As the college football season takes a breath between the regular season and playoff play, the Georgia Football program is in the midst of a season of firsts.
Cautious optimism? Ebullient unbelief? Incredulous anticipation? Any of these things might be used to describe fans of the University of Georgia Football program and their current state of mind and/or emotion. The Georgia Bulldogs finished the season (12-1) and are the 2017 SEC Champions. With a Rose Bowl appearance a matter of weeks away, and with it a chance to play for a National Championship, it would behoove us to repose, rewind, and reflect on what has been truly a season of firsts.
First among the firsts for these Georgia Bulldogs is that aforementioned Rose Bowl appearance. Yes, it is true that UGA played in that prestigious game in 1943, and won, but this will be the first time in the modern college football era. It is certainly the first time since Conference Champions were aligned with specific bowls. To put it bluntly, it will be the first time anyone has ever watched the Georgia Bulldogs play football at The Rose Bowl on television.
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With the Rose Bowl appearance, it will be the first time Georgia Football has appeared in the College Football Playoffs. No small feat for a coach in his 2nd year. With Alabama, FSU, and Clemson all having made appearances in the CFP, and being regional recruiting rivals, it’s a big deal.
Georgia wouldn’t have been there if not for their 13th SEC Championship in program history. That’s not a first. But being led to an SEC Championship by a True Freshman Quarterback is a first. The great Herschel Walker led them there as a Freshman RB, but no QB has done it.
In fact, were UGA to win it all, Jake Fromm will be only the 2nd True Freshman QB to lead his team to a National Title in the modern era. The first, and only, thus far, to do it was Jammelle Holieway. You know who he played for? That’s right. Oklahoma.
Speaking of Oklahoma, Georgia’s match-up with them in the Rose Bowl will be the first time those two teams have ever played each other in football. That makes no sense. But the football gods are funny that way. Here we are.
Did you know that Roquan Daevon Smith, Georgia native from Montezuma, is the first ever winner of the Butkis Award from the University of Georgia? With all of the great, and legendary, Defensive players to come out of that program, Mr. Smith is the first. And by the way, we call him Mr. Smith now, because he is nasty.
This was the first time the Georgia Football team, since the SEC split into divisions in 1992, won every divisional game. That’s both ignominious and consequential at the same time.
It was the first time UGA traveled to play football at Notre Dame. Also, the first time they won there.
The thing is that there are many more firsts from this season. Most assuredly, there will be many more to come. Those boys aren’t done yet.
But in a season where so much happened, and much of it good, and with more to go, taking a brief second to look back and pause can give perspective.
The problem is nobody really has perspective. Nobody has ever seen these things happen before.