TCU running back Emari Demercado (3) races past Michigan defense back Rod Moore (19). (Courtesy of TCU Athletics)
By Nathan Fox
The conclusion of the 2022-23 NCAA football season delivered a stunning array of highlights, emotions and epic moments.
On a chilly January night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 65-7.
To call this a rout would be an understatement. In fact, Georgia set several records in the process. The most impressive of which include most points and largest point margin in a Bowl Championship Series or College Football Playoff title game. Stetson Bennett became the first walk-on, starting quarterback to win back-to-back titles. This type of record-breaking win is more than special. This type of win lands this Bulldog team in the realm of the truly legendary.
Before the 2022-23 season even started, the Associated Press’ Top 25 had Ohio State ranked second, Georgia third and Michigan sixth. TCU didn’t even appear in the list.
TCU met every Big XII opponent head on throughout the season, winning every game. However, just one field goal in an overtime game against Kansas State cost them the Big XII championship, but they were still able to secure their spot in the CFP, despite losing their conference title.
But the odds certainly favored TCU for the majority of their semi-final game against Michigan. As TCU defeated Michigan 51-45, the Horned Frogs came out on top in almost all statistical categories. Their strength was their rushing attack, which netted them 6.4 yards per rush on 41 attempts. Each team threw for two passing touchdowns and threw two interceptions.
Similarly, Georgia had a completely dominant season, going undefeated. They beat LSU 50-30 easily in the Southeastern Conference title game.
Not completely untouchable, the Bulldogs did show signs of mortality in their semi-final matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Bulldogs only led once during the course of the first half before going on to win the game. By the end of the third quarter, the Buckeyes were up 38-24. Slowly, Georgia began chipping away at the two-touchdown lead. Halfway through the final quarter, the score was 38-35 as the Bulldogs nearly caught up to the relentless Buckeye offense.
The Buckeyes could only manage to score a field goal on their ensuing possession, leaving time on the clock for a miraculous victory for the Bulldogs. The final score was 42-41. The Bulldogs scored in the final minute of the game, all but sealing their victory and advancing them to the CFP national championship game.
The record-setting performance from the Georgia Bulldogs made for an impressive show during the championship game, but as a viewer, it can be easy to lose interest during a blowout of this magnitude. What the Bulldogs were able to do is nothing short of absolutely stellar in every way imaginable. Their dominance and superiority will be hard to match, but winning two back-to-back national titles definitely puts a huge target on the backs of every player wearing a Georgia football uniform.
While another national title is not guaranteed for the Bulldogs, the path that leads to one will sure be something to watch.