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August 25, 2015

Brace yourself: 1980 UGA was the worst national champion of the last 35 years

I wonder how folks on the Dawgvent will find a way to blame Mark Richt for this.

The funny thing is that I can't argue with their logic, except they downplayed that year's Notre Dame team as only ranked 9th. They came in ranked that low due to recency bias, having tied a terrible Georgia Tech the same weekend UGA beat Florida and lost to a good Southern Cal team to end the regular season. Still, it is hard to argue with
One of the great things about college football's structure is that a "season-long playoff" is supposed to prevent an underqualified team from claiming No. 1. It might've failed in 1980, as it crowned a Georgia team that didn't play a ranked opponent until November, missed playing the other best team in the SEC (Alabama) and then drew final AP No. 9 Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl instead of more challenging opponents. Dawg fans should be grateful that they drew the Irish instead of a more talented version of the Pitt team that would beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl one year later.
But, by that metric, I'd expect to see 1984 BYU mentioned somewhere. I guess when BYU wins the title, playing a 6-5 team on December 21st in their bowl game, the CFB season was probably a stinker.


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