This is a fun time of year anyway, with holidays and parties and food and cool, wistful fall weather.
But it’s even more fun when your team does well – and few college football teams in the nation have done as well as the Georgia Bulldogs.
Having captured their first Southeastern Conference title since 2005 with a runway win against Auburn last Saturday, in only Coach Kirby Smart’s second year, the 12-1 Dawgs now are in the football Final Four with a New Year’s Day date against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl – and a chance to play for its first national championship since 1980.
National broadcaster Brad Nessler called Georgia’s win against Auburn – avenging the Dawgs’ only loss of the season – the school’s biggest game in decades. He’s right. Now, the next one will be too.
It was a controversial call to hire Smart, a former UGA defensive back, and to fire former coach Mark Richt, who immediately landed at his own alma mater, Miami. But it appears to have worked out swimmingly for both, as Richt took Miami to a 10-2 record this year and the threshold of a Final Four berth.
The amalgamation of Richt’s and Kirby’s recruits has become a special squad indeed – featuring some of the best running backs in the sport, freshman phenom QB Jake Fromm, and the nation’s top linebacker in 2017 Butkus Award-winner Roquan Smith.
Win or lose on New Year’s, it’s already been a terrific “old” year.