The TCU Horned Frogs went flat-bellied against the Southeastern Conference’s biggest wheeler, Mega Trucking Company, on Monday night by a whopping 65-7.
It was the largest margin of victory in the college football national championship game in the Bowl Championship Series and the College Football Playoff. The previous one was Nebraska’s 62-24 victory over Florida to end the season in 1995.
The frogs barely hopped away before it was all over. The No. 1 Bulldogs scored five touchdowns and a field goal on their six first-half possessions for a 38-7 halftime lead. TCU was within 10-7 exactly two minutes and two seconds into the first quarter before trailing by double digits the rest of the game.
“It’s going to take a long time to get over a sting like this,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes said. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a better result because it doesn’t say who we are. I don’t know what happened tonight. It snowed on us. We ran into a very good team. I think our guys panicked a little bit.”
SEC … it just means more – championships.
That’s six of nine in the College Football Playoff era that began in 2014 and the last four in a row — the last two coming at Georgia, Alabama in 2020, LSU in 2019 and Alabama in 2015 and ’17. In 2017, Alabama beat another SEC title team (Georgia). Last year, Georgia beat another SEC team for the title (Alabama). The SEC is 14-3 overall in CFP final fours. That means more dominance.
The Big 12… that’s just an exaggeration. The league has only 10 teams.
And TCU was the first Big 12 team to reach the CFP final four and was the first Big 12 team to play for the national championship since Texas lost to Alabama in the 2009 season in the former Bowl Championship Series format.
The TCU Horned Frogs are done from the jump
“Things went as bad as they could for us in the first half,” Dykes said at halftime, and he knew it was more than halfway through. “I turned the ball over three times, gave up a bunch of big plays. It seemed like maybe it was a little early, maybe our guys were a little wide-eyed.”
Georgia had 19 first downs to the Frogs’ five and 354 yards to 121, including 141 yards to the 24.
It looked like Georgia’s season-opening win over Samford, which it only beat 33-0 in September. Georgia led 52-7 over TCU in the third quarter.
“We just have to settle in,” Dykes said at halftime.
That never happened. The Bulldogs finished with 32 first downs to nine, 589 yards to 188 and 335 rushing yards to 152.
Georgia hunted frogs all night as if she were turtles.
“We’re going to hunt tonight,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said before the game — a reference to the cliché about defending national champions. Georgia has reportedly been in the hunt all season since they won the national title last year.
“I told them all year: ‘We will not be hunted. We are going hunting, and the hunting season is coming to an end. We only have one more chance to hunt,’ Smart said. “And we hunted tonight.”
The Bulldogs (15-0) played hungry to become the first team to win back-to-back state titles since — guess which other SEC teams. Well, Alabama in 2011 and ’12, of course. And the victory from ’11. she was done with – you guessed it – another SEC team (LSU).
That’s 13 SEC national championships since 2003. Alabama has won six, LSU three, and Florida and Georgia two each. Alabama also lost two national title games in 2016 and ’18. of non-SEC Clemson.
The SEC has slipped a bit this season though
Still, the SEC slipped a bit in 2022. Only one put a team in the CFP final four before anyone else, while the Big Ten had two with Michigan and Ohio State. Yes, Alabama and Tennessee could have beaten TCU, but neither deserved to be in the playoff. Both were relegated at the end of the regular season.
Alabama lost to an LSU team that would go on to lose four games, including 38-23 in the regular season finale to a Texas A&M team that finished 5-7 overall, 2-6 in the SEC. The SEC West hasn’t had a four-loss champion since 2017 when Auburn also went 10-4. And Tennessee lost late in the year, 63-38, to South Carolina, which finished 8-5 and 4-4.
Are Alabama, Tennessee and LSU all gone because of SEC power? No, they faded because they weren’t elite teams. The SEC had just one of those this season along with the Big 12. The Big Ten had two in Michigan and Ohio State. TCU just swept Michigan, 51-45, in the Classic CFP semifinal last week. And Georgia was very fortunate to beat Ohio State, 42-41, in the other CFP semifinal last week. Ohio State would probably wipe out TCU just like Georgia did. And Ohio State and Michigan would beat all or most of the other 13 in the SEC.
The SEC is still No. 1, but the gap has narrowed just a tiny bit and will likely remain so as the NCAA Transfer Portal continues to add parity.
A gradually improving Big 12 and Big Ten will make the new 12-team playoff format coming in the 2024 season that much better.