I, like many fans, have a love/hate relationship with college football. I love it because it is the greatest sport on the planet. There is nothing like a Saturday during the college football season.
At the same time, there is nothing as frustrating than the fact that there is rarely a clear-cut national champion. The BCS system rewards the most popular teams regardless of resume and then waits a month before the two rusty teams battle in a one-game playoff.
This system has been beneficial for my beloved SEC, who has now won six straight national championships and seven of the last nine. During that span, four different schools have won the national championship including Alabama (twice), Auburn (once), Florida (twice) and LSU (twice).
A notable name is missing from that list, and it is the University of Georgia.
Despite not winning a national championship since 1980, the Bulldogs have been close multiple times under head coach Mark Richt, but the stars have never aligned in their favor the way they have for the other teams.
Out of the seven mentioned BCS National Championships recently won, five have won the championship with one or more losses.
The difference in those teams and the 2002 Georgia Bulldogs team was luck. Had two other BCS schools gone undefeated like Miami and Ohio State, the SEC streak would be over. Once you lose a game, even if you win the SEC, you need help.
Those four schools have received it; Georgia has not.
Then consider the 2007 team. Yes, it finished with two losses, but that was not the reason they were left out of the national championship game. The voters left out the Bulldogs because they did not play in their conference championship. Fast forward four seasons, and Alabama wins the national championship without winning their conference championship.
Alabama was the recipient of a pass that the Bulldogs did not get.
In 2008, UGA started the season as the preseason No.1 but only finished 10th. What non-Bulldog fans forget is that Georgia lost 17 players to season-ending injuries. One freak injury after another killed what could have been the championship run.
Now in 2012 the Bulldogs have a team talented enough to win a national championship. LSU, Alabama and Arkansas are all loaded with talent. However, this season UGA has the advantage of having talent and experience.
The Bulldogs will be led by their stout defense that was ranked in the top five last season. They return 10 players with starting experience, and in year three of Todd Grantham’s system, they should battle LSU for the nations best.
They have Aaron Murray back on offense as a third-year starter and far and away the most experienced quarterback in the SEC. Moreover, they have every skill position player back on offense including their top six wide receivers.
For the first time in four seasons, the Bulldogs should have great depth at running back, and this should lead to a more consistent passing game.
Depth at offensive line and defensive back is an area for concern, but all teams have a few.
The schedule is lined in their favor this season, and they have experience in abundance. However, every team needs a little luck to win a national championship.
Will the cards finally fall in Georgia’s favor? We will soon find out.