Tonight's the night, Dawg fans. The NCAA Finals, which are colloquially called the "Super Six," starts at 7:00 PM ADT. At about 10:00 PM tonight, one team will be crowned the national champions. And for the first time since the Suzanne Yoculan era, one of those teams (at least theoretically) could be the Georgia Gym Dogs.
I say "at least theoretically" because we have to be honest with ourselves and realize that we probably won't actually win. This year has always been a rebuilding year for Georgia's gymnastics program, and making the Super Six was always our primary goal. We're here now, though, so we might as well give it our best shot... but the reality is that we're likely not the best team in this field. And the field, in case you didn't see my update in the previous thread is actually made of up the top 6 teams in the national rankings:
It's very possible that we will have a first-time champion emerge from the NCAA field this year. One of the things for which women's gymnastics is widely rebuked is the fact that there have only been 4 programs to ever win the national championship: Utah (with 10), Georgia (with 10), UCLA (with 6), and Alabama (with 6). The #1 spot this year, however, has bounced back and forth between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Florida Gators. Alabama has a legitimate shot to win the title, as well (which would be their 3rd straight), but that's probably about it.
The Gators have been in this spot before (many times, in fact), and Rhonda Faehn's squads always seem to falter when the lights are shining brightest. This year, however, they've been steamrolling the competition with a vigor rarely before seen (outside of Athens, at any rate). Their victory almost seems inevitable. I hope you'll join me, however, in cheering for a national champion that is "anybody but Florida." (I hate Florida.)
It's true that Alabama is our biggest rival on the mat, and a win this year would mean a third-straight national championship for them. Even if we'd hate seeing Sarah Patterson lift the trophy again, though, it would be worse to see Rhonda Faehn lifting it. So let's cheer on our Gym Dogs, root for them to put up a respectable finish, and all join together in pulling for anybody not named Florida to win the national championship!
The meet will be live-streamed at ESPN3.com, and if you'd like to hear a homer's version of the facts, you can listen to Kevin Copp on the UGA audio-only broadcast at this link. I like Kevin's broadcasts, since he knows a lot about gymnastics and does a surprisingly good job of making what is essentially a radio broadcast of a gymnastics meet seem riveting. I will probably be watching the video on ESPN3 with the audio muted and the UGA audio-cast playing.
You can also follow along with the live scoring totals at this link.