For the past week, each sports writer covering the Georgia and Hawaii matchup could not resist two little words in their interviews and articles.
In January 2007, underdog Boise State upset hugely favored Oklahoma. Many writers, looking for an angle to sensationalize this ho-hum matchup, capitalized on quarterback sensation Colt Brennan and the undefeated Hawaii Warriors.
What you didn’t hear in those interviews and articles were the terms “strength of schedule.” Sure, Hawaii was unbeaten, but not against teams like those in the SEC.
“It was the fastest team I’ve probably ever seen,” Brennan said. “We just couldn’t get into our groove and do what we wanted to do.” [via CBSSports.com]
The analysis afterwards focused on Hawaii’s inability to get anything started. This is an interesting way of saying that Georgia was on another level, that Georgia was completely dominant. Think that dominant is too strong? The score was 41-10. But that’s not the part that tells the story. 8 sacks. 3 Interceptions.
Give Hawaii credit, they went unbeaten and were the only team to do so. But they didn’t play Auburn or Florida. They didn’t face Alabama in Tuscaloosa. They didn’t face Tennessee in Knoxville. They played Charleston and Northern Colorado. And if we are considering winning streaks as a sign of strength, then that now puts BYU at the top with 10 games in a row. Who’s next? Yep, UGA with 7.
The sports writers (namely Kirk Herbstreit and the bonheads at ESPN College Gameday) botched up Georgia’s rankings. Georgia was ranked #4 when the #1 and #2 teams were upset. Instead of moving to the #2 slot, BCS fuzzy math happened and Georgia was leapfrogged by LSU. Georgia’s rout of Hawaii now puts Georgia squarely in a position that makes the sports writers cringe: back at the top. Ohio State will lose to LSU, and if the BCS is so maleable due to voting, Georgia should finish at #2 (using the same absurd logic that allowed LSU to move from #7 to #2). They won’t… they’ll finish around 4th. Just look at ESPN’s coverage to see how they influence the rankings… UGA got a mere 45 seconds of coverage (no interviews with Mark Richt or any players), while USC’s Rose Bowl rout of Illinois got a full 4 minutes (including interviews with both Pete Carroll and John David Booty).
This may not have been the National Championship, but it certainly foreshadows what Georgia will be bringing to each game in the 2008 season.