Ole Miss Football: Grove Grinder, My Pick For The National Championship

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Mecole Hardman
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Mecole Hardman /

Of course, there is the New Year and as a huge Ole Miss football fan the first edition of Grove Grinder for 2018 needs to be special. This grinder gives my pick for the NCAA championship game between Georgia and Alabama.

Ole Miss football may not have been bowling but this has definitely been a very interesting post season. It’s been a fun ride for Ole Miss fans coming out of a self-imposed post season bowl ban. Ole Miss took down in-state rival Miss State in the Egg Bowl and since, there have been some  good things happen.

Even though our season ended early we’ve hired a new head coach who just happens to have a winning record in the Egg Bowl. Also we saw a boom in Ole Miss football recruiting in the early signing period. Ole Miss picked up some top rated talent and several were flips from other schools. One of those was a flip from Miss State.

Of course, as Ole Miss fans all we were really left with was watching other teams play in the post-season. There were a few surprises as the bowls played out and while the overall bowl-record wasn’t great, the SEC landed in the championship twice. Not just twice but it pits the SEC Champion Georgia Bulldogs against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

When you look at this game from a Ole Miss football fan perspective, you are only left with 3 options. One, Alabama? Two, UGA? Or three, is there a way they could both lose? Since there is no way the latter could possibly happen we are left with only our personal feelings about both teams.

The Rhythm Of Football

Ole Miss Rebels Football
Ole Miss Rebels Football /

Ole Miss Rebels Football

Trust me, as much as I despise Alabama and would love to see Georgia roll them, I think maybe it’s the best thing for the SEC West and the rhythm by which football runs. Saban is coaching a team which completely shut down a really good Clemson offense.

On the other hand there is a Georgia Bulldogs team which found enough championship football to derail the Oklahoma Sooners. Both teams played great football in their play-off games. However when they meet it will be a championship game for the ages.

Of course, with me despising the Tide the way I do I would really love seeing the Bulldogs win. That’s where my heart lies. Then there is the Saban factor. In this case the Saban factor says Kirby Smart win. Nick Saban is 11-0 against his former assistants as a head coach.

Sure Kirby Smart is the best defensive mind in the nation as a head coach. However, he learned much of that from Nick Saban. Still I’d love to see Georgia pull off a huge win. But then there is the 11-0 streak. It’s tough for me on a personal level to choose one over the other.

Why Even Care?

It’s not whether we should or shouldn’t care. Despite every reason not to care who wins this championship there is still the fact they are both SEC teams. As football fans we want to see a winner. We are sometimes overzealous about our pick but we still make a pick. It’s just what we do. We have to do it.

When it comes to either or in this game I think of two main things. One, my head tells me Saban is going to do whatever it takes on the field to ensure a victory. On the other hand my heart really tells me Kirby Smart could be the assistant who ends Saban’s streak. So for the sake of opinion and fandom of college football we have to make a choice.

Next: It's Been An Interesting Post-season

As for me when the Alabama Crimson Tide face-off with the Georgia Bulldogs I believe the winner will be Georgia. No single coach has seen more of Saban on both sides of the ball. Smart will have the Bulldog defense ready for Jalen Hurts and the Bama rushing attack from Bo Scarborough.

Of course, the Bulldogs have a heckuva running game in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and it allows Jake Fromm to make big plays in the passing game. Bama’s defense will have to show up to hold them down and I just don’t see it happening two weeks in row.

NCAA Championship Game….Georgia Bulldogs 31, Alabama Crimson Tide 24