Football Follies 2022-23: Frogs-n-Dogs do LA

Fat lady alert set. We’re about to have us a champeen.

You might think the big story with the CFPuddle-pop championship for the 2022 season is that none of Alabama, Michigan, or Ohio State made it to the game.

But the big story is that SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California isn’t allowing tailgating, which has us here at your TOC Football Commentary Service pondering the advantages of a Color Revolution.

It’s true that the Monday forecast is for rain, and pretty steady rain at that.  Ominously, intermittent thunderstorms are reportedly possible, though it’s hoped that they will have passed through before Monday night.  SoFi has a freestanding roof, which should keep folks mostly dry.  But in 2021 a game had to be delayed due to lightning, because there’s a gap between the roof and the stadium wall.  It’s a charming, airy touch, but inconvenient on the rare occasions when there’s lightning.

All that said, however, what’s a little rain, to experienced tailgaters?  Setting up and taking down your $99 gazebo cover is what the 14-year-olds are for.  (Don’t be alarmed, by the way, that the high on Monday will be only 60.  The surrounding lows will be no worse than upper 50s, so it’s not like it will get colder during the game.)

Sigh.  This luau could be starting out better.

Our own Inner Circle’s TCU is, of course, one of the contestants, coming in 13-1 after losing the Big 12 title to Kansas State, but then defeating #2 Michigan in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.

#1 Georgia, the SEC champion, arrives 14-0 after downing (barely) Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

The teams will meet at 4:30 PM Pacific (7:30 Eastern) on Monday 9 January, in what has possibilities as a humdinger of a CFP National Championship presented by AT&T.  We do advise TCU Head Coach Sonny Sykes not to startle everyone by pulling the “trail a no-depth-chart Kansas State for hours and then lose” surprise move.  The Frogs’ rep for surprises and unexpectedness needs to go the other way on Monday.

But it could happen.  They do keep pulling handsome princes out of hats this season, and they’re down basically one go-to player for the game.  RB Kendre Miller, injured in the Michigan game, will reportedly be a game-time decision, and if he’s out he’ll be very much missed.  That will put a bigger load on the shoulders of Emari Demercado, who’s been explosive and reliable for the short run this year – and is also an Inglewood, CA native and assuredly wouldn’t skip this match for the world.

Red shirt sophomore WR Caleb Medford entered the Portal Vortex a month ago, and WR Quincy Brown remains out with a season-long injury.

But Max Duggan and his remaining canny corps of catchers, starting with Quentin Johnston, are healthy and raring to go.  The TCU defense looks like it did for the Michigan game – though Georgia, of course, brings a bit more on offense.

Speaking of Georgia, the Bulldogs have a few more injuries and portal losses, though depth with top-performing skill players still looks pretty good.  Injured TE Darnell Washington will be a game-time decision, according to a statement on Saturday, and if he’s out, Mackey award-winner Brock Bowers will carry the load, along with Ryland Goede.  TE Arik Gilbert entered the transfer portal in December, but had not played much since his arrival via transfer from LSU (where he had put up very promising numbers).

Name salad, but QB Stetson Bennett still comes out with a strong set of options for moving the ball.  RB Kenny McIntosh is 100%.

On D, first of all, All-American DT Jalen Carter will be in and all over the game, as any good Bulldog fan would hope.  Carter wasn’t the dominating force he’s usually been in the Ohio State game (and TCU QB Max Duggan is a mobile guy), but we’re looking for Carter and the Dog D to take advantage of TCU’s hard-working but less-sturdy O line.

LB Chas Chambliss’s loss to injury means red shirt senior (and touted NFL prospect) Robert Beal, Jr. really needs to stay healthy for a few more hours.  Other defensive players have been missing with injuries for much of the season (edge-rusher Nolan Smith and safety Dan Jackson), so Georgia’s 2022 performance hasn’t depended on them.

Slices of life:

We are truly sorry to advise readers that you probably missed a CFP Championship Game event on Saturday headlined (exactly; we copy-pasted) as follows:  WOMEN DOING COOL SH*T IN FOOTBALL – Celebrating Title IX’s 50th anniversary with female trailblazers in football.

It was part of a “three-day, free family-friendly event … held at the Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall,” which included “games, clinics, pep rallies, band performances, special guest appearances, autograph signings and exhibits celebrating college football and its history.”

We do think this was more sophisticated and tasteful than some of those homely, podunk events they get up to in the Booger Bowl event schedules.  We’re not sure it’s more virtuous in a community-support sense, however, than digesting the 2021 Drainage Study for Hoover, Alabama.

Sonny Dykes and Kirby Smart don Max Discomfort attire for their close-up.

News you can use.

Frog fans gather to announce their presence with authority.  (We feel that they could put on green and yellow and look just like a crowd of Bolsonaro supporters, and we promise that’s the only, even faint, tangential reference we will make to politics.)

Georgia’s bulldog mascot Uga X (barn name: Que) won’t be attending the game.  Apparently his family has judged him too old now (at nine) to travel well.  It seems the University of Georgia doesn’t follow the practice of the U.S. Naval Academy, which ensures there’s always livestock in training to take over in such circumstances.  (We do acknowledge that Que is cuter than even Bill XXXVII.  But Bill has a better spy-service code name.)

The mattress trade must be, er, hopping in Houston.

Dogs are laying 12.5 — this just in: 13.  Which sounds like a lot to us.  But Shaquille O’Neal has vowed to “eat frogs” if Georgia wins, so at least there’s something substantial riding on the game.

Other ranks

There’s a new sheriff in town.  South Dakota State knocked off North Dakota State (which hasn’t been quite its old self since former head coach Chris Klieman went to Kansas State) 45-21 in the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas on Sunday.  The game was a bit lopsided, but still fun.

As yet, we have received no reports on the Barney Smith Toilet Seat Art Museum in nearby The Colony, Texas.  If you claim that it’s because the museum was “rented for private parties” and was “unavailable for viewing” at the time of an alleged attempt, we’re not going to believe you.

Especially not since the Toilet Art Museum is situated in the Truck Yard, which advertises a Beard Science Sour House that’s almost out of Pumpkin Spice Sour (as of this writing) but apparently has plenty of Beard Science Pickle Sour.  (There’s also a “Mango” beverage of unidentified species, but we mention that only for completeness.)  Something happens there with Lactobacillus bacteria strains, which the Sour House touts as a positive development.

It seems food trucks roam free at the Truck Yard – possibly a clue to the name, though we never like to just assume these things – and while we regret to report that pay-per-view fights are not streamed for viewing, you can at least bring your dog.

Congratulations to the Jackrabbits for a fine 14-1 season (they’re the ones who lost a cross-ranks bout to Iowa 7-3) and the FCS title.

Random observation

The Dallas Cowboys are worthless.

Go Frogs!!!

Feature image: South Dakota State RB #3 Amar Johnson runs it in for a 32-yard TD in the 2Q of the 45-21 FCS Championship win over North Dakota State, 8 Jan 2023.  ESPN video, YouTube.

12 thoughts on “Football Follies 2022-23: Frogs-n-Dogs do LA”

    1. Yes indeed. So glad for him, his fam, the Bills. What a miraculous blessing.

  1. I’m coming to grips with the inevitable.
    Time factor has set in, but it didn’t really need to.

  2. The next Big Thing will be proclaiming which other team “should” have been in the championship match.

    I don’t honestly think it was Michigan or Ohio State.

    Kind of leaves us with Alabama. Which is also unsatisfactory.

    Of those UNSAT three, however, Ohio State would be my top pick.

    Tulane, maybe.

    1. I guess “Tulane” will have a shot next year.

      Which as you say won’t be an improvement. Georgia would have done to USC about what it did to TCU.

  3. That was the longest 4Q in history.

    Felt like it anyway. Depressing.

    Congrats to the Dogs.

  4. Looking forward: IMO the Enthalpy period for Alabama football may be closing. Entropy will start its’ inevitable march in Tuscaloosa.

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