The course of a college football season can be described as a lot of different things, ultimately depending on the person, and in large part, the region of the country that they come from. In the vast majority of the country it’s seen merely as something to watch on a Saturday, and for the most part it pales in comparison to professional sports. For example, in New England, CFB is practically non-existent and ranks behind high school JV hockey. However, all one has to do is cross the Mason Dixon Line to see that in the south, it’s more than just a sport, it’s a religion.
Each state has their various different denominations that their followers loudly and proudly profess their loyalty and their faith to. For us, Saturday is very much a day of congregation and worship. We gather in masses, don the colors and the emblems of our faith, and worship at the altar of college football. We make pilgrimage from thousands of miles to various temples around the south, to witness our team fight in a modern day crusade; a never ending war to see which denomination rules the land.
In light of this week’s college football playoff rankings, I couldn’t help but ask myself something. In this war that we call college football, will the 4 best pound for pound teams truly get the opportunity to square off and do battle in the final fight? So here’s a question you can ask your co-workers at the water cooler. If the playoff were tomorrow, and if the current rankings were final, despite that which team would you feel was most deserving?
Which team in the playoff top 25 has the most wins over current top 25 opponents? Alabama? Though they are best team in the country, they only have one. Florida State and Oregon? They only have two a piece. Mississippi State, Ohio State and TCU? They also each only have one. The correct answer to the water cooler challenge may come as a surprise to most, but the team that has beat the most current top 25 opponents is the denomination from Athens. The tribe of people who worship the idol of the Bulldog; the University of Georgia.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Hold up Jones, you sound like a homer and they’ve lost 2 games.” You would be correct in such a statement, I’m so much a homer that my last name might as well be Simpson. And yes, the Dawgs have lost two games. But in the course of a campaign losing a few battles doesn’t mean an army isn’t fit to triumph victorious in the end. When a team and a tribe of people bring their best, throughout history they have proven that, though they may have been defeated in a few battles, they are still capable of winning the war. One only has to look at our own US History too know the merits of such a statement. In the Revolutionary War the colonies were soundly beaten at Long Island and Camden, but still emerged victorious in the long run. In a rematch verse the Brits several years later in the War of 1812, our boys in Blue were annihilated at Bladensburg and even let Washington DC burn to the ground, but they still emerged triumphant, and they still won the war.
In the Dawgs three victories against playoff top 25 opponents, they not only have won those battles, they have completely annihilated their enemy. In wins over Clemson, Auburn and Missouri, the Dawgs have won by a total score of 113-28. I’ll repeat that in case that statement didn’t quite register. The Dawgs have taken all three opponents behind the wood shed, made them call us Daddy and had their way with them to the tune of 113-28. Having been in the stands for both the South Carolina and Florida games, I have seen this team at its worst. South Carolina was a nightmare, and thanks to that experience, “Sandstorm” has now taken the top spot over “Rocky Top” on my list of songs that make me want to stab somebody. Congrats SC, for this guy you’ve assumed the literal meaning of what it means to be a “cock”.
As for Florida, that game will haunt me for the rest of my days. I haven’t witnessed a beat down that bad since Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez and the boys from the Sandlot rode across town and the Great Hambino professed that the opposing team “Played ball like a girl!” (If you don’t get that reference please seek immediate help from a psychiatrist and call 9-1-1, because your childhood was officially robbed from you). Though those loses were ugly, even nightmarish, I was also in the stands for both Clemson and Auburn. The team I saw play both of those games was not only the best team on the field each of those nights, but an argument can be made that both of those performances showed that when this team is on, there are only a hand full of teams that could hang with them.
The Dawgs have proven that when they play with their ‘A’ game, there isn’t a team in the country that they can’t beat, and beat soundly. Given the fact that
if when they beat Tech (They’ve taken up permanent residence in the Dawgs wood shed BTW), and if they emerge victorious in the SEC championship game, that will potentially be 5 victories against current playoff top 25 teams, and more than any other team in the country.
Now I’m not on the committee and I don’t know what their true criteria is as to whom they select, but if a two loss Dawgs team can beat competition of that caliber, then in no way, shape or form can they, in good conscious, say that they aren’t deserving to be one of the four finalists in this year’s inaugural playoff. At that point, it’s simple math in my eyes. Their 5 top 25 wins, minus their 2 unranked loses, still gives us 3 quality wins versus top 25 opponents. And if you can look me straight in the eyes and say that the winner of the SEC doesn’t deserve an automatic bid to the playoffs, then please leave the number of your dealer in the comments section, because I have absolutely have got to get my hands on whatever you are smoking!
It’s a tough road ahead and a lot of things have to go our way (Lose Mizzou, for the love of all that’s good and holy, please lose). But in this crusade and this war we call college football, though twice defeated, these Dawgs ain’t out of the fight. Gurley or no Gurley, these Bulldogs have proven that at their best, there isn’t an opponent they can’t defeat. They have proven that they can handle adversity both on and off the field, and they have proven that they are very much capable of winning this fight.
So members of the Bulldog Nation, know that with a little luck and two more key victories, prepare yourselves for a pilgrimage. First stop Atlanta, and then it’s on to the Mecca of College football, the inaugural playoffs. For in this crusade, the denomination of the Dawg may very well be victorious in this war.
Keep the faith and in the words of Rack Em Willie…”When you beat the Georgia Bulldogs, you gonna feel the bulldog bite!”
Jonesy, AKA Homer Simpson