“It just means more” is a mantra repeated within the walls of any institution whose athletics align with the Southeastern Conference. Being a fan of any of these institutions guarantees that you’re familiar with the saying, but what does it even mean?
In Georgia’s case, it’s probably the truest it could possibly be right now. Not only are the Dawgs going to face an out-of-conference opponent in the capital of their state in a stadium that they’ve already played and won in twice this season, the last time being a victory in the conference championship game, but after Georgia’s Peach Bowl press conference earlier this week, we’re learning just what exactly this game means this team, university and more.
Though it’s Coach Kirby Smart’s seventh year with the team, he’s still finding a way to some firsts in the Peach Bowl. Coach Smart is the first person to play in the game and won it, coached the game and won it as a season opener, and coached the game and won it as a bowl game, according to Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO Gary Stokan. Keeping on the topic of history, Champ Bailey, former MVP of the 1998 Peach Bowl, will be an honorary Georgia captain for the game the same year he’s inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Former head coach Mark Richt will also be inducted into the Peach Bowl hall of fame this year, according to Stokan.
It’s not just Smart that has a history with the game. Athletic director Josh Brooks has his fair share of experiences with the game as well. The Peach Bowl was the first bowl game Brooks attended as a student at the University of Georgia 22 years ago, and it was his first bowl game as an Athletic director two years ago.
This is the SEC. The most competitive college football conference in America. When they say, “It just means more,” it’s because it does. And for Georgia, it really does. This is a game the Dawgs are familiar with, and they’ll have to show Ohio State how come December 31st.