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Auburn-Tinted SEC Championship Thoughts

It’s Threat Level Midnight time.

Dwigt. The dim-witted assistant that was causing the downfall of the United States so easily that Michael Scott changed his name to Samuel L. Chang.

Are we sure that this isn’t an allegory on what happened with the Georgia coaching staff yesterday?

In case you missed it, the SEC Championship was yesterday, and Alabama beat Georgia 35-28. This was a surprise to people who watched the game, because the Bulldogs dominated for roughly 50 minutes, and had a 28-14 lead late in the third quarter. They’d completely thrown Tua off of his game, snagging two interceptions, pressuring him, and finally he was injured by an offensive lineman stepping on his ankle. It was the kind of terrible performance on the big stage that can lose a guy a Heisman Trophy. Georgia was in business.

The run game was working, Jake Fromm was tossing darts, and Bama’s defense was on roller skates. It was Georgia’s day to exorcise the demons from last year’s national championship, and they still didn’t take advantage.

Then Jalen Hurts came in and led two touchdown drives in the final few minutes. First, he tied the game at 28 with a touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy, and then Georgia got the ball, stalled around midfield, and you thought they’d punt back to Alabama. A punt would likely give Alabama about 90 yards to go with the backup quarterback in the game. With 4th-and-11, it’s a no-brainer. Let me repeat that. It was a no-brainer.

Yet somehow, Georgia managed to muck it up anyway.

In this red and black edition of Threat Level Midnight, the Georgia coaching staff can all fulfill roles.

Kirby Smart is Agent Michael Scarn, since they both hold delusions about their decision-making skills. Jim Chaney can be Samuel L. Chang, while special teams coordinator Scott Fountain can be Dwigt (I know they’re really the same character). Justin Fields is “Hostage #1”, who was originally played to near-perfection by Pam Beesly.

I don’t know if Kirby got the idea from Mark Richt after he let D.J. Shockley come in and run a series here and there when he sat behind David Greene at quarterback, but he never did it at the expense of the offense. Shockley would run the same offense, and get the entire series to himself. It paid off, because he led Georgia to the SEC title his senior year.

Meanwhile, Justin Fields has to know that he’s being given playing time simply so he won’t up and leave. There’s no other explanation for throwing him in one play at a time, or for putting him in on the fake punt last night. What’s more, Kirby doesn’t have to have any sort of justification for not playing Fields in the biggest game of the year when he’s got Alabama’s throat under his hob-nailed boot heel.

Somehow, Nick Saban and Jalen Hurts got people pulling for the “plucky upstarts” from Tuscaloosa with the much-maligned backup quarterback getting his redemption song. We can agree that Hurts is a good guy, one of the few across the state, and if somebody had to win, it’s nice to see him succeed while Georgia flounders once again.

We knew that something good would happen to someone we hate, and something bad would happen to someone we hate in yesterday’s SEC Championship. Alabama won, like we thought they would, but with Tua having such an abysmal game, it may have lost him the Heisman. There may be voters that sent in their ballots already (which should remove you from the voter list if you don’t wait for all the games to be played), but yesterday was a big hit. He was a non-factor when the Alabama five-star lineup failed him.

And Georgia embarrassed themselves again by blowing a two-touchdown lead to Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That we can at least take solace, if not outright amusement, in. There’s nobody to blame but themselves, either. Alabama really didn’t do anything special to stay in the game. Georgia stopped running the offense that got them the big lead, and started making dumb decisions by getting cute. They missed a 31-yard field goal up 28-14. They ran the fake punt instead of trusting your defense with 90 yards behind it.

At least Gus’ fake field goal last week came within a yard of working. The punt yesterday wasn’t even close. I’ve been wracking my brain to find a singular coaching decision that might be worse than that in recent years. Gus’ quarterback rotation against Clemson in 2016 was bad, and then maybe you have to go back to Tuberville’s fake punt with Damon Duval down by our own goal line. Other than that, there’s not one choice that stands out from all of the SEC football that I’ve watched.

Since we’re just a few hours from the Playoff selection show, and all last night I saw people rationalizing including Georgia, let’s make this clear. Alabama didn’t deserve to get in last year, but they only lost once. Georgia lost twice this year and didn’t win the conference either. If you put them in, it’s either a) outright SEC bias, b) a hard push for an 8-team playoff, or c) idiocy. Seriously, what are you supposed to do if you’re Oklahoma and Georgia gets in? You win your conference, lose once at a neutral site, then avenge that loss in the conference title game, and that’s not enough? No, this isn’t a difficult decision.

On one hand, it’s really tough seeing your two biggest rivals play for championships, but at least it gives you a chance to see one of them embarrass themselves. Hey, we finished 7-5, but...

We’ll find out our bowl destination today, so let’s enjoy that along with Georgia’s misery. War Eagle.