The Orange Bowl was not a traditional college bowl game in 2023. It was a game between two programs that had something to prove. The 13-0 Florida State Seminoles were snubbed from the playoffs for the National Championship of college football. They were the undefeated champions of the ACC, which many feel is a conference below the level of the SEC and Big 10. After tonight’s game, these people have a lot of data to prove their theory. The Georgia Bull Dogs had not lost a game in two years until the Alabama Crimson Tide took them down in the SEC Championship. That one loss kept them out of the playoff tourney and relegated them to play FSU on New Year’s weekend. There would be no three-peat in 2023 for the Dawgs, who had not lost a game in over two years but were denied a shot at the championship when they lost to the Tide. Maybe it’s not fair, but it’s inevitable when you let partisan people decide the fate of these future NFL athletes. Yes, these Dawgs had much to prove and their egos to mollify as the FSU mascot raced onto the field and planted a flaming spear into the fifty-yard line. That was the last moment to cheer for Seminole fans, as their heroes in Garnet and Gold were no match for their counterparts from Georgia. This game was ugly, and even friends and family switched the channel before the two-minute warning,
There was a big difference between the make-up of the two teams that met today for bragging rights and pride. Because of injuries, the Noles were down to their third-string QB, but as many as twelve key players opted not to play for an undefeated record. These players chose to protect their bodies for the upcoming NFL Draft. Rather than putting on the uniform and playing for the pride of the school that had allowed them to showcase their talents, they sat it out, and thus, their team was embarrassed in the final game of 2023.
In contrast, Carson Beck, the Quarterback for the Georgia Bull Dogs, not only played in the Orange Bowl but has opted not to go for the cash of the NFL but to return to Athens, Georgia, for his Senior year to win another National Championship for his school and, hopefully, a Heisman Trophy for himself. That difference in commitment and pride has brought back-to-back championships to Georgia, and that is why Florida may never rise to that level again.
The 2023 Orange Bowl had no impact on college football’s National Championship but was a microcosm of life. Those who put themselves above their teammates may have a big payday but may never know the feeling of winning a championship. Those who put their team above themselves will always be champions. The Orange Bowl was only a game, but I bet the players will have very different memories to last a lifetime.
Content syndicated from ConservatriveViewFromNH.com with permission
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