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Of course, Georgia would have preferred to beat South Carolina and climb into the East driver’s seat. But if it had to lose, this was the right time.
The Bulldogs still have time to climb back into the BCS rankings with a potential win against Florida, which would give Georgia a big boost in the rankings. The Dawgs should be also favorites in the rest of their games besides Florida.
So why are the BCS rankings so important?
If Georgia can find a way to pull out a win against the Gators in Jacksonville, even if South Carolina and Florida run the SEC table, that could create a three-way tie in the SEC East with the Bulldogs, Gators and Gamecocks having identical 7-1 conference records.
In that case, BCS standings will determine who represents the East in the championship game. The lowest-ranked team will be eliminated. Then, if the two next teams are within five spots of each other in the BCS rankings, the head-to-head winner will go to the championship game.
Assuming all these pieces fall into place for the Bulldogs, if South Carolina and Georgia are the two highest ranked, and within five spots, the Gamecocks get the nod. If Florida and Georgia are the two highest ranked, and within five spots, Georgia gets the nod.
But there’s one more thing to consider that could put Georgia more than five spots in front of both South Carolina and Florida. Both teams play in-state rivals Clemson and Florida State, respectively, on the road in the season finales. A loss by either team there, assuming Georgia runs the table, could stretch Georgia’s BCS lead to more than five spots, giving UGA the championship game berth.