Skip to main content

Alabama Loses, America Wins, Georgia Savors Sweet Title Glory

NCAA Men's Football Championship game ends with the Georgia Bulldogs winning a title.

Monday night the Georgia Bulldogs put up a 20-point fourth quarter to win the national title, besting the juggernaut Alabama Crimson Tide, by a final of 33-18. 

It was Georgia's first national championship since 1980. The SEC showdown featured a Heisman Trophy winner who was on his heels all night, an elite Georgia defense, and a classic southern rivalry reignited.

Classic Southern Rivalry

These two teams are a legendary rivalry. The 2022 National championship game saw the latest meeting between Georgia and Alabama that goes back to 1895. The name of Georgia's coach at the time? Pop Warner. The SEC was established 37 years later in 1932, and it included 13 schools. ABC's first national college football broadcast featured Georgia and Alabama, and that aired in 1960. From 1971-82, these two teams absolutely dominated the SEC. For 12 straight seasons, either Georgia or Alabama won the SEC. 'Bama won nine SEC titles and three national championships, and the Bulldogs won four conference championships and the 1980 national title. 

The most memorable, at least recently, 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship featured these two teams. Georgia was killing Alabama early, leading 13-0 at the half. In the second half, Alabama head coach Nick Saban replaced his star QB, Jalen Hurts, with freshman Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa rejuvenated Bama's offense and led them to a 20-20 tie at the end of regulation. Georgia got the ball first in overtime and kicked a field goal. Georgia then sacked Tagovailoa on the first play of Alabama's possession for a 16-yard loss. This felt like the end. Tagovailoa then got up and tossed a miracle 41-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith to win the game. 2022 was Georgia's therapy for a lot of heartbreak, especially in 2018.

2022

Heisman winner Bryce Young threw for 369 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions into Georgia's elite defense. This included a poorly underthrown pass for a 79-yard pick 6 that sealed the game for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Stetson Bennett, the quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, is a former walk-on and was completely doubted for his ability to lead a team. Bennett did not play a perfect game, but he played perfectly when it mattered. He went 17/26 on completions with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He threw an absolute dime to Adonai Mitchell that started the Bulldogs 4th quarter comeback.

This video of Bennett crying after the game was in hand is a beautiful shot. We should encourage more displays of emotion from young people and athletes.

Roll Tide...Down River

People love to hate the Yankees. The New England Patriots. The Lakers. The Celtics. Unfortunately, teams that win a lot are easy to hate. Crimson Tide is no exception with their 18 (recognized) national titles. Names like Nick Saban are up there with hated names like George Steinbrenner and Bill Belichik.

I spent 14 years living in Tennessee. I can tell you as an unbiased college football observer (I don't root for a team) that Alabama fans travel in packs whose sizes are only matched by their undeserved fandom. I have heard people shout "roll tide" at completely inappropriate times: a bar during a song that has no ties to Alabama, games featuring two teams who aren't Alabama or from Alabama, even a freaking library. I won't make Alabama fan jokes, however. Those are typically cheap southern stereotypes. Alabama fans spark enough ire that those jokes aren't just rude, they're unnecessary. 

Alabama is firmly a part of the echelon of teams we so love to hate. When the Patriots lose, people rejoice. When the Yankees lose, people rejoice. It's time again to rejoice. 

As so many can attest, when Alabama loses, America wins.