There has to be some kind of standard for giving out rings, or the whole thing becomes kind of weird.
A national championship? Go crazy. Nobody is arguing the significance of that.
Conference championships? Sure. We're getting into a little murkier ground, however. A NFL team isn't going to give out AFC North division title rings. But for a Big 12 football championship, we can see it. But that's the line. Anything less and you might as well start handing out rings for participation, like certificates at a third-grade spelling bee.
And that's why the sudden trend of divisional championship rings is odd.
Georgia wasn't on probation. It went to the SEC Championship Game and lost. It then landed in the oh-so-prestigious Citrus Bowl. It got a ring.
Georgia pretty much won a half of a conference championship, lost to Alabama in the SEC title game, and it got a ring that looks like it won a Super Bowl. Look at that ring on the top of the page. It's enormous. That's what they got for a season that ended with a bowl win against a reeling Nebraska team that finished 25th in the final AP poll. They didn't exactly beat the 49ers in the Superdome to earn that ring.
And North Carolina won half of a conference championship too, kind of. It finished in a three-way tie for the Coastal Division title. So, one-third of a half of a conference championship. 16.7 percent. The Tar Heels' ring proudly says their record on the side: "8-4."
Eight. And. Four. Here's a ring.
And while it's nice for the players to get rings, you can then say it would be nice for each player to get a ring next year. Beat Purdue in September? Here's a ring. Kick a game-winning field goal? Here's a ring. Pick up that big third and 1 in the first quarter? Here's a ring.
Rings are being given out for going 5-3 in ACC play and winning a third of a mediocre division in an average conference. Nobody will notice if the bar goes lower.
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