Eddie George is one of the greatest players in college football history. In fact, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1995 and played nine years in the NFL, rushing for more than 10,000 yards.
The only downside? He finished with eight fewer NFL rushing yards than Tiki Barber, who had 10,449 to George’s 10,441.
“I had no clue,” George said on Tiki and Tierney, laughing. “I had no clue about that. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to go back to the Titans for about five (or six) games, and I’m going to (rush for) one (or two yards) each (game) and surpass you and then retire.”
In truth, the 41-year-old George – who still looks every bit the 6-3, 235-pound player he was – is probably capable of that, but why risk injury? Besides, it’s more fun to trade barbs with Barber anyway.
But enough NFL talk. The inaugural College Football Playoff concludes tonight, with Oregon and Ohio State squaring off at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Tens of millions of people will be watching across the country.
“College football has never been at this point,” George said. “It’s the absolute best it’s ever been. It has a Super Bowl feel to it, a lot of hype around it. You’re starting to see celebrities and people really weighing in on our picks. You have a really fascinating matchup between Ohio State and Oregon. I think it’s going to be a really good game tonight.”
Indeed, Oregon is gunning for its first national championship in program history, while Urban Meyer is gunning for his third national championship since 2006 – and Ohio State’s first since 2002.
“He’s been fantastic,” George said. “Just this year alone, the way he navigated this team to the national championship (was amazing).”
Ohio State lost several key players from last year’s team – including seven NFL starters – and had to overcome season-ending injuries to a pair of Heisman Trophy quarterback candidates. The Buckeyes also endured the suicide of walk-on defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge
“They’ve been through so much adversity,” George said. “And not to mention on the field having a whole new offensive line, young talent all throughout the roster – and to put them in this position has been the finest work, in my opinion, of his career. And if he wins tonight, you can easily say that he’s probably – along with Nick Saban – the best coach in the game right now.”
Oh, no question. If Meyer wins tonight, you could argue it’s the best coaching job in college football history.
“You know what?” George asked. “You could really start to make that argument. To have three legitimate quarterbacks, it tells you how he gets the best out of his players and how his system works and the recruiting that he’s doing. He can go down as the greatest coach in Ohio State history given if he wins this one and how many others he can possibly win after that. It’s a fantastic job he’s been able to do.”
George said Ohio State must control the run and win on first and second down against Oregon’s high-octane offense.
His X-factor should come as no surprise.
“I think it’s going to be turnovers,” George said. “Oregon is No. 2 in the country in turnover margin. That’s where they thrive. If Ohio State does not turn the ball over, they win this game. If Ohio State turns the ball over, Oregon will annihilate them.”