Georgia saving its best for last

NCAA Football: Georgia at Auburn

As many Bulldogs would attest, Saturday’s win at Auburn wasn’t supposed to be that easy.

Was it?

From the outside looking in, I too thought the flatlined fighting Gene Chizik’s would at least put up more of a fight than what flashed across the tube as a turnover and big play-infused collapse. Calling the upset was a stretch, but part of me didn’t believe Auburn had completely given up this season and thrown in the towel on Chizik and his current staff. By halftime, much like what has happened throughout the Tigers’ dreadful 0-7 SEC start, Auburn fans headed for the exits inside their own stadium.

There’s two sides to every game however and on the visiting sideline, Georgia looked like a team on a mission from start to finish that has responded with precise focus since an early-season loss to South Carolina. Reiterated by star linebacker Jarvis Jones after an emphatic 38-point drubbing on the Plains, the Bulldogs never considered throwing in the towel after losing to South Carolina and under Mark Richt’s watch, have responded well to adversity.

The last three games have proved UGA’s deserving of an SEC East title and a return trip to Atlanta, backed by a veteran quarterback with growing confidence and a defensive front seven that has reached near max potential. The Bulldogs’ win sets up what could be a classic SEC Title Game on Dec. 1 that’ll feature the conference’s two best teams, one-loss programs that remain in BCS title talks if one of three remaining unbeatens — Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame — go down. It may not have quite the build following Alabama’s upset loss to Texas A&M, but could have gargantuan championship implications once we know the result of the Fighting Irish’s road trip to Southern Cal the previous week. Oregon will try and avoid a letdown in the PAC12 Championship Game in Autzen the night before the SEC takes center stage from the Georgia Dome.

You have to feel good at this junction if you’re the Bulldogs. Since South Carolina’s afternoon loss in Gainesville on Oct. 20, you’ve controlled your own destiny over the last four games and have looked good doing it. Uber-talented at most positions, UGA poses a threat to any one of the BCS’s remaining unbeatens and plays a style of football indicative of the SEC’s six-year run to national titles. Richt’s squad beats you at the point of attack with a two-headed monster in the backfield and utilizes a vertical passing game with three-year starter Aaron Murray. UGA’s defense — a staple of past BCS champions LSU, Alabama and Florida — is vastly improving.

Back in September, I predicted the Bulldogs to be here at this point but selected South Carolina as the East champion based on a 1-1 October split at LSU and Florida. The Gamecocks wound up losing both games to Top 10 teams, opening the Bulldogs’ door to Atlanta. Similar to last season’s run, Georgia has seized its second chance and is playing for more at this point of the season.

Par the course with the BCS’ heavy emphasis on strength of schedule correlating to conference, one loss proves you’re still in the national championship picture. And for SEC fans, hope is not lost for the league’s seventh straight crystal football.

Photo Credit: John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

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COMMENTS

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  • Love it Love it Love it. great read.

  • I said it in the article but it was awesome to be there. Was just awesome for the clock to hit 00:00 and there being like 5 orange shirts in the stadium and a whole crowd of red chanting SEC. I dont know that anything can top that for me as that was my first trip to Jordan-Hare. Tailgated before the game, was chastised and heard Richt Sucks **** all the way into the stadium but I shut up and knew the scoreboard would do the talking and sure enough, it did.

  • I’d say that the perception has indeed shifted in recent weeks. Georgia can absolutely compete with Alabama in the SEC Championship. An Alabama win is definitely not a certainty.

  • Sic’em, Go Dawgs.

  • Always a bulldog sunshine pumper. UGA loses to bama by 17+. Just enough defense to stop a sputtering Florida offense. Blown out by scar
    And played nobody else.

    • Which makes it sort of ironic, because if you asked the question, “who has SCar beat that is worth a damn?” the answer would be…Georgia. So, either SCar has no quality wins this year or you must acknowledge that Georgia is a good team. Hmmm…quite the predicament.

      • Hmmmmm. Predicament? I don’t see one. Where yes I know scar is not going to Atlanta because we pissed away two wins you also don’t see me pumping sunshine up anyone’s butt about south carolina. All I ever see on this site is jecmoore playing Georgia cheerleader because his team is in the driver seat to the seccg. Its cool uga took care of business but his.last few comments have been laughable. Uga is not the second best team in this confrence not even the third or fourth. But they did what they had to and congrats to them for it. But his comment are absolutely ridiculous on the most hilarious level possible.

        • Haha right. Have fun watching the Dawgs win the SEC.

        • Lol, you mad bro? This guy must be really pissed and/or not have a life to come here and troll. Why get mad if you think UGA fans are talking crap? You’re obviously insecure about it or else you wouldn’t be here. This is why I have no respect for SCAR fans. You guys are classless, retarded, and always think you’re better than UGA. Well guess what? Your not. And I’m glad Marcus Lattimore got f’ed up. I hope he never makes it to the NFL. He deserved it for playing in your craphole that is South Carolina. GO DAWGS!

        • I should clarify…I am not with what JakeT just said. Wehil I agreed to a point, that ended the second he said “And I’m glad Marcus Lattimore got f’ed up. I hope he never makes it to the NFL. He deserved it for playing in your craphole that is South Carolina.” Marcus was a class act. As were nearly all South Carolina players. He was always a great competitor, and I wish him the best recovery. What I hate is the entitled attitude that many of the fans have after a couple good season. That being said…I would never wish harm on another player. No matter how much I hate the team or fans.