Favorable slate has UGA on verge of BCS title shot

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By way of cosmic collision, most would agree the stars have aligned for Georgia this season. With only one quality win, the Bulldogs are on the verge of a national championship appearance.

Let that simmer for a minute. How has that happened during a college football season filled with colossal matchups and down-to-the-wire finishes that have dictated an ever-changing BCS Top 5?

Soft scheduling and a little luck.

Third-ranked Georgia has played a grand total of two ranked teams this season and split those contests. Outside of Will Muschamp’s Gators, Vanderbilt is the only Division IA team it has beaten with a winning record. The Bulldogs were soundly beaten and only two minutes away from being shutout at South Carolina and needed six turnovers to win a sloppy, one-possession affair against Florida in Jacksonville.

Seeing what has unfolded on the field, is Georgia really America’s best one-loss team after Alabama? Take a look at the resume of others in the mix. The Gators are 4-1 against ranked teams and that doesn’t include a road win over Texas A&M who hadn’t yet reaped the benefits of Johnny Football in September. Oregon, perhaps the most dynamic single-loss team, has blown out four ranked opponents and lost by an overtime field goal to another. Collin Klein and Kansas State plummeted after an upset at Baylor despite winning all four of its games against ranked teams.

Late-season stumbles by a couple of unbeatens leaves Georgia in prime position thanks to the BCS. Mark Richt’s club, like it has done in recent years, benefited from losing early. The Bulldogs have won six straight since that loss in Columbia and has consistently moved up in the polls by simply conquering the schedule. No one in Athens is complaining at 11-1, but it seems unfair to others with a more-balanced track record near the top of the rankings. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs have a chance to silence the critics and prove they’re legit Saturday against the Crimson Tide. A win over Nick Saban delivers a shot at the ultimate prize, the program’s first BCS crown.

According to recent reports, the Bulldogs would be a 3-point favorite over unbeaten Notre Dame in Miami. Jarvis Jones and Co. would like nothing more than to give the media and the majority of college football fans the stiff arm in South Beach. It would be a second consecutive signature win over a Top 2 team and one that would solidify Georgia’s spot at the top. But a dream season seems unlikely for a squad that has yet to prove it’s worth against the nation’s best.

Slipping to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve against Clemson would be a fitting matchup for two highly-overrated teams who have struggled against anyone of substance this season.

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

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COMMENTS

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  • There’s no doubting Georgia (and Alabama) both had favorable schedules, but they each won the key game they needed to. Alabama beat LSU and Georgia beat Florida to win their division. That’s how the system works. Did they have an easy schedule? Yes. But Georgia is still a very good team.

    • Ive watched you comment the entire season and just wanted to say thanks. I think we’ve both had choice words about each others teams at times but I plan on keeping it classy because this is the week that no amount of trash talk is going to matter. All that matters is what our teams do on the football field. So thanks for not being an ignorant.

      I believe whole heartedly that Alabama is an amazing team. Im a Dawg fan and I believe Georgia has an oppurtunity to have an amazing year because I also believe they are an amazing team. Im tired of hearing about schedules. Im tired of hearing that the SEC needs to play 9 conference games. The middle of the road SEC teams could beat half of the other conferences “ELITE” teams. Everyone would get their feelings hurt if the SEC played 9 conference games and the National Champion was a two loss SEC team because guess what? Then they would have an ever stronger strength of schedule. Georgia won when it needed to. South Carolina acting like the #1 football team for ONE game and then they got dismantled the two weeks following a huge win over Georgia. Georgia bounced back to beat the #2 team in the nation. I am so tired of listening to the media bash Georgia like they are so much worse than anyone else. Line up the top 6 SEC teams and let them play again. Anyone of them can beat the other on any given Saturday. Plain and simple. and I swear to god if I hear Kirk Herbstreit run his mouth about the SEC one more time I might go nuts!

  • Georgia’s Schedule (11-1) Bama’s (11-1)
    Florida (11-1) Texas A&M (10-2) LOSS
    S. Carolina (10-2) Loss LSU (10-2)
    Vandy (8-4) Miss State (8-4)
    Ole Miss (6-6) Ole Miss (6-6)
    Tennessee (5-7) Tennessee (5-7)
    Missouri (5-7) Missouri (5-7)
    Auburn (3-9) Arkansas (4-10)
    Kentucky (2-10) Auburn (3-6)

    “That’s right! Both teams played two top opponents. Both teams played a mid-level, 8-4 opponent. Both teams played Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Missouri. And both teams played two terrible SEC bottom-feeders (you have no idea how happy I am to describe Auburn as a bottom-feeder)”.

    Enough said.

  • While you make some valid points — Georgia did have an easier schedule than many — the whole of your article wreaks of sour grapes. Georgia didn’t make their own SEC schedule. It is what it is and Georgia capitalized on it. Geez… Does Kleenex have a plant in Columbia, SC? They should so that the Visor and all you Gamecock fans can be well-stocked for whatever you choose to whine about next season.

    • Yup…that’s what he’s all about

      • Hey, I understand pulling for your team and writing from that perspective. But this piece was too over the top, even for Brad. I don’t necessarily go to SDS for world-class journalism. Fanaticism is what they market. I’m just tired of hearing the whining from SC fans. Act like a man, quit whining, and say what every other team not in the hunt now says: “Next year.”

      • SMH. You obviously only read my UGA-inspired stuff. Nothing I write is written with an SC-slant. This isn’t either. I’m simply pointing out that of the one-loss teams, UGA’s played the softest slate.

    • Again, read the rest of my copy.

  • So I guess Alabama had a terribly difficult schedule to conquer?

  • Brad, you are a Gamecock so the hope of impartiality goes out the window BUT for the love of God PLEASE let the scheduling thing GO. If you really want to do some good, talk about how Bama avoided the big 3 from the East this year!! They didn’t play UGA, Florida or USCe!!

    Do you see any articles about that?? No, so be the first to do so and write one.

  • Emotionally-charged and biased epithets like this destroy the credibility of SDS as a legit site.

  • I love how South Carolina fans think their team played such a tougher schedule than UGA. Wah, wah, wah. So, you played LSU. Yeah, that LSU team that lost to UF. You played UGA and, begrudgingly, I admit the perfect storm occurred for y’all to blow us out. Then, you played Clemson, who scraped by AUBURN and beat a GT team by moderate score while UGA blew out GT. So, even if you assume LSU would have beaten UGA, we likely end the season with, you guessed it, 2 losses. The same as the pathetic, whiny cocks. So, stop acting like you’re sooooo much better than UGA simply because you played (gasp!) LSU.

  • Agree with many of the above posters. UGA didn’t make their SEC schedule. Remember when everyone regarded Mizzou as a tough game? “Watch out, it could be an upset!” We won it and Mizzou went on to have a bad year. We didn’t choose to play them and if they hadn’t joined the SEC, we would have played Alabama this year per the schedule. Not only do we not make the SEC schedule, no one bothers to tell us years in advance which teams are going to suck and when. If that were the case… then Brad might just have an argument. Auburn, TN, Arkansas are stinkers this year… if only we had known we could have scheduled to play Arkansas!

    Get over the scheduling thing. I dare say Alabama, Florida and Georgia would all three be favorites over Notre Dame.

  • I realize there are many very bitter “other schools” and fans out there. Exhibited in the above column. You could almost hear the writer crying as he was putting pen to paper. However, there is a system in place. And when you perculate to the top , within that system. You have a chance to play for the NC. It’s pretty much as simple as that. South Carolina had a great victory over UGA. The only problem with that is they did not continue to win. UGA did. You have to play within the system South Carolina couldn’t manage that , The Dawgs could and did. So you can write all kind of disclaimer columns etc. The fact is UGA will play Saturday. AND there is no doubt about it. If thee isone saving grace for dis-gruntled South Carolina and UF fans. If UGA loses they will fall hard.

  • Oh wow….this is truly laughable…as is the fact that you have a spot on the SDS roster in the first place. While UGA’s schedule wasn’t the toughest by any means neither was SCAR or Bama. The BCS actually worked out pretty well again considering that it will be decided on the field. If UGA is as overrated as you claim then Bama will surely blow us out and you can go back to jerking off to Lattimore’s freshman stats and sniffing your game-worn spurrier jockstrap.

    • Well, normally you’re one of the posters that appreciates stuff on UGA. Guess this wasn’t one of them.

      • I can appreciate anyone’s opinion…long as they back it up with any sort of logic. Like WHY is UGA overrated? HOW will Bama win? WHO deserves our spot more? UF? Ok well regardless of what you may have seen we TOOK AWAY those turnovers and beat them…LSU? yeah they look like real worldbeaters…well for a few quarters this season anyways. TAMU? They get props but how soon we forget that they lost to UF and LSU but that doesn’t matter now does it? Oregon? Kstate? does anybody really believe they are better than the top 6 sec teams? So tell me, who deserves our spot more? And who matches up with Bama better?

  • Georgia did not pick their easy SEC schedule. There was no diabolical “easy win” scheme. Mark Richt didn’t have to plead before anyone to make his case for the East crown. They won their division fair and square. No amount of debate can reverse South Carolina’s two losses or Florida’s tiebreaker loss; continuing the debate is senseless and unprofessional. If you’re angry at the system, propose a new one in which two-loss teams can leapfrog supposedly “underrated” one-loss teams based on sportswriters’ opinions. Do NOT, though, write another piece of bias journalism about it. There are enough of those floating around.

  • This article is even more biased than ESPN! Tell us how you really feel about Georgia Brad! This was very unprofessional.

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