Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken has this thing he says, advice both obvious and insightful.
Monken likes to remind his star quarterback Stetson Bennett, as they go for back-to-back national championships here on Monday night, that the work required to get to this stage takes 360-something days. They work and they work, all for 12 three-hour chunks of time in the regular season. Then one three-hour chunk for a conference championship. Then there’s one final three-hour chunk to win a national semifinal.
Everyone involved in college football in any capacity, from players to administrators, does what they do because they love the sport itself. All that work and all those repetitions in practice, for every single team in the country. For those who work outside the lines: All the nonsense, all the off-field drama, every complaint about the transfer portal and NIL changing college football. Every offseason storyline of bickering coaches or pending lawsuits. They put up with all that because they love preparing to perform at their best. They love the game.
“That’s why you do it, right?” Bennett said. “It’s important to realize that when you are there — and I’ve been guilty of it even this year, getting somewhere that you were working to get but then not really realizing it.
“This is why we’re here. This is why we do this. … We bust our ass for a whole year to do that. This one is the big one. This is the one to hang it in the rafters forever, right? It’s special.”
Asked how the preparations are going for the final three-hour chunk of the year and of his career at Georgia, Bennett said it feels mostly businesslike. He’s been through this process before, and he trusts that this year’s Bulldogs will hit all the benchmarks that last year’s did to get ready emotionally, mentally and physically for Monday night’s national championship game against TCU.