(Don’t laugh.) Why not Georgia?

EAST CONF OVR
#12 Florida 2-1 4-1
#10 South Carolina 2-1 4-1
Georgia 2-1 3-2
Vanderbilt 1-1 3-1
Tennessee 0-1 3-1
Kentucky 0-2 2-3

Gary Danielson had folks a-Twitterin’ last night with his comment towards the end of the UA-UF game that Georgia was now in the driver’s seat in the SEC East.

By that, I don’t think he was calling the Dawgs a mortal lock – their loss to South Carolina makes that mathematically impossible at the moment – but simply stating that most of the factors in play favor Georgia.  Let’s look at a few of those.

  • State of the East.  Quite frankly, it sucks.  At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be a complete team in the division.  The East appears to stack up as unfavorably against the West this season as it did last year.  Except there’s one team in the East that’s 2-0 against the SEC West right now.  (Georgia was 0-3 against the West in 2010.)  And the two teams it’s now tied with each already have one Western loss.  All of which leads us to…
  • The remaining schedule.  Take a look at Marc Weiszer’s post on this.  Is there a game left on Georgia’s schedule that looks unwinnable?  Maybe you can say the same thing about South Carolina’s, but that game in Fayetteville seems insurmountable from here.  (And historically, SC has a very tough time in Knoxville, too.)  Florida goes to LSU, Auburn and South Carolina; there’s at least one more loss in there, likely more than one.  Tennessee has the Alabama, LSU and Arkansas trifecta to face.  The conventional wisdom before the season started pointed to the South Carolina-Florida game as the deciding game in the East, but from here, it’s starting to look like that may fall to the one in Jacksonville.
  • Defense.  If there’s one thing about SEC football, it’s that if you can play defense, you have a chance.  And right now, there are two teams in the East playing superb defense:  Florida and Georgia are tied for seventh nationally in total defense.  South Carolina sits at a quite respectable 24th.
  • Offense.  Okay, Georgia’s not exactly tearing it up here, ranked 52nd in total offense.  The good news is that nobody else in the East is, either.  The Gators are, strangely enough, tied with the Dawgs in this category as well.  Tennessee is a decent 33rd, but some of that is due to playing the softest schedule of any of the East contenders.  South Carolina, with the best running back and best wideout in the division, is an anemic 78th.
  • Quarterbacks.  Aaron Murray may make you pull your hair out on occasion, but the Dawgs are still second in the conference and 26th in the nation in passing efficiency.  Florida just lost its starting quarterback.  South Carolina (115th in passing efficiency) never had one.  And we’ll have to wait and see how Tyler Bray faces up to Georgia, Alabama and LSU without Justin Hunter.

In short, the East is a mess and the Dawgs are right in it now.  Georgia’s chances to win the division may not be pretty, but at least they’re not crazy any more.

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UPDATE:  Barrett Sallee asks the same question.

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28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

28 responses to “(Don’t laugh.) Why not Georgia?

  1. RandallPinkFloyd

    Washington arrested for DUI….and here we go, again.

  2. H-Town Dawg

    Absolutely correct! One week at a time. GATA in Knocksville!

  3. DawgPhan

    So do we need to take up a collection for all those Dawg fans that were “stealing money” from vegas this weekend.

  4. Mike

    I truly hope the game in Jacksonville is to decide the SEC East. For that to happen though, Brantley’s injury will need to prove minor.

    As an aside, the wife and I are headed to New Orleans Thursday and from there to Baton Rouge on Saturday. During our stay, we plan to win the party there, if not the game.

  5. Dawgfan Will

    Wise man say, “In land of blind, one-eyed man king.”

    I say, “Who gives a shit, wise guy? Enjoy the ride while we can!”

  6. Skeptic Dawg

    Why not Georgia? Alex, I will take the Annual Beatdown In Jax for a thousand!

    • Cojones

      Just for fun, I’ll take $10 worth on UGA and give the points that week because I think we will be favored. I’m for the winner being able to type “You owe me ten bucks” each time the loser’s name appears on a blog until we figure a way to pay up.

      • Skeptic Dawg

        I never pull against the Dawgs. However, the past 20 years have taught me that the odds are not in our favor, regardless of talent or coaching. That being said, i am sure we can work some sort of name recognition on the blog.

  7. Brian

    well, UF is getting ready for its second beatdown in as many weeks.
    Can you say “BOOM!”

  8. peligroperro

    Seeing UF’s Brantley go down, makes hope for on-the-job training for H. Mason. Get him some game experience – soon.

  9. BulldogBen

    Gotta agree with the doubters. Other teams lose and the door cracks open? That’s ususally when we lay our biggest egg. At least in the last 3 season

    The Washington arrest is a bad start.

    • Cojones

      We have already seen from Ealey and others that no one is indispensable. It goes for every member of the team. Others have to step up.

  10. OldDawg55

    Hate it that Washington couldn’t live with his success on the field…hurts us going into Knoxsville but this may be the opportunity that Ray Drew has been waiting for…hope he shows us something in practice this week. Also, hope the chemistry of the defense isn’t harmed. The East is ours for the taking…it won’t be given to us, we’ll have to man up and take it. Florida looks more winnable than before. Hope Bobo wises up and Grantham keeps up…we need to just get better and better each week. Go Dawgs, GATA!!!

    • Cojones

      The only thing surprising from FU yesterday was that frequently in the game they demonstrated a D capable of beating Bama. I easily pictured the Dawgs in Bama’s place during that game.

  11. Uglydawg

    Maybe Richt could “not start ” Washington and then put him in after the first play. Is turnabout not fair play?

  12. Will Trane

    Washington suspended. Robinson not back at full gear, and could go down again. Amazed how “rosters” are never understood by the players and coaches at UGA. You are out at 2am drinking, on scholarship, half way through a season, and saw / heard all that crap that went on last year. It is just damn puzzling at the mindset of some of these guys.

    Coach Richt and Coach Bobo you worked hard to get up on MSU with 3 first half TD and you D limited them to a FG in the first quarter. Great game planning and game management. TG wanted to make Self less efiicient with his runs and Ballard. When you put a team like MSU which is run oriented in that kind of situation you enhance you chances of winning. MSU is not a passing attack. So in the first half your offense and defense were hand in hand.
    But less not shake the hedges too much about the second half. MSU is not prone to make big plays in a hurry. That what makes your Dawgs a tough opponent for an opposing defense. You laid those markers on the field against Boise. Opposing coaches take note of those plays and fairly solid defensive teams. Ask Ellis Johnson. Spurrier had to rely on his star RB to get him throught that game and win.
    Here is my point again. You need to be a little tougher on your starting QB for almost turning around your game plan and game management.
    Now you have some guys like Drew and Malcome and a couple of young lineman. Why is it so hard to get these guys up to speed.

  13. JBJ

    My takeaways…

    MSU was a great test for our defense. It looks like they are growing by leaps and bounds each week. The breakout game by Washington had me excited. I hope we can continue the momentum without him. I was really concerned about the run game of MSU and we shut it down. The bubble screen, not so much.

    Murray has got to make better decisions. He continues to stare down receivers. Three interceptions is just not going to get it against a team like Florida and maybe not UT. He also had a fumble that we recovered when he panicked during a pocket collapse.

    Mitchell is solid. I don’t think people realize just how good this guy can be. The short TD pass from Murray was set up because Mitchell ran a perfect fake to the outside and did a sick cut inside.

    Jarvis Jones is a man among boys. Senator covered this in another post. That guy is flying all over the field.

    Walsh has to snap out of this.

    UGA fans need to quit with the booing when your team is up 21-3. I don’t like the conservative play either, but I also realize we are up by three scores.