serious. This dynamic run in consecutive runs for the first time in the playoff era.
Of course, it wasn’t anything like this for the Georgia Bulldogs. good friends Rather, he’s the underperforming type, regularly in the national championship picture despite fertile recruiting on his doorstep, numerous resources at his disposal, or an impressive collection of passing head coaches. Frequently asked questions about not going through Athens.
Thanks to Kirby Smart, those questions have faded as we now have a staggering 80-15 record in seven seasons. One of Nick Saban’s most highly regarded disciples has returned to his alma mater with one mission and one mission of his own.
UGA is on the brink of just that.
Bulldogs stack top recruiting classes on top of top recruiting classes. They win ugly, they win big. They spotlight the right coaching decisions when the moment calls for it, including the incredible timeout-using smarts shown in the Ohio State game in the Peach Bowl. They’ve won five straight in the New Year’s Six Bowl game, extending that streak to six and trying to do something no one has done in over a decade. Ultimate Champion).
How Kirby Smart Saved the Day for Georgia
Perhaps most of all, a handful of cruel twists that always seemed to be against bulldogs now seem to be leaning in favor of red and black.In a sport where margins are as inches as yards, Georgia entered the title game for the third time in six years and found themselves more consistently on the right side of history.
Lest you think of this program as consisting solely of Goliath, it’s worth pointing out that quarterback Stetson Bennett, the fearless leader of the Bulldogs between the lines, is someone even TCU fans can identify with. Yes. Labeled a two-star in high school, he was told by the majority of FBS programs that he was too small, had poor motor skills, and lacked the arm strength needed to enter the SEC. After being told, I walked to my parents’ alma mater. .
But over all doubts, he persevered. He transferred to a junior college, but he returned to Athens, even though he knew his role would be primarily backup. He was demoted twice, but came out each time his number was called again. Bennett ensured he wouldn’t have to buy a drink in his hometown by winning the school’s first national title since last season in 1980, and his one more win the following Monday night meant he’d be in a better position. He can be argued among the sport’s most accomplished signalers.
It’s the fate of a dynasty and a Hollywood fairy tale born out of the heart of Texas. A final show of homage to Max Duggan and former walk-on Bennett oozing moxie. Another opportunity to show that every good defense requires an explosive offensive partner that is far from mundane.
Another game for trophies to rule them all. Another game for history books and college football immortality.
It’ll be hard to beat the semi-final thriller of Georgia vs. TCU in Los Angeles on January 9th, but given how these two programs turned out, I’m sure some form of greatness will be revealed.
Most Valuable Player: CJ Stroud, Ohio
Team of the week: TCU
Coach of the week: Kirby Smart, Georgia
Goat of the Week: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
GOAT of the week: college football fan
Tweet of the week
Read before snap
ReliaQuest Bowl: Mississippi versus. Illinois
It’s going to be an emotional day no matter when the Bulldogs hit the field, and it’s hard to fathom how they’ll play in the first action after the death of Mike Leach last month. are missing key players and coaches, but they’ll likely keep things close until MSU breaks through for a very special win in Tampa.
Cotton bowl: Tulane versus. USC
Caleb Williams looks like he’ll do well in this match, which could be quite a track meet given his two offensive head coaches, lack of defense and incredible skill positioning talent There’s a Trojan nod, but don’t be shocked if Green Wave continues this game deep into the 4th quarter.
Citrus bowl: LSUs versus. Purdue
It was already difficult for the Boilermakers to compete against an SEC side like the Tigers, but with the opt-outs and missing coaches thrown in, the deck looks stacked against the Big Ten East champions. They may hang around halfway, but LSU’s athleticism allows them to roll after the break.
Rose bowl: Pennsylvania versus. Utah
Those Grandfathers Nothing will ever be the same after this… Maybe it’s the final matchup of the traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-12 under beautiful San Gabriel and a perfect sunset. He named his group the Transition Team, considering some of the starters who are This is something the PSU also addresses. The Nittany Lions may explode into an early lead, but in the end it’s Ute who will get the job done from Pasadena.
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Bryan Fischer is a College Football Writer for FOX Sports. He has worked for NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo!Sports and his NFL.com. Follow @BryanDFischer on Twitter.
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