There are three games left this season for the Georgia Bulldogs, and they need to win two of them to be bowl eligible. At 4-5, things have gotten tight for Mark Richt's team and a margin of error that seemed miniscule three-weeks ago seems non-existent now.
While there is chatter that a 5-7 SEC team could make it to a bowl game, thanks to the extra locales added this year, it would be far better to see Georgia actually make it to a legitimate bowl game this year—despite their record—and do so because they actually earned the right.
If you're a fan or follower, you want to see the team finish strong. This weeks matchup against the Idaho State Bengals will be just what the doctor ordered for these tired Bulldogs as that game should offer the team a chance to catch their breath and prepare for the remaining schedule ahead—which includes both Auburn and Georgia Tech.
There can be no guarantees made that Georgia can beat both Auburn (on the road) or Georgia Tech (at Sanford), but if they do, they will have a legitimate shot at seeing their bowl options open up quite nicely. Either way, if we assume they finish with the necessary six wins, here are some possibilities for their postseason.
The Liberty Bowl—December 31, 2010 at 3:30 pm
If Georgia were invited to play in this game, they would likely be matched up against the Conference USA champion—the University of Central Florida—and the payout would be in the neighborhood of $1.7 million.
The game is held in Memphis, TN at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium—home of the Memphis Tigers and the Southern Heritage Classic.
The Outback Bowl—January 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Don't laugh; the Outback bowl would be a legitimate possibility for a 7-5 Georgia Bulldogs team. The payout is substantially better at $3.3 million, and the location would be amenable to many of the traveling Georgia Bulldog fans—the game is held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Their most likely opponent would be either Iowa or Illinois.
The Birmingham Bowl—January 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm
The formerly-named Papajohns.com Bowl pits the No. 8 or 9 finisher in the SEC against the Big East's No. 5 finisher. The payout is a paltry $900,000, and the location is Birmingham, AL.
As of now, it would seem that the expense of traveling to this game would hardly be worth the trouble.
However, it is doubtful that Georgia would dismiss any bowl bid they are offered this season, regardless of the amount of prestige that is, or is not, attached.
The Music City Bowl—December 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm
There seems to be a good bit of buzz surrounding the possibility of Georgia heading to this one. The Music City Bowl is held in Nashville, TN, and the Bulldogs last appearance there was 2001—when they lost 20-16 to Boston College.
The Chick-Fil-A Bowl—December 31, 2010
A win over Auburn would, at least, place Georgia in the conversation for this one. It would be a welcome gift considering most fans, at this point, don't think Georgia has a chance of staying within striking distance of the Auburn Tigers this season—not with Cam Newton patrolling the field.
However, if they can steal one from "The Plains," they could be an attractive candidate for the Chick-fil-A bowl committee as the game would be close to Athens, GA, and Georgia fans, historically, have traveled very well to this venue.