(Photos: Dylan Wilson, georgiadogs.com; AP)
"THE GREATEST COLLEGE GAME EVER PLAYED"
THE TEAMS -
2: Undefeated seasons since 1980, THE GREATEST COLLEGE GAME EVER PLAYED participants (Notre Dame 88, USC 04)
3: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia - (UGA 80, Auburn 93, 04)
57-19 (.750): TGCGEP participants, Cumulative record, last three years.
64-15 (.810): Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia.
3: Consecutive conference titles, TGCGEP participants.
3: Consecutive conference championship game appearances, Auburn-Georgia
108: Auburn-Georgia games.
0: Current SEC teams with more meetings.
1: Difference in series’ all-time point totals
THE GAME -
565: Total passing yards, TGCGEP (2004 Heisman Winner 301, Presumptive
2006 Heisman Winner 264)
586: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia (DJ Shockley 303, Brian Cox 283)
328: Total rushing yards, TGCGEP.
373: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia.
160: Leading rusher, TGCGEP, (2005 Heisman Winner)
181: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia (Auburn’s Kevin Irons)
61: Length, in yards, of do-or-die, 4th down pass pulled off by visiting team to
set up winning points, TGCGEP.
64: LSame stat, Auburn Georgia.
9: Do-or-die 4th-and-____, TGCGEP
10: Do-or-die 4th-and-____, Auburn-Georgia.
13: Own yardline home team defense stopped Do-or-die passplay on, TGCGEP.
3: Same state, Auburn-Georgia.
7: Seconds left when winning points scored, TGCGEP.
8: Same stat, Auburn-Georgia.
11: Punts, TGCGEP.
11: Punts, Auburn-Georgia.
1: 100-yd receivers, TGCGEP (Dwayne Jarrett, 101)
3: Same stat, Auburn-Georgia (Auburn’s D. Aromashodu, 137; UGA’s
Massaquoi 108 and Leonard Pope, 102)
1: Field goals missed, TGCGEP.
0: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia.
1: Non-offensive TDs, TGCGEP.
1: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia.
7: Lead Swaps, TGCGEP.
9: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia.
3: Winning margin, TGCGEP.
1: Same Stat, Auburn-Georgia.
Average height of grass, Auburn-Georgia, in inches: 1
Average height of grass, TGCGEP in inches: gimme a break….
THE FALLOUT -
3: Number of plays from college games included in that night’s
SportsCenters' “Top 10 Plays of the Day."
1: Number of college football fan-contest gimmicks on “Top 10."
0: Number of UGA-AU plays in “Top 10."
Maybe it was just that we saw “Good Night and Good Luck” last night
after the game, but I find myself uncomfortably drawn to the to the eternal paranoids of the SEC: for once, someone is actually out
to get them.
Take a look around – anyone calling yesterday’s Auburn-Georgia game
the Greatest Game Ever Played? I’ll even take a sighting of an
Pat Forde at ESPN gave it a ride, but he stopped short of even
comparing it to the Northern Indiana Affair.
And I bring it up only because absolutely EVER’Damn’BODY broke their
thesauraus in a rush to declare the Northern Indiana Affair as the
OU-Nebraska’74 of our time.
And now, a month later, UGA-AU was a better game, no contest.
The defeaning silence is louder than just a media-wide failure to
re-open the all-time Great Games lists. What the highlight shows DID
show us was plenty of LSU-Alabama, which, CBS will confirm, was an SEC
game. OK. That was a close game with – if you squint – slightly more
post-season bearing than UGA-AU. But it was soul-crushingly boring.
Tell the studio guys to ease up. We get it - THEY PLAY GOOD D! But I
know enough to spot two truly hopeless offenses when I see them, and
that was them.
But, of course, Gameday was AT Bama. And the rest of the national
media was either there or at… SC-Cal or something. Possibly watching
a “Bowden Bowl.”
(PS – number of plays it took for me to watch before an FSU QB threw
an interception: 2. Chris Rix, that was for you).
UGA-Auburn got down with Ron Franklin and whoever else stayed up til
11:30 ET to catch it. Which, apparently, was nobody.
How about astericks and caveats? Which game SHOULD have been better? Well, SC would have won by 20 if Dwayne Jarrett had caught ANYTHING prior to That Catch (I counted seven – SEVEN – cold drops). And Leinart had a concussion. And the whole
grass thing (lousy cheaters...).
USC arguably choked in that game, and grabbed it back when ND choked harder. And THAT'S the Greatest Game Ever Played?
Other than that, it was top-tier football.
There are no astericks, caveats or “yeah, buts-“ on UGA-Auburn. Both
teams, with healthy rosters, played flawlessly for every snap, except for UGA's dreary recievers. But that's not a choke - that's an UGA reciever. The Dawgs would
have probably played in two national title games this decade if their
receivers could hang onto key passes in big spots. An UGA drop in the
endzone is not a choke – it’s an UGA receiver earning his scholarship.
I certainly won't pick a winner from among them. It's just
disturbing that no one seems to think it was a race.