The Georgia Bulldogs will play the Nebraska Cornhuskers on New Year’s Day in the 2013 Capital One Bowl. It will be a big game to show the heart of this football team, particularly the will of Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray.
According to ESPN, the junior quarterback has had issues sleeping since the heartbreaking loss in the SEC Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Like many Georgia fans across the country, Murray replays the final drive over in his head before resting his eyes and it keeps him awake for hours at a time.
So what will this game against the Cornhuskers do for Murray and his legacy?
Well, it will quickly get the bad taste out of everybody's mouth. The loss against the Crimson Tide is not going to go away anytime soon, but it will at least give Murray and Bulldog fans something to remember on the positive side of things.
At this point, anything is better than watching the clock expire and having no timeouts to stop the darn thing.
As for his legacy as a whole, it is difficult seeing a victory over Nebraska changing anything everybody doesn't already know. Anybody that pays attention to college football knows Murray is a good quarterback and puts up remarkable numbers. We know he is a future NFL prospect and has the ability to be the first quarterback taken in the 2014 NFL draft.
Sure, he has struggled like anything we have ever seen against ranked opponents. He has lost his first two bowl appearances in his career and Georgia is 3-10 against ranked teams since he took over as a starter back in 2010.
But a victory over Nebraska isn't going to make all of that go away.
The Cornhuskers lost to UCLA and surrendered a combined 133 points in losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin. These aren't world beaters that Georgia will be playing in January. The defense is below-average and the offense is about as one-dimensional as you can get, with quarterback Taylor Martinez running the ball 175 times.
Would a victory in the Capital One Bowl change your opinion on Murray?
Georgia should not only beat Nebraska, but should end up making a statement after a collapse in the SEC title game. This game would be more about the Bulldogs as an overall team than it will be about Murray and his struggles against quality opponents.
If Murray really wants to make an impact on Georgia and leave his mark, he will return for his senior season and try to complete unfinished business. He does have the option to declare eligible after this game, but would be waiting for a while to hear his name called with Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson graduating.
The last time Georgia won a national championship was in 1980, but this isn't a program that is going to feel satisfied with a Capital One Bowl victory. Something like this may work for a school such as Buffalo or Temple, but the Bulldogs are going to continue to strive for the ultimate prize.
Murray and his team have a chance to get back to the big game next season. A victory in the SEC Championship would then cement his legacy as one of the best to play the position in Georgia history.
Until then, there is nothing Murray can do but wait.