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In 1984, after Georgia lost to in-state rival Georgia Tech, the humorist and Bulldog partisan Lewis Grizzard wrote a newspaper column that lasted precisely one complete sentence: “Frankly, I don’t want to talk about it.”
Perhaps just such a sentence will appear in Fort Worth this week. It will surely cross someone’s mind, or many, many minds. But in Georgia? The Bulldogs and their faithful will talk about Monday night’s national championship game until they win another title. And that could be much sooner than later.
After barely making it through the national semifinal in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve, the Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 at the start of the season, ended their 2022 campaign with a demolition. Pick your label — a rout, a romp, a crushing, a fusillade of defensive and offensive might — but the outcome is the same: Georgia won, and No. 3 Texas Christian saw its storybook ascension to the College Football Playoff’s greatest stage end in embarrassment.
Once time expired near Los Angeles, the scoreboard said Georgia had won, 65-7. The game had effectively been over for hours, a glamorous, star-studded enterprise outpaced in theatrics and tension this month by the House of Representatives.
The Bulldogs raced to a 10-point lead, only to see the Horned Frogs whittle it to 3 points. The margin lasted 122 seconds. By halftime, after T.C.U. had lost a fumble and been intercepted twice, Georgia led, 38-7. By the end of the third quarter, Georgia had scored 52 points and tied the record for most points in a playoff-era championship game.
By the time the Bulldogs forced a rewriting of that record, with less than 10 minutes to play in the game, the starting quarterback Stetson Bennett had been removed from the game. So were Georgia’s other offensive powerhouses.
They had done what they needed to do, and plenty more. Brock Bowers, a sophomore tight end from Napa, Calif., had 152 receiving yards. Ladd McConkey had 88. Kenny McIntosh had run for 50 yards. Bennett, the same quarterback some Georgia fans wanted to oust from his starting job about 13 months ago, had run for two touchdowns and thrown for four.
There were few flaws from the Bulldogs, such as the missed extra point that would have given Georgia its 66th point with just more than seven minutes left in the game. But small failings are easily forgiven when the margin remains 58 points in a national championship game.
As for T.C.U., it is hard to say who should face more questions: the Horned Frogs for losing so soundly, or the third-ranked Michigan Wolverines, whose semifinal demise catapulted T.C.U. to the title tilt.
Georgia, which ended its season with a 15-0 record, entered Monday night’s contest as the favorite. But there were naysayers, particularly after Ohio State so thoroughly challenged Georgia in a semifinal in Atlanta. Plus, the Bulldogs were hard-pressed against history: Not that many universities have won consecutive national titles. It had not happened in a decade.
But more than many of college football’s proudest programs, Georgia has known the sport’s fickle nature and its frustrations. The Bulldogs won a title in the 1980 season — and then saw their ambitions extinguished for more than four decades. They beat Alabama last season to seize championship glory again.
They spent this season trying to recapture the magic. So they beat No. 11 Oregon, 49-3, to start the season. They ran Auburn out of Athens, Ga., 42-10. No. 1 Tennessee became a two-touchdown victim to the Bulldogs. Louisiana State fared even worse in the Southeastern Conference championship game, losing by 20 to the Bulldogs.
The result was a perfect season, made final in a game where, soon enough, the only matter left to settle was the margin.