The #3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs departed for Pasadena, California on Tuesday. What that team, and their fans, are looking at is a completely new kind of New Year.
Talking to Dawg Nation, these last few weeks, you’d almost not know that there is a massive game a few short days away. Conversation, and rightfully so, has centered on a historic recruiting day for the Georgia Football program. You can’t dismiss it. It portends a near future of national relevancy. But the games are what matter. And 2018 New Year’s Day will be one unlike anything this team, and their fans, have ever experienced.
To play in The Rose Bowl is to play in a location and a game that has a certain gravity. It carries weight. Leaving aside the playoff implications, for an SEC team to win that game would be an accomplishment not dismissed easily.
The fans going to the game, unless they were old enough to remember 1942, and had the pleasure of being there, are going to see something never seen. Much like Notre Dame in September, it is a first for everyone involved.
More from ATL All Day
- Atlanta Braves: Felix Has Already Shown Enough to Win a Rotation Spot
- Atlanta Braves Implode Late To Phillies, Cole Hamels Remains Sidelined
- Kyle Wright Shines As Folty Struggles In Atlanta Braves Loss To Red Sox
- Atlanta Hawks Sweep Back-to-Back Games Over Weekend
- Atlanta Braves: Grapefruit League Play Check Up
But once you remove pageantry, you are left with opportunity. The opportunity that lays directly in front of the Georgia Football program is one that hasn’t come often, and that, too, carries weight.
Much of the college football world still looks askance at this UGA team. An Offense that is seen as simple, a Defense that is looking to make a statement, and an unheralded Special Teams unit, go into this situation to make names and become legends in Georgia lore.
Without going into the schematics and strengths vs weaknesses deal, reality is everybody is intrigued by this game because nobody really knows how it will go down. They have suspicions. Some have data. But nobody really has a clue.
A win in a game like that is a statement. A win in this game against a very good Big 12 Champion is statement. A playoff win affords a chance at a National Championship.
Many look at the 2012 SEC Championship Game as a De Facto Semi-Final game before the College Football Playoff was incarnated. They came up short. Georgia is now in the definitive Semi-Final game. The winner goes. It is decided.
New Year’s Eve is always fun. But my guess is that most of Dawg Nation will be looking to New Year’s Day at 5 PM EDT. That’s when the party begins. It’s a new kind of New Year’s.