From the Press Box
Posted on Dec 1, 2012 by Murray Poole |
Well, this is it. In a little four hours or so, the fans of the Georgia Bulldogs could be the happiest they’ve been in 30 years, since back in 1982 when the then 11-0 Bulldogs got to go against Penn State in the Sugar Bowl in a battle for the national championship.
Or, conversely, Georgia fans could find themselves in a state of despair, their team having lost still another monumental game and seeing another golden opportunity go by the boards.
Of course, unless you’re living on another planet or have absolutely no interest in football and the world of sports, you know it’s Georgia vs. mighty Alabama today here in the Georgia Dome. And you also know the winner in this game between the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 3-ranked Bulldogs will not only be the 2012 champions of the Southeastern Conference but will also earn a chance to play for the big prize – the BCS National Championship on Jan. 7 of the New Year in Miami.
Despite not many folks on the national collegiate scene giving Georgia a chance to take down Nick Saban’s defending national champions, the Bulldawg Nation knows differently. Georgia fans have watched this football team come on like gangbusters ever since a shaky win in Lexington, Ky. They’ve watched their team demolish the Florida Gators. They’ve watched their team play lights-out defense since senior safety called his teammates out for being “soft.” And they’ve watched Mike Bobo’s offense become so prolific down the stretch it has established new school records for scoring and touchdowns.
So the Bulldog faithful know full well that Georgia can play with an Alabama team that, like the Bulldogs, enter the Dome with an 11-1 season record. Now, though, can Georgia validate its fans’ optimism, take the fight to Bama from the opening whistle and go on to defeat a coach who doesn’t taste defeat that often?
All around the Dome in the hours leading up to kickoff, you could feel the sense of excitement and anticipation in the air as the crimson-clad Alabama fans yelled “Roll Tide!” and the Bulldog faithful came right back at them with “Go Dawgs!” On Friday, as they allowed the media to watch 15 minutes or so of both the Tide and Bulldogs having their walk-through on the Dome playing field and do a few light drills, you could visually see the confidence and yes, a bit of cockiness, too, that the Alabama players were displaying. And, after all, they are the defending champions of college football and earned the right to think they’re better than anyone else around … including the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Crimson Tide skill players and kickers just came onto the field for warm-ups and there was a big roar as the Alabama band struck up the famous fight song, “Yea Alabama.” It will be interesting to see which fan base is the loudest as the game begins. Yes, the UGA campus is only some 70 miles away from the ATL but many think there will be just as many Tide people in the Dome today as fans of the Red and Black.
And, yes, the Bulldog skill players just came out for early preparation and I would think the noise from the crowd was maybe a little bit louder than Alabama’s greeting a few minutes ago.
Bottom line, as the just-after-4 kickoff creeps ever closer, I picked these Bulldogs to make it to Miami back in the August preseason, and I’m not going to change horses now. It’s Georgia to slay these giant elephants from the West, say by 21-17 in a defense-controlled affair.
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