By Kenneth Miller, Publisher
Less than a year after hosting the Super Bowl Inglewood is delivering again with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game as No. 3 ranked Texas Christian University (13-1) takes on defending national champion Georgia (14-0) at SoFi Stadium on Monday Jan. 9th at 4:30p.m.
SoFi played host to the Rams and Bengals last February, but this year there will not be a local team as USC collapsed losing in the Pac 12 title tilt to Utah wasting a glorious opportunity when it was the No. 4 ranked team.
However, there is some local appeal TCU does bring to the Southland as the Horn Frogs are the school that produced one of the all-time great Raiders in defensive end Greg Townsend who played 12 years in the NFL and is the No. 24 sack leader who had 107.5 sacks in 174 games from 1983-93 and in 1997.
Townsend attended Dominguez High in Compton before TCU from which he was a 4th round pick of the then Los Angeles Raiders and was instrumental in the team winning the 1984 Super Bowl.
Ironically, it will be on the side of the football where underdog TCU will have its hands full with the dominant Bulldogs seeking back to back crowns in this 9 year CFP format.
Georgia will outfit four of its five top NFL prospects in Offensive tackle Broderick Jones No. 13 Cornerback Kelee Ringo, No. 11 Defensive end Nolan Smith, No. 5 Defensive tackle Jalen Carter, but tight end Darnell Washington is injured and will not play.
This unit allowed just a measly 14 points per game, but was steamrolled by Ohio State for 41 while barely surviving as the Buckeyes faltered on a final second field goal in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Offensively, Heisman finalist Stetson Bennett has completed 68.1% of his passes, completing 292 of 429 for 3,832 yards, 27 touchdowns against just 7 interceptions, the ninth best in the nation.
TCU enters the finale as a double digit dog, 13.5, after their classic, thrilling upset victory over No. 2 ranked Michigan 51-45 in the CFP semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.
They have a gutsy Heisman finalist in their own right in Max Duggan, the 17th best signal caller in the country who has been off the charts especially in big games when it counted most amassing for 3,546 yards on 253 of 397 passes at a 63.7% clip.
He leads an offense that averages 41 points per game to the Bulldogs 39 which on paper make this a match up that could be closer than the odds makers forecast.
Both of theses schools hail from a part of the country where football is religion against a backdrop of an ugly racist past.
Georgia is located in Athens and TCU in Fort Worth (population 127,000), one build on the slave hands of cotton and the other on cows.
One of the nightmarish racist chapters of American history is documented in a new book by guest Patrick Phillips. It’s about what happened in Forsyth County, Ga., in 1912 when white mobs terrorized and drove out the entire black population, about 1,100 people. This was the white response to two incidents – the alleged rape of a white woman by a black man and the rape and beating of a young white woman who died of her injuries. A lynch mob attacked and hanged one black suspect.
On February 23, 1861, Texans voted to secede from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America. Because Texas remained relatively unscathed by fighting during the war, life for enslaved African Americans continued in much the same way as it had before the fighting. Felix Haywood, who worked as a cowboy while enslaved in San Antonio, described his experience of the war when interviewed in 1937: “It’s a funny thing how folks always want to know about the war. The war wasn’t so great as folks suppose. Sometimes you didn’t know it was going on. It was the ending of it that made the difference.”
None the less we are going to play a celebratory football game between two schools, one in Georgia that was expected to be here and the other TCU that began the season unranked.
It will all unfold in Inglewood, the new renaissance city that is chronicling its own history with each and every spectacular event.