"I don’t see him winning a second one in a row and I think most UGA fans see that too." Lots of folks didn't see him winning this one. If you check back through the comments on the articles here on SDS, or on Twitter, ESPN, wherever, between the SEC Championship game and the Bowls, you'll see a ton of "UGA ain't winning a Natty with Stetson" from both the journalists and the hoi polloi. Yes, the defense next year is an open question. But if there's one thing SBIV proved in the last couple of weeks: You underestimate him at your peril.
A lot of speculation about who would beat who- which is the point of the Playoffs I guess. It's been a weird year, waiting for things to sort themselves out (Like Oklahoma and Oregon eventually losing, for example) But looking at the rankings above, and playing this out, a couple observations: The SEC Championship game will determine 'Bama's fate- Beat UGA, and they are in. Which sets up the uncomfortable reality that they could have a rematch for the title. (Facing Alabama once is bad enough. Having to do it twice? ooph.) But if 'Bama LOSES the SEC Championship (Far from a given), then it gets hard, I think. The Committee has always seemed to be Alabama homers, but putting them in with two losses seems....unlikely. ESPN gives them a 55% chance of getting in. But I feel like it's thinner than that, with the other teams lurking. Looking at the above, and assuming that Ohio State thrashes Michigan, then Ohio State is in. If Cincinnati wins out, they are in, and then we have our old buddy Notre Dame hanging around. Ahhh. Notre Dame. Once again a conference championship (or lack of) away from being able to argue that they are real contenders, with one pretty good loss. if 'Bama comes away with two losses, then the Committee has to decide, who's the better team? Alabama would arguably be favored in a head-to-head, but after watching a feisty Arkansas team slug it out with the Titans of Tuscaloosa, maybe not? A final four of UGA, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Notre Dame is possible- but not nearly as dramatic (or ratings friendly) as 'Bama instead of Notre Dame.
The UGA QB room is going to be...interesting next year- JT will likely be back (and he will start if he does...maybe), as this season's film is probably insufficient to jump into the draft- But then there's Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff, who will be looking to compete for the starting spot, and then coming in as a freshman is high school phenom Gunner Stockton. It's going to be a competition for sure, but someone's probably headed for the portal at some point.
@ Cody- You're correct that the UGA offense has a limit- however- so far, that limit has been: 1.) Game management- So far, Kirby has generally gotten a game in hand and then been content to grind out possessions, limiting the scoring on the high end and 2.) Injuries- we have yet to see what a fully loaded and healthy Georgia offense is capable of. I believe UGA is certainly CAPABLE of putting 40+ up against a P5 team- at this point they haven't HAD to. The UF game is always a strange one, and you never know what's going to happen. But given what happened last year, and what both teams have looked like so far, I hope that Kirby lets them off the leash.
Came here to post this came- I was there as well- I was a sophomore in Athens, going to my first WLOCP - Remember riding back to Jax Beach on the roof of a school bus in bumper to bumper traffic with a bunch of crazy UGA fans. Ended up being a rowdy evening in Jacksonville.
Was there for the '84 game as a freshman when Butler kicked that bomb as time expired- sitting in the top row of the top deck in the student section- Place went full pandemonium. Saw a lot of memorable games between the hedges, but that was probably the best. Looking forward to this game.
This is nice, being in the #4 slot and all, but at this point it seems largely irrelevant, considering the games left to play. First, UGA has to beat Auburn on the road, win out, and then face LSU in the title game. Not impossible, but pretty long odds. Because of the South Carolina loss, only by winning the SEC does UGA stand any chance of remaining in the conversation. Everything else is just noise, regardless of where Florida and Notre Dame end up in the rankings. As far as Alabama is concerned, it seems fairly straightforward that if LSU wins the SEC, they are going to slide into the #4 slot as the best 1-loss team in the country (with the best loss). There are a number of merits to playing (if you win) a tough non-conference schedule, which we see here, and it certainly makes things more interesting- the subjective nature of strength-of-schedule versus straight W-L (Sorry, Gophers) creates better games through the season, but it makes it a lot tougher to see who really is the best. An eight-team playoff would be more ideal, but harder to manage.
Doesn't really work this way. By this calculus, UCF was the undisputed National Champion last year, because they beat Auburn, who had beaten both UGA and Alabama. (Who by the way, didn't win their conference, but ended up as National Champions) You have to look at the whole body of work. UGA had two bad days that felt remarkably similar (LSU and Texas) The SECC game was lost by poor coaching and Jalen Hurt's legs. The game stats lean heavily in UGA's favor despite the loss. But by a season-long measure, UGA stacks up in almost every statistical category a lot closer to one side of that road than the other. Total offense- #8 in the country (Clemson #2, South Carolina, #46) Total Defense- #21 (Clemson #9 , South Carolina #86) Rushing offense - #12 (Clemson #4, South Carolina #81) UGA finished 11-3 [7-1 SEC]. South Carolina finished 7-6 [4-4 SEC]. The middle of the road, if you are UGA, is a lot closer to Clemson than to Columbia. Are they a top 4 team? We'll find out next year. But by all measures, they are capable of it.