In case you missed the national college football championship pitting No. 1 Georgia against No. 3 TCU and would like to get up to speed on the details, here’s all you need to know.

Georgia’s offensive possessions, in order:

2-Field goal

As you can probably figure out, it was a horrifying Monday night for the TCU Horned Frogs.

The final score was 65-7.

And then I found out that a Horned Frog is no frog at all. A Horned Frog doesn’t make the cut as an amphibian, either.

“They look like souped-up toads, but they are actually lizards,” says Diane Barber, the project coordinator of the Texas horned lizard program at the Fort Worth Zoo, in an interview with Garden & Gun magazine.

And as it turns out the actual horned lizards housed at the Fort Worth Zoo were in hibernation – and sound asleep — during Georgia’s brutal flogging of TCU. Given TCU’s traumatic trouncing by the Bulldogs, we can expect to see the real horned lizards enter the transfer protocol to find a roster spot at another U.S. Zoo.

OK, enough with my sorry attempts at humor. And of course I realize that you already knew the score of Monday’s cudgeling. I was just trying to lighten things up a little. If you’ve made it this far in the column, thank you.

Quick-hit takeaways:

1. By now it’s established – and reaffirmed – that Georgia has supplanted Alabama as the top program in college football. The Dawgs have a solid chance to win a third national title at the end of the 2023 campaign. Minnesota is the only team to win three in a row straight-up; the Golden Gophers were declared the national champions in 1934, 1935, and 1936. If Georgia can pull off the hat-trick next season, they’ll get it done on the field instead of being crowned by media voters.

2. Georgia coach Kirby Smart is 47 years old. He’s won back-to-back national championships. His Georgia teams have won 29 of their last 30 games … and 33 of their last 34 games. In his first seven seasons at Georgia, Smart is 81-15 with two national titles. In his first seven seasons as Alabama’s coach Nick Saban went 79-15 with three national titles. You can see the similar track. But considering Smart’s relatively young age, he’s capable of having a coaching career that puts him in close proximity to Saban’s career success. But will Smart want to coach into his 70s, as Saban (71) has done? The head-coaching job is so much more demanding and complicated now.

3. In the nine seasons of the college-football playoff format, the SEC has won six of the nine championships including the last four. As ESPN noted, the SEC is 14-3 vs. non-SEC teams in nine seasons of playoff action. And the SEC is the only conference in the land that has a winning record in the playoffs.

4. Georgia went 15-0 this season and seven of their opponents were ranked in the final AP Top 25: Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi State, LSU, Ohio State and TCU. Average margin of victory for Georgia in those games: 30.8 points.

“It seems like for the past three or four months we’ve been looking to see if somebody could beat us,” Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett told reporters late Monday night. “And we just ran out of games.”

5. Stetson Bennett is one of the best stories – ever – in college football history. Walk-on at Georgia. Left Georgia to go to the junior-college level for a season just so he could play and improve. Returned to Georgia for a second try. As recently as 2020 he was buried on the depth chart. He got the starting job – essentially by default, because of injuries to other quarterbacks – and never let go. For much of 2021, Kirby Smart was told he was making a big mistake by continuing to start Bennett … the undersized quarterback with a short-pass kind of arm who couldn’t propel the Dawgs offense to a national title – until he did.

Bennett overcame the mediocre-quarterback perception and the limitations that others put on him. And in nearly two full seasons with Bennett as the starter, Georgia had more national-championship wins (2) than overall losses (1.)

Bennett closed his remarkable career with a 4-0 record in the playoffs. In his run to consecutive titles, this is what Bennett did to Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State and TCU: completed 78 of 115 passes (68%) for 1,239 yards, 12 touchdowns, one interception and three rushing TDs. He had a passer-efficiency rating of 191.02 in the four playoff wins. Awesome.

6. In Monday’s rout Bennett accounted for six of Georgia’s touchdowns with four TD throws and two TD runs. He moved Georgia to points on the team’s first six possessions to put TCU away early. Bennett is more than just the best quarterback in Georgia football history; because of the multiple national titles and his excellence in the four playoff wins, a case can be made that he’s the best player in Georgia football history. (With apologies to Herschel Walker.) In leading Georgia to four straight wins (over two seasons) in the CFB playoffs, Bennett was named offensive MVP in all four games.

7. The lesson? “If you are an under-recruited guy, soak that up, but you’ve still got to be the best,” Bennett told reporters late Monday. “Go be spiteful out there. Be a dog. You’ve got to. But hopefully in 15 years, there’s some kid out there who is being a stud and he remembers watching us play.”

8) The TCU coaches should have put in a call to Mizzou head coach Eli Drinkwitz to get some tips on how to go toe-to-toe with Georgia. On Oct. 1 at Faurot Field, the Tigers led the Bulldogs by 13 points in the second quarter and were up 22-12 early in the fourth quarter. No. 1 Georgia rallied for a 26-22 victory. Ol’ Mizzou put up the toughest test faced by Georgia all season until Dec. 31, when Dawgs had to erase a 14-point deficit to claw for a one-point victory over Ohio State in the national semifinals. Georgia got payback for Mizzou’s scary threat by going into the transfer portal to recruit MU’s top receiver, Dominic Lovett. So there.

9. Monday’s title bout was the equivalent of Mike Tyson clubbing St. Louis native Michael Spinks to a knockout only 91 seconds into their world heavyweight championship matchup on June 27, 1988. I covered that fight. Sitting three rows from the ring, I could see the fear in Spinks’ eyes. TCU had that same type of wide-eyed, frightened look when getting punched repeatedly by Georgia. After TCU scored its only touchdown to cut UGA’s lead to 10-7, the Dawgs outscored their victims 55-0 over the remainder of the competition. I felt sorry for TCU quarterback Max Duggan, a tough kid and aggressive competitor who absorbed a merciless beating in this one.

10. A note from our friend Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports: at one point of the third quarter Georgia ran its 45th play of the game – and already had 45 points. Oh, my.

11. I picked Georgia to win by 11 points, which means I believed TCU would offer enough resistance to cover the 13.5-point spread. Well, not quite. The lizards lost by 58. I didn’t underestimate Georgia; I overestimated TCU.

12. Sure, TCU defeated Michigan 51–45 in the playoff semifinals. But five things: (A) Michigan isn’t Georgia; (B) the Big Ten isn’t the SEC; (C) Michigan barfed all over itself to make the TCU win possible; (D) the Big 12 isn’t the SEC; and (E) Kirby Smart has built a powerhouse that is unbeatable if it plays at it’s best or close to it. That’s what we witnessed Monday, and TCU didn’t stand a chance.

13. Georgia outgained TCU 589 yards to 188, had 32 first downs to TCU’s nine, and controlled the ball for 37 minutes of the game’s 60 minutes. These are among the reasons why this was the most severe beatdown in a CFB national championship. The 58-point margin of victory was the biggest in any bowl game in CFB history.

14. More on Stetson Bennett. This story has been well circulated since Georgia began its postgame celebration Monday at So-Fi Stadium. But let’s tell it again:

Smart noticed his 10-year old son Andrew near the Georgia locker room after the game. The boy was upset, and the tears were flowing.

“Why are you crying?” Smart asked. “You are going to ruin my moment.”

“He told me, ‘Stetson’s leaving. Stetson’s gone.’

I said, ‘He’s 25 years old, he’s gotta go.’ ”

15. Georgia is expected to return 15 starters for the 2023 season. There’s going to be a whole lot of crying going on around the SEC next season.

Thanks for reading …

Pardon my typos …


Bernie invites you to listen to his opinionated and analytical sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM. It airs Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Friday from 4-6 p.m. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the show podcast at or the 590 app.

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Bernie Miklasz
Bernie Miklasz

For the last 35 years Bernie Miklasz has entertained, enlightened, and connected with generations of St. Louis sports fans.

While best known for his voice as the lead sports columnist at the Post-Dispatch for 26 years, Bernie has also written for The Athletic, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore News American. Bernie has hosted radio shows in St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Bernie, his wife Kirsten and their cats reside in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis.