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Watch: The 2021 season in review

Before we fully turn the page to 2022, let's spend a couple minutes reflecting on all 2021 brought us.

If you're at all like me, the end of a college football season always arrives in melancholy wrapping.

Imagine you're painting a landscape. You spend eight months studying your favorite artists, acquiring new paints, cleaning your brushes and doing, uh, other painting stuff. You spend four months putting brush to canvas, agonizing over each stroke. And after you've finally finished.... you spend all of six seconds admiring your work before throwing the painting in the trash and immediately start working on the next one.

I think we do a little of that in college football.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't think there's anything wrong with looking forward to what's next. In fact, after this, I'll get to work writing my own 2022 look-ahead piece, one of my favorite things to write each year. I do find certain beauty in the passing of time. Just as the leaves fall, grow, and fall again, today's freshman are tomorrow's seniors, who were just freshmen in their own right again.

And it's not as if time can stand still as we all applaud Georgia for a week or so. Kirby Smart's team hoisted the national title trophy for the first time in four decades, and three teams -- Baylor, Louisiana, Utah State -- won their conference and their bowl game. The other 126 have room for improvement, and it's perfectly fine that they turn the page to 2022. 

But, seemingly everywhere you turn, numerous sites had their 2022 way-too-early top 25s up before Kelee Ringo even reached the end zone with Georgia's championship-clinching touchdown. I find that a little bit sad. What was the 2021 season for, if we're going to forget about it the moment it's over? Won't we just do that with 2022, and 2023, and 2024? If that's the case, what's any of this for?

Turning the page is healthy, but only in time, after you've reflected on where you've been and how you got here. Like, say, eight and a half minutes' worth of reflection.

That's the gift college football archivist Timothy Burke has given us today: an 8 minute, 26-second highlight film of the '21 campaign, soundtracked by local radio calls.

Before we start thinking about where 2022 will take us, let's remember what 2021 brought. And, boy, did it deliver.