Words fail me.
Daily Archives: December 3, 2017
By the time Georgia freshman tailback D’Andre Swift broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown run for a 28-7 advantage, the game seemed so far out of reach that the scoreboard operator at Mercedes-Benz Stadium prematurely posted a message congratulating the Bulldogs for winning the SEC championship — with 10:34 left to play in the game.
Then again, maybe the conference was just sending a message to the officials to back off.
Damn, Natrez. Just damn.
UPDATE: Natrez was part of a two-fer.
Linebacker Natrez Patrick was one of two Georgia players arrested early late Saturday night on misdemeanor marijuana charges. Reserve receiver Jayson Stanley was arrested for DUI, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and speeding. It’s Patrick’s third drug-related arrest, which could lead to his dismissal from the team.
The following morning, I’m still coming to grips with the notion of Georgia winning an SEC title in the Saban era. What this team has already accomplished and what lies ahead has left me a little numb, to be honest. I’m a victim of sensory overload.
I’ll savor the details later. I’ll worry about whether the selection committee treated Georgia fairly some other time — ah, hell, it’s found money, so who cares?
Right now, though, more than anything else, what sticks with me is the brief interview on the field after the win with a triumphant Kirby Smart and a clearly reluctant to be in the spotlight Nick Chubb.
What was the difference in this game?
“It’s real simple — composure and physicality,” Smart said. “That’s all that it was about, composure and physicality and great kids like (Nick Chubb).”
The 31 seniors in this program, what can you say about them and what they mean to this program?
“They’ve meant everything to this program. The leadership that (Chubb) and Sony Michel and the rest of these leaders have provided for us is impeccable,” he continued. “This is an awesome win for our program, for our university and a lot of people around the state of Georgia.”
Nick Chubb was asked a question as well: Aren’t you glad you came back?
“I’m so glad I came back,” he answered.
I can relate to the satisfaction someone takes in implementing a vision and seeing it come to fruition. The trip Nick Chubb’s had to take — from a promising, yet ultimately disappointing freshman season through a devastating injury that took a level of dedication to overcome that most people will never possess to having to make a decision after a 8-5 season about what had to have been at that time an uncertain future — is something I don’t have the life experience to appreciate in anywhere close to a full sense.
As happy as I am with the win and the championship, it pales in significance to how Nick, the three who elected to stay with him, the rest of Georgia’s seniors and every other member of the 2017 team must feel today. It’s almost humbling as a Georgia fan.
Is there anything more inevitable than Phil Fulmer reaching out to Les Miles?
Enjoy the coming future, Vol fans.
The hammers came out quickly last night.
When you’re jonesing for playoff expansion, everything’s a nail.
The problem is that this isn’t 2004, where a third undefeated team found itself on the outside of the BCS, looking in. (Four, if you want to include Utah.) It isn’t 2007, when it seemed like six or seven teams had a legitimate argument to be included in the national title conversation. 2017 is a debate over which of two flawed teams should be added to a field of three obvious choices.
An argument that this season is justification for an eight-team playoff is an argument that either nobody can figure out a way to choose the four best teams correctly or that choosing the four best teams simply isn’t that important. The first of those two options is a fan’s argument. (Ultimately, it’s a flawed one.) The second one is a conference commissioner’s.
As somebody who believes that a sport’s postseason exists first of all to make money for its owners, I expect the only part of today’s debate that’s going to stick with Larry Scott, Jim Delany and Greg Sankey is that one of their conference members is going to be excluded from the playoff. That there is an easy solution to that problem is not beyond their mental grasp. Or other grasp.
Jerry Hinnen has a more nuanced take.
Jerry’s an Auburn fan, so he’s got a scar from the 2004 experience and that’s understandable. I don’t have ten thousand words to spare on the topic (or a typewriter, for that matter), but I do have something of a rebuttal.
Quite simply, while I won’t argue that the BCS was better than what we’ve got now, I don’t think it was worse. If you come from the twin perspective that picking the best teams is the whole purpose to the postseason — conveniently, I’m not a school — and that college football’s primary purpose should be to preserve its most unique feature, the importance of the regular season in determining its champion, then I have a hard time seeing that an argument over two versus three is inferior to an argument over four versus five.
The reality that there are enough seasons when there are more than two teams who can make a legitimate argument to be included in consideration for a national title that I can accept the current CFP format. I’m not sure that counts as an improvement, though.
What I can say isn’t an improvement will be the move to an eight-team playoff field, and I deliberately use “will” instead of “would” there because it feels inevitable. The eight versus nine argument that will accompany another round of playoff games will be as depressing as it will be irrelevant, unless you’re really into Cinderellas. Or more playoff revenue.
When that day comes, maybe I’ll challenge Jerry to write 10,000 words on that topic.
Hell, who are we kidding? There’s no dilemma. The WWL is having multiple corporate orgasms over the Alabama-Ohio State debate. There have been weeks of meaningless selection committee rankings shows and now the network has Saban and Meyer sniping at each other.
Mickey’s only regret is that the debate can’t be dragged out another week, although for the next few days at least there’s the consolation prize of being able to second-guess the selection committee’s choice for fourth. Hey, it beats dealing with Clay Travis on social media.
Let me preface this by saying two things:
- I don’t have a dog in this hunt; and
- I’ve thought for a few weeks now that Ohio State would wind up in the committee’s fourth slot. Urban Meyer has found the secret sauce for inclusion, playing a just tough enough schedule and beating the crap out of as many of its opponents as it can to overlook whatever shortcomings crop up along the way.
This is going to be the second straight year that the committee is going to break a precedent, no matter which way it goes. Last season, the selection of the Buckeyes was the death knell to conference championships matter. (A decision which, I think, was absolutely correct if the goal is really to pick the four best teams.)
This year, go with Ohio State, and the committee is bringing the first two-loss team to the party. And those two losses weren’t squeakers to quality teams, either. That, in turn, would also mean if Ohio State plays in the semis, it would mark the first time a team with a loss of more than fifteen points makes the field.
But Alabama’s inclusion would set a precedent, too: it would be the first time two teams from the same conference finished in the playoff field. That would mean the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs would be shut out of the playoffs. I’m sure that’s something that’s of no significance to the committee. [Narrator’s voice: it is.]
As much as I think that last point is a concern for the committee, even though the past isn’t supposed to matter, I have a sneaky suspicion that last year’s Clemson-Ohio State blow out is in the back of its mind, too. In the end, though, I think OSU’s metrics and the argument that last year’s meeting can’t be allowed to matter gets the Buckeyes over the finish line ahead of the Tide.
Not that I think that’s the way to go. To me, there’s actually an easy test for the committee to decide which team should get the fourth spot. Clemson is going to be number one, so ask yourself a simple question: which team is most likely to give the Tigers the best fight? If it were my money at stake, that team would be Alabama.