Georgia, TCU to Try Playing Defense in CFP National Championship Game
By T. Kent Jones
LOS ANGELES - As Georgia and TCU prepare to square off in the upcoming CFP National Championship game, coaches on both sides are considering a radical new path to victory.
“We’re calling it defense,” said Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart. “We would place players on the opposite side of the ball in such a way that they could actually impede the progress of the opponent’s offense.”
“It’s a really intriguing idea,” agreed TCU Head Coach Sonny Dykes. “We’ve been watching a lot of a film and theoretically, such a scheme might actually stop an offense from scoring as many points as they like.”
After semi-final games in which Georgia squeaked by Ohio State 42-41 and TCU outscored Michigan 51-45, coaches wonder if final scores resembling high school basketball games are inevitable.
Despite the obvious upside of reducing their opponents’ point total, Coach Smart has reservations.
“Some have even suggested that our players wrap their arms around the ball carrier and physically place him on the ground. This seems very confrontational and could introduce an element of aggression into what should be a fun extra-curricular activity for college students,” Smart said. “Plus, if such preventative measures were effective, the outcome of the game could be determined well before time has expired. I'm not sure fans would accept a game not decided in the last two minutes.”
Coach Dykes also has concerns.
“We haven't explored the ethics of placing a man in the path of someone running with the ball toward the end zone. Is it right to stop him? Is it constitutional?”
He added, “This so-called ‘defense’ could be very frustrating to watch, with one team wanting to do a certain thing and our team just getting in their way all the time. It’s a real breach of etiquette.”
Dykes also worries about long-term implications.
“Hey, I want to win a Natty as much as anyone, but we need to be real careful here. If this defense thing starts to catch on it could completely change the way the game is played. Think of it, squads of young men banging into each other in the freezing cold with a score of only what, 10-6? Does that sound like football to you?"
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