Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV (13), chased by TCU's Dee Winters (13) during early action at CFP final.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV (13), chased by TCU's Dee Winters (13) during early action at CFP final. Credit: J.Gaede, BVN

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by BVN

Jon D. Gaede | BVN Sports

The center of the college football universe may now be Athens, Georgia, as the Bulldogs win their second consecutive (CFP) National Championship in impressive fashion over the TCU Horned Frogs at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. Georgia was so dominant and compelling in victory, perhaps it’s a dynasty in the making.

To reach the final, Georgia outlasted a worthy Ohio State team 42-41 the week before in a CFP semifinal that severely tested them, leaving some to think the Bulldogs may be vulnerable the second time around. 

The Buckeyes led the Bulldogs throughout the Peach Bowl, missing a potential game winning field goal that would have kept Georgia out of the CFP final. TCU’s CFP path was unlikely to say the least, but they earned a late fourth seed selection and outlasted a favored Michigan team with superior physicality and team speed 51-45.

TCU faced a tough Georgia defense 

In the title game, TCU’s task would be clear, to get in front of a 13-point favored Georgia team who had not lost a football game in two years. Although the Horned Frogs were a top 10 scoring team, TCU faced a Georgia defense who allowed less than 13 points per game. The Horned Frogs needed a big game from their Heisman finalist quarterback Max Duggan, plus substantial yards from key playmakers Johnston and Davis. Add the fact that no TCU player or coach has been on any stage like a CFP final.

Georgia was fierce

From the outset, Georgia put to rest any hopes that TCU could challenge their superior championship football team. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead before the Horned Frogs realized they were in a dog fight. TCU scored to close the gap to 10-7, but that didn’t last long as Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs extended the lead to 17-7 at the quarter, then the next 21 to lead TCU 38-7 at the half. 

The Horned Frogs would need a miracle, yet the second half brought more of the same, Georgia simply imposed their will by sacking Duggan several times, forcing TCU to constantly punt while scoring a bowl record 65 points in a crushing victory.

Stetson Bennett IV named MVP

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV wins his second consecutive MVP and CFP championship trophies. Not bad for a guy who began his college football career as a Georgia walk-on in 2017, transferring to Jones County Junior College, and ultimately offered a scholarship at Georgia in 2018. “I was there when Georgia beat Oklahoma 54-48 in overtime at the 2018 Rose Bowl and I remember what that felt like,” said Bennett. He passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more against TCU. 

Defensive back Javon Bullard had an outstanding night, intercepting two Max Duggan passes and recovering a fumble to earn defensive MVP honors for Georgia.

The CFP economic impact to greater Los Angeles 

In the week that preceded the CFP final, several entertainment events led up to the big game. The Banc of California Stadium, home of the LAFC, hosted a playlist of musical performances that included Saweetie, Pitbull and the Jonas Brothers in a series of free concerts.

The LA Convention Center was transformed into a Fan Zone featuring interactive exhibits, official merchandise and performances from both Georgia & TCU marching bands. 

The CFP Foundation also hosted professional development workshops on education for area teachers. The overall CFP economic impact to the greater Los Angeles area was estimated at $225 million.

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Jon Gaede

While on assignment for GamePro Magazine in 1996, Jon Gaede met former Black Voice Sports Editor, Leland Stein at a Los Angeles Lakers’ game. They formed a working relationship which has endured for 24 years. In addition to African safaris, theater productions, Footsteps to Freedom Tours with Black Voice News Publisher Emeritus Cheryl Brown, concerts and portraits, Jon’s true passion comes from shooting action sports images. Jon has covered a variety of prep, collegiate and professional sports from track & field to boxing, including six Olympic Games.