ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia coach Kirby Smart had a good-natured complaint to fans when celebrating the Bulldogs’ back-to-back national championships with a parade and ceremony for the second straight year on Saturday.
“You didn’t tell me last year we were going back to back. Wow!” said a smiling Smart.
Smart referenced a quote from legendary UCLA coach John Wooden when he said winning the second straight national title for the first time in school history was more difficult than ending the Bulldogs’ 41-year title drought in 2021.
“Winning takes talent,” Smart said before adding, “but to repeat takes character.”
Saturday’s parade led the team to Sanford Stadium, where many fans held up three fingers as they looked ahead to the goal of a threepeat. No team has won three consecutive national championships in the AP poll era, which dates to 1936.
“We can’t wait to see what lies ahead for this team,” Smart said. “This team will have to be hungry because a lot of this team is coming back.”
Georgia won its second straight national championship despite having a record 15 players selected from their 2021 team in last year’s NFL draft. The Bulldogs clinched the 2022 championship with their runaway 65-7 win over TCU in Monday night’s national championship game.
Georgia will face more heavy losses this offseason. Tight end Darnell Washington and cornerback Kelee Ringo have announced they are leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. Defensive tackle Jalen Carter, offensive tackle Broderick Jones, edge rusher Nolan Smith and safety Chris Smith are among other prominent Georgia players in the draft.
Perhaps Georgia’s biggest loss, however, will be quarterback Stetson Bennett, even though Bennett is projected to be only a possible late-rounds pick in the NFL draft. The focus will shift to the…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/georgia-celebrates-back-back-titles-232442019.html?src=rss
Author : NBC Sports
Publish date : 2023-01-14 23:24:42
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.