Georgia Football: How Bulldogs Georgia Can Make the BCS Title Game
It's been a weird season for Georgia fans. Just over a month ago, head coach Mark Richt was being ushered back towards the hot seat and quarterback Aaron Murray's house in Athens was egged.
Now days before a cakewalk game against the Georgia Southern Eagles, and fans are preparing for a feel-good weekend in Athens.
Georgia hasn't looked pretty all season, but it's looking pretty right now, and luckily the "what have you done for me lately" standard can really come into play in the coming weeks.
And, after all, Georgia has done everything we expected them to do this year. The ideal scenario passed around during the preseason offered that Georgia would win every game but a slip-up in one of the Columbias (back when we assumed Missouri was a tough out) and have a legitimate shot at a BCS National Championship appearance if it could sneak by Alabama in the SEC Championship game.
Long story short, the train of thought that a one-loss SEC team would be a shoo in for the national title carried over to this preseason and was painted in red and black.
Impressively, Georgia's season has played out like the aforementioned ideal scenario, with its lone loss coming from the grounds of Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., but Georgia needs all of the help in the world if it wants to make the most of its opportunity.
The factor we missed was the way Georgia would go about its 11 wins and one loss. Not only did Georgia get trounced, 35-7, against South Carolina, but its wins have been odd, to say the least.
Georgia started slow against Buffalo and Florida Atlantic, nearly had one of the worst implosions in recent memory against Tennessee and had to fight to get out of Lexington with a 29-24 victory against Kentucky.
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Vanderbilt, who Georgia beat 48-3, went into Lexington and handed that same Kentucky team a 40-0 shellacking.
Georgia is lucky to even be ranked No. 5 in the BCS Standings right now. It has lived up to expectations in the win-loss column, but there is no doubt it took until the Florida game for the Dawgs to get it right.
Heck, things even looked bad against Ole Miss two weeks ago, though Georgia eventually pulled away for a nice 37-10 win.
So, the question remains: Can Georgia really make it to the BCS title game? They've done what they set out to do, technically.
The answer: It's a long shot. But, it's possible.
Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame stand in Georgia's way. The Bulldogs have clinched a spot in the SEC Championship game, and, pending no embarrassing slip-up against Georgia Southern or Georgia Tech, will be 11-1 when they enter the Georgia Dome. Georgia has not finished a regular season 11-1 since 2002, when they were ranked No. 3 after the SEC title game and played in the Sugar Bowl.
Kansas State's remaining games are at Baylor and home against Texas. There is no doubt the Wildcats are a very complete team. They have played their best against their best competition, as well.
Oregon has Stanford, who already knocked off USC and Oregon State, the Civil War against the Beavers, and a likely rematch against Lane Kiffin's Trojans left on the schedule.
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Notre Dame must play a hapless Wake Forest team and then travel to So-Cal to face the Trojans as well.
If these three teams stay undefeated, Georgia stands zero chance of making the title game—even if it beats Alabama in the SEC Championship.
For Georgia to have the opportunity to squeeze into the No. 2 slot, they probably will want to cheer for Kiffin's team—weird, right?
Kansas State does not have to play the Big XII title game, because, well, that doesn't exist anymore. If they beat Baylor and lose to Texas, they will still probably qualify for a chance to play for the Crystal Ball.
Notre Dame is another team that does not have to play a championship round, and therefore can afford a loss to USC and still play for it all.
This is, of course, implying for the sake of the article that Georgia squeaks by Alabama. If the Tide beat Georgia, they will likely skip up some slots and kick one of the top teams out of the picture.
But, if Georgia does beat Alabama, they can make the BCS title game if Kansas State falls to Texas, Notre Dame falls to USC and Oregon loses two of its final three games.
With games against Stanford, Oregon State and USC left, that is very possible.
In total, four losses between the top three teams are required to give Georgia a shot. That doesn't sound as crazy as it did a week ago, before Alabama lost to Texas A&M, but the Aggies' win in Tuscaloosa really opened up a can of worms.
It's a stretch, for sure, but not an unrealistic one. Georgia fans will no doubt have a close eye on the USC Trojans for the coming weeks.
And, hopefully, the Bulldogs team will have some tricks up their sleeves when they face off against Alabama.
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