If you’re reading this there’s a good chance that this is the last morning you’ll wake up without your favorite college football team playing for a national championship. You probably have things to do that, let’s be honest, you’re going to be too nervous to do tomorrow and either too elated or emotionally devastated to do on Tuesday. So in respect of that we’re presenting a brief set of links highlighting the respective frames of mind of the combatants.
In case you missed it, Seth Emerson has a really interesting quote from Stetson Bennett ahead of the title game.
Stetson Bennett said something interesting about players and fandom, and it goes for media members too. Essentially those involved - players, coaches, media - have a job to do, and the mentality becomes different when it’s a job: pic.twitter.com/HPioxRngmP— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) January 8, 2022
One of the things fans love about the Mailman is that he seems to love Georgia football and playing the game the way Kirk Herbstreit would want him to. And that’s no small part of why he’s popular with his teammates. But in my mind Bennett doesn’t get enough credit for his preparation over the course of the past couple of years, steadily rising up the depth chart as other players failed to do so. He’s not perfect, but his workmanlike consistency is still impressive.
Nakobe Dean gave an interesting window yesterday into the Dawgs’ mentality heading into Monday. While a lot of players have talked about not running away from the history between these two teams, Dean emphasized that in the end this is the national title game no matter who is on the other side of the line. While players like Dean are carefully staying on script, you get the sense that players who have been stymied by this Alabama team are genuinely ready to get that particular monkey off their backs.
Our frienemies at Roll Bama Roll think the Tide have a psychological advantage in this rematch, and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable assessment. But I also think they’re on to something in noting that the revenge factor is perhaps the most powerful motivator. I also think there’s only so much to be gleaned from Saban’s “rat poison” motivational tactics. To put it bluntly, if Saban’s troops genuinely believe that they’re the underdog in this game then they’re more either gullible than the average Alabamian, our capable of self brain-washing. I don’t think they’re either that dumb or that smart, and that avoiding a letdown may be the biggest challenge for Saban tomorrow night. Until later...