#1 Notre Dame takes on #2 Alabama tonight at 8:30 in Miami, to decide who will hoist college football's crystal trophy. As a Georgia fan, choosing who to root for is not an easy task. On one hand, you have the Fighting Irish, a team most learned to hate long ago thanks to a holier than thou fanbase, a plethora of doting media mouthpieces, and direct competition in Georgia's last national championship win. On the other hand, you have the most arrogant fanbase in our conference (albeit, arguably rightfully so considering their proud and storied tradition), and a direct competitor for both the SEC title and for several recruits.
And it is that direct competition that leads to a 3rd title in 4 years by Alabama being worse for Georgia than a "return to glory" for the Fighting Irish. While the media love would be hard for some to take, as would the inevitable ESPN narrativeof the demise of SEC dominance, none of that would hit Georgia directly. Notre Dame has also taken to recruiting the south more of late, as you'll see Georgia natives Stephon Tuitt and TJ Jones start tonight while injured S Jamoris Slaughter watches from the sideline. But we don't normally compete with them head to head for kids.
Alabama on the other hand, seems to be our foremost competition on countless recruits. We went back and forth with them for Yulee, FL RB Derrick Henry. They kept coming after QB commit Brice Ramsey and fellow early enrollee S Tray Matthews. The Tide have just two commits from Peach State products right now, but have made crossing the Chatahoochee River a priority for kids the last several years. We'll likely see a couple Georgia kids starting for them, and several more getting significant action out of the 20 on their roster. They are among our chief competition for three of the top recruits left on our board; RB Alvin Kamara from Norcross, LT Laremy Tunsil of Lake City, FL and Vienna's DL Montravius Adams. Plain and simple, another ring on Nick Saban's and Kirby Smart's fingers is not something we want sitting across the living room from these three, among others.
Now, some will tell us that conference pride should matter. I've yet to see a valid excuse why, or an instance where a rival school winning a title helped Georgia. Now, 7 in a row would be nice, if Aaron Murray's pass had not been tipped and he'd been able to make a 7 yard completion a little over a month ago. But how another Alabama title would benefit the Dawgs? I just don't see it. As Kyle often states, my loyalty is to the University of Georgia. When it's interests coincide with that of the SEC, I'm for it. But when they don't (as case would be tonight), I stand opposed.
Tonight, the answer is clear. An Alabama victory is more detrimental to my Dawgs than would be an Irish crown. So because of that, GO IRISH!