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Heisman Trophy winner, Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi in the same backfield.
There was good news to follow, however. The Rose Bowl sent word that it would issue an invitation to the winner of the Georgia-Georgia Tech game in Athens on Nov. 28. The Bulldogs destroyed the Jackets 34-0.
Already we are seeing upsets and unpredictable finishes. This Auburn team was lucky to beat Georgia State. However, the Tigers are not afraid of the Big Bad Bulldogs because they also have five-star recruits and relish the opportunity of playing the nation’s second ranked team at home. From their perspective, rapture took place in 1942 and it could come about again.
The Georgia coaching staff is doing its part, preparing this team to play the best of competition, but the mental part is bailiwick and domain of the head coach. He will never lose a game with his mouth, but he is keenly aware that the best team does not always win. That distinction goes to the team that plays the best. Auburn was not the best team on November 21, 1942, but the record book shows they were the best that day.
Championship teams usually have two distinguishing characteristics. One is that they find a way to win when they have an off day, and two is that they manage to win the close games. The 1980 national champions won every close game: Tennessee, 16-15; Clemson, 20-16; Ole Miss 28-21; South Carolina, 13-10; Florida, 26-21 and Notre Dame, 17-10.
An interesting circumstance took place before the Arkansas game involving Sam Pittman, the Razorback head coach, a one-time Georgia assistant. It wasn’t Pittman’s fault that the media made such a big deal out of his having passed this way, but you could easily see competitive pride stimulating a best effort with Matt Luke and the offensive line. The players wanted to play well against their old line coach and all the attention focused on Pittman only made Luke work harder.
After the game, Smart told his team to take a knee, then he asked the offensive line to stand and take a bow for their resonating performance. They provided room for running backs who put up 273 yards rushing. This backfield is like a chain. There are no weak links and one link is just as valuable as the others.
In 1942, the Auburn defense heard nothing but discouraging words about how difficult it was going to be for them to contain Sinkwich and Trippi. That the Bulldog offense could only muster 13 points tells you a lot about the outcome of that game.
There is no question that Georgia has an outstanding team with depth and raw talent. Physically, it is capable of winning a national championship, but only if it “keeps its head on straight.” Patting one’s self on the back at this juncture could lead to a broken arm.