UGA wins back-to-back National Championships

Skyla Morris, Contributing Writer

The new kings of college football are not backing down anytime soon. It has been nearly four weeks since the Dawgs claimed their second consecutive national title with a 65-7 wipeout over the TCU Horned Frogs. 

With the thrilling events of this night at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs made history by being the first team to claim back-to-back titles since the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2011 and 2012. They have also become the first team to win two consecutive championships within the College Football Playoff era. A new college football dynasty has been born.

Due to the absence of a college football program here at GC, many Bobcats are proud to call themselves fans of the back-to-back reigning national champs. It was truly a night to remember in Athens, as well as in Milledgeville, and it brought a variety of opinions from fans throughout campus.

“It was great to see that without our first-string players on the field, we could dominate,” said senior Caroline Beck, an early childhood education major. 

Beck has been a devoted fan of the 15-0 Bulldogs for about eight years. She was very content with how this season unfolded but was not too fond of some of the performances. 

“I think there were a few moments where all of us were kind of disappointed, like Kent State,” Beck said. “That was awful, but we came back.” Like many Dawg fans, Beck is proud to see her team again on the throne. 

“It feels great on the top. I’ve been trash-talking for a few years, so I’m glad the Dawgs could back me up on that,” Beck said. “I am looking forward to the three-peat, and I am looking forward to going to more games in person.” 

With her excitement about next season, she hopes to see quarterback Carson Beck in action as the starter. 

The Dawgs claimed their crown once again with many exhilarating plays. Stetson Bennett ended his college football career with a bang via a total of six touchdowns, four of which were passing, while the other two were rushing TDs. TCU’s Duggan made an extensive impact in this game. He scored a rushing touchdown within the first quarter, he then threw two interceptions in the second. Both of those passes were picked off by Milledgeville native and Baldwin High School alumnus Javon Bullard. 

Senior geography major Michael Newcomer was impressed with what he saw in the Bulldogs this year. “I think it was a good season,” Newcomer said. “I did not think they played many challenging teams, but when they blew out Tennessee, I kind of knew it would be them in the playoffs.”

Given their performance of their 42-41 nailbiter victory over Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Newcomer did not doubt that Georgia would “run away with” another national championship in their hands. 

Regardless of their knockout of a game, viewership hit an all-time low, averaging only 17.2 million viewers. According to Yahoo Sports, this statistic labels the game as “the least-watched title” within the CFP and BCS era. The Dawgs’ prior national title, which resulted in a 33-18 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide, exceeded this year’s viewership with a total of 20.7 million people tuned in. 

As a native of Michigan, sophomore education major Erin Kudla finds the football-driven atmosphere of Georgia to be very different from her home state and has only recently become invested in Georgia football. 

She recalled her favorite play of the game to be wide receiver Ladd McConkey’s explosive 37-yard touchdown late in the first quarter. 

“[McConkey] was completely open,” Kudla said. “The TCU guy should have been coming [to cover him] and did not, and they scored the touchdown and then jumped up and down. It was cute.”

With the ongoing hype over the Dawgs’ chances for success next season, Kudla believes that a third consecutive title is highly unlikely. 

“I think, eventually, [winning back-to-back] is going to get to their heads,” Kudla said. 

The strikingly different game statistics are further proof that the Dawgs truly demolished TCU. According to ESPN’s game summary, Georgia’s offense lit up the night with 589 total yards, while the Horned Frogs only gained 188. The Bulldogs recorded a total of 32 first downs, while TCU only gained nine. 

As the season has come to an end, a majority of the key players have parted ways with the team. Stetson Bennett capped off his sixth season with this game and will head to the NFL Draft. Other key players, such as cornerback Kelee Ringo and defensive tackle Jalen Carter, have announced their departure in preparation for the 2023 NFL Draft. Wide receiver Adonai Mitchell transferred to Texas a few weeks after the season concluded. 

With many talented players leaving, it is uncertain how next season will look for Dawg Nation. But the return of key players, such as running back Kendall Milton, center Sedrick Van-Pran Granger and wide receiver Ladd McConkey, brings hope to many fans. The Dawgs will be back in action on Sept. 2 as they face off against UT Martin at home in Sanford Stadium.