ANAHEIM, CA-It was a great day if you were a Georgia Bulldog or Oklahoma Sooner. The two teams, playing in one of the College Football Playoff semifinal games at the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, had their fill of Mickey Mouse and his pals as they hung out at the great resort called Disneyland as the official kickoff to the matchup between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the country got underway. Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield missed the festivities because of illness.
But as it was, his teammates, as well as members of the Georgia Bulldogs squad, didn’t have a problem taking in the zany world of Cars Land and other places of action in Disney California Adventure where players took in rounds of questions from the media. For roughly about 30 minutes, player representatives and the team’s respective coaches, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Georgia’s Kirby Smart, fielded questions from reporters, discussing a whole range of topics.
And they were pretty much all over the place.
Some of the conversations that came about revolved about two team’s success this season, what it meant to be playing in the national championship semifinal, players talking about their Disneyland visit, what their favorite all-time Disney movies were, describing what it felt like following in the footsteps of other great running backs (Georgia players), and the missing in action Heisman Trophy winner.
Making it into the round of four this time around in college football required not losing more than one game. Strength of schedule helped, too. Wisconsin (No.6, 12-1) and University of Central Florida (No. 12, 12-0) could say they have valid claims they deserved to be picked in the top-tier of four teams. As it was, the College Football Playoff committee came up with Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia.
Except for a one-point win against Notre Dame, Georgia was pretty much having their way with opponents until they met up with Auburn in the first of their two meetings on the season. Auburn got the best of Georgia, whipping the Bulldogs, 40-17.
Georgia, anchored by their triple threat at the running back position, smoked the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game to get the invite to play in the Rose Bowl Game. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift are the three-headed monster that the Sooners must be able to stop if Mayfield and his Oklahoma buddies hope to advance to the championship game. On the flip side of that coin, the Bulldogs must contend and try to put a harness on Mayfield, who passed for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns against five interceptions.
Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith and his fellow Bulldogs will have their hands full with Mayfield and Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews on game day. But on this day, Smith and his teammates weren’t too worried about stuff taking place on the field. They were too busy soaking up the Southern California sun, enjoying themselves and having a blast inside the Magic Kingdom.