Why UGA vs. South Carolina Will Be a Bigger SEC Game Than Bama vs. LSU

Randy ChambersAnalyst IOctober 1, 2012

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Steve Spurrier of the South Carolina Gamecocks is congratulated by Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The one game that everybody had circled on their calendar before the season started was LSU-Alabama later in the season. It could possibly feature two highly ranked teams, determine who makes it on to the SEC Championship and who eventually moves on to the BCS title game.

And while all of those possibilities remain, it will not be the biggest game in the SEC this season.

Nope, that title will go to the Georgia-South Carolina showdown that takes place this weekend. Much like LSU and Alabama, both teams are ranked inside the Top 10 of both polls and have a lot to play for in this contest. The winner will be in the driver's seat for a SEC East crown and become one of the teams that could reach the BCS Championship.

You should still tune in to watch Nick Saban and Les Miles clash once again, but it won't be as big as the SEC East matchup this weekend.


Georgia and South Carolina Are Playing Well

If we are not looking at last week’s games, both of these teams have played well throughout the year. I'd like to think that both Georgia and South Carolina were looking ahead a bit to this matchup, which seems to happen far too often.

And while both teams are undefeated at the moment and have been playing well, they both have the potential to continue to grow as football teams. South Carolina is just now getting a healthy quarterback in Connor Shaw, as he missed a chunk of September with a shoulder injury. Running back Marcus Lattimore is just now getting his feet under him after tearing his ACL last season.

As for Georgia, the offense is clicking better than ever, but the defense was missing a few key players. Linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Bacarri Rambo played the first game of the season last week after missing the previous matchups due to a suspension. They both played extremely well against Tennessee and show that this defense will only become better with time.

We pretty much know what we are getting when it comes to LSU and Alabama. But what makes the South Carolina-Georgia game so special is that these teams are solid clubs, but have the upside to only improve as the season carries out. The winner of this contest will be the program that is ready to take that next step and become a member of the SEC elite.


Tigers Will Lose Before Alabama

If there will be anything that puts a hole in the balloon of this matchup, it will be one of these teams showing up with a loss to their record. Everyone wants to see two undefeated clubs square off, but it will be the LSU Tigers that will enter the month of November with a number other than zero in the loss column.

Yeah, I said it.

The Tigers are simply nowhere near where they were last season. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger has not been able to provide this LSU offense with a passing game that many thought he would be able to do. The offensive line is banged up and not as dominant as it once was. The defense isn't pressuring the quarterback like we are used to seeing and is allowing 75 percent of opponent’s red-zone trips to end in a touchdown.

This club nearly lost to a struggling Auburn team and needed all four quarters to pull away from Towson last week. With the way this team has performed in the first month of the season, I almost guarantee they will lose a game before the big matchup.

LSU will travel to Florida this week to play a Gators team that has had an extra week to prepare. And not only is Florida getting better with each passing week, but the Tigers have lost nine of the last 12 meetings that have taken place in Gainesville. The Tigers also have to play South Carolina and take a trip to College Station as well.

We have seen Les Miles prove the critics wrong before, but with the way the 2012 Tigers are playing, there is no way this team is undefeated when the Crimson Tide come to town.


We Won't Fall for the Trap Again

Remember last season?

Everybody was labeling last year's meeting the Game of the Century—it was going to be considered an instant classic, something you tell your grandchildren about, it was just one of those games that you would miss the birth of your child for.

Unfortunately, the game did not live up to the hype or even come close. There was not one touchdown, both offenses turned the ball over two times and Alabama missed four field goals. In case you fell asleep and don't remember the score, LSU won the forgettable matchup by a score of 9-6. It was a little over three hours that none of us will get back and the result of the contest didn't matter, as both teams would play again a couple of months later. And let's not even talk about the BCS National Championship meeting.

I will not fall for the hype of a big matchup ever again, especially when it includes LSU and Alabama squaring off.

The meeting between two of the more talented schools remains a game every college football fan should see, but it will not be better than Georgia-South Carolina.