Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Alabama Crimson Tide Loses National Championship to Georgia

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Every dog has its day,

and Monday was the Georgia Bulldogs’ day.

Indianapolis, Indiana – January 10, 2022: Defensive back Kelee Ringo #5 with the Georgia Bulldogs leaps to intercept a pass thrown by Heisman Trophy award winning Alabama quarterback Bryce Young #5, late in the 4th quarter, whose intended receiver was wide receiver #11 Traeshaon Holden during the 2022 CFP (College Football Playoff) National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. After leaping perhaps at least 3 feet to intercept the ball, which some say was “thrown short,” Ringo ran 79 yards for a Bulldog touchdown, sealing the deal for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Monday night on 10 January 2022, in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Lucas Oil Stadium, the 3rd-ranked Georgia Bulldogs met the 1st-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide for the NCAA Championship game, and cleaned up with them, taking home bragging rights for the first time as national champions since 1980 when 25-year head Georgia coach Vince Dooley lead them to victory.

Conditions were dry inside Lucas Oil Stadium, but the Georgia Bulldogs rained on the Alabama Crimson Tide’s parade in the 2021 NCAA championship game, taking home their first National Championship in 41 years, 33-18. And after 7 consecutive years of losses to the Tide, the Bulldogs finally managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat.

This year’s NCAA Championship game was a grudge match, because earlier, the Bulldogs had lost the SEC championship game to Alabama, 41-24, on December 4 in Atlanta, so this victory was “sweet revenge” for the Dawgs.

Leading up to the SEC game, the Crimson Tide had won the SEC West division title with a 42-35 victory over Arkansas, while Georgia took home the SEC’s Eastern division with a 41-17 victory over Tennessee in Knoxville.

Other factors giving significance to this game, is the fact that Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart had been an understudy to Crimson Tide Head Coach Nick Saban for several years, had earlier been a Georgia defensive back in the mid-1990s, and in 2016 returned to his alma mater to coach. And so, in this instance at least, the student has mastered the teacher.

Going into the NCAA championship game, both teams were evenly matched with 13 victories, and 1 loss each, with many prognosticators and odds-makers opining that Number 1-ranked ‘Bama would once again, earn yet another National Championship, but only narrowly — but only by 3 points.

When the Tide first met the Dawgs in the 2021 season, it was in the SEC championship game which was played in Atlanta. Alabama entered that game as the SEC west division winner, and Georgia the SEC east division champion, and on game day, Georgia had the upper hand with a 12 – 0 record, while Alabama was 11 – 1, having lost to Texas A&M early in the season.

Georgia later went on to defeat Michigan in the Orange Bowl, in a rout, 34-11. The Georgia Bulldogs defense shut down the Michigan Wolverines, allowing only two scoring incidents: 3 points in the 2nd quarter, and 8 in the 4th quarter. The Dawgs showed their dominance early on, and trounced the Wolverines in the 1st and 2nd quarters, scoring 14, then 13, respectively, and wrapping up in the 4th quarter with another 7 points.

Great Moments In NCAA Division I Football History

For Crimson Tide fans, the loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Championship game was heartbreaking for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that their fans, and to some extent, the team and school as well, have come to think of national championships and victory as a birth-right. For the fans, that promotes a certain sense of hubris, even cockiness, in their attitudes.

The singular moment, the most talked about play was, and forever will be, when, with 1:04 remaining in regulation play, the Crimson Tide trailed the Bulldogs 26-18, and controlled the ball.

It was 3rd down & 10 with the Tide scrimmaged on the Georgia 44 yard line, and Bama’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback #9 Bryce Young threw the ball deep down the sideline toward intended wide receiver #11 Traeshaon Holden.

In this image, Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo #5 is on the Georgia 22 yard line, has just intercepted a pass meant for AL #11 wide receiver Holden, and is descending from his 3-foot leap to intercept the pass. The 2 Tide players are astonished, with one simply standing, while Holden holds out his arms in astonished exasperation as if asking WHAT?!? Meanwhile, all 3 Georgia players are in motion.

Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo #5 was in between Young and Holden, with about 5 yards distance from Holden.

Young dropped back to set up his pass, and released the ball.

It looked as if it was dead on target, and it was, and had it been completed, would have led to a possible scoring drive for the Tide.

But then… Kelee Ringo.

Again, Kelee Ringo, who was at least 5 yards distance from Holden, between Holden and Young, leapt up into the air — very possibly at least 3 feet — and snatched that ball right out of the air, and then ran that intercepted ball 79 yards for a Bulldog touchdown, thus sealing the deal for the Dawgs.

Auburn Tiger cornerback Chris Davis #11 returns a 56-yard missed field goal attempt by the Alabama Crimson Tide 109 yards for a touchdown, clinching victory 34-28 in the 2013 Iron Bowl played in Auburn.

Kelee Ringo’s scoring interception return was one of the most phenomenal plays ever in NCAA Division I football. It’s akin to the 109-yard return that the 4th-ranked Auburn Tigers made against the Tide in the Iron Bowl, their long-time in-state arch rival, when, with 1 second remaining on the clock, deep in the end zone, Tiger cornerback Chris Davis #11 ran the Tide’s 56 yard failed field goal attempt by freshman Adam Griffith for a Tiger touchdown on November 30, 2013, making a stunning upset victory for the Gus Malzahn-coached team at Jordan-Hare Stadium over the Number 1-ranked Crimson Tide 34-28.

Following the NCAA Championship game in Indianapolis, Head Coach Nick Saban attended a press conference with quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson, Jr., both sophomores, where the two players fielded questions, and at the end, as the two teammates were rising to walk off, Saban gestured for them to stay, and made some remarks, as follows:

“These two guys that are sitting up here… they’re not defined by one game. These guys played great for us all year. They were great competitors, they were great leaders on this team, and they contributed tremendously to the success of this team, and we would not be here without them. And both of them take responsibility for the loss, but both of them contributed in a lot of ways — in a positive way — to giving us a chance to win, and a chance to be here, to have an opportunity to win. So, I just wanna’ thank them for that, and let everybody know how proud I am of these two guys.”

What Saban did, of course, in essence, was to cheer them up, per se, and in a sense, prepare them for next year. However, in a practical, almost reassuring way, what he said, in so many words, was that a victory just wasn’t in the cards for them. And, regardless what he, or any other prognosticator says otherwise, this year’s team was just not championship material. They were not a bad team — any team that comes out as Number 2, is still a winner — but they just were not national championship quality, top-ranked though they were. That much is self-evident.

But the Tide’s loss to Georgia this year was foreshadowed by another loss — their Iron Bowl “loss” to Auburn.

I write “loss,” because, even though the Tide claimed victory in that game 24-22, it wasn’t until late in the 4th quarter of the 2021 Iron Bowl, which this year was played at Jordan-Hare Stadium on “The Plains” of Auburn University, when the Tide finally showed up, and decided that they wanted to play football.

For all appearances, the game was looking like Auburn was going to shut-out Alabama, with the Tigers defense preventing the Tide from scoring for the first 3 quarters. With 8:44 remaining in regulation play, the score was Auburn 10, Alabama 0.

Alabama was 4th & 0 at the Auburn 12, and place kicker Will Reichard made 30 yard Field Goal which put 3 points in Bama’s column — their first score in the game.

The clock was ticking, and time was running out.

With 8:44 remaining in the 4th quarter, Will Reichard then kicked off for 65 yards for a touchback, which made it 1st & 10 at the Auburn 25.

With 8:25 remaining, Auburn running back Tank Bigsby ran 22 yards to the Auburn 47 for a 1ST down. It was 1st & 10 at the Auburn 47.

At 7:55 remaining in the 4th, Tank Bigsby ran 1 yard to the Auburn 48 yard line, which made it 2nd & 9 at the Tigers’ 48.

The score remained Auburn 10, Alabama 3, and Bama called 2 time-outs with 1:43 remaining in regulation play.

Auburn punter Oscar Chapman kicked the ball 38 yards to the Alabama 3, where it was downed.

Only 0:48 remained in regulation play, when Auburn called time out.

With only 0:38 remaining, Tide quarterback Bryce Young completed a pass to #19 tight end Jahleel Billingsley for 14 a yard gain to the Auburn 28 for a 1st down.

Alabama’s quarterback Bryce Young had two incomplete pass attempts, and it was 3rd & 10 at Auburn’s 28 yard line with :24 remaining in the game.

Ja’Corey Brooks 28 Yd pass from Bryce Young (Will Reichard Kick)

3rd & 10 at AUB 28

With 0:24 remaining in the 4th quarter, Alabama wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks #7, took a 28 yard pass from quarterback Bryce Young for an Alabama touchdown, evening out the score to 10-10.

Regulation play continued as Will Reichard made a 65-yard touchback kick, and the clock expired with Auburn in possession of the ball, at the Auburn 25.

The game went into overtime.

Alabama scored in the first overtime, making it Alabama 17, Auburn 10.

As they kicked off, Auburn scored, and again, at the end of first overtime, the score was evened up at 17-17.

The second overtime began as Auburn kicked off to Alabama. They scored a field goal, making it 20

The third overtime began.

Auburn scored a field goal, making it Auburn 20, Alabama 17.

Auburn kicked off to Alabama, then, a couple plays later, Alabama scored a 49-yard field goal, again, tying up the game 20-20.

Eventually, the game went into FOUR OVERTIMES, with Alabama squeaking by Auburn 24-22.

That is NOT the hallmark of a first-class, national championship-quality team.


Alabama made MORE scoring drives in overtime, than they did during regulation play the ENTIRE game.

Alabama may have scored more than Auburn in Iron Bowl 2021, but their gamesmanship, their quality of playing was unquestionably second-rate — definitely NOT the quality to which fans have been accustomed.

And THAT is why I maintain that Alabama “lost” the Iron Bowl, and THAT is why I maintain that Alabama’s Iro Bowl “loss” was a forerunner, a predictor, of their loss to Georgia in the National Championship game.

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