Why Georgia won’t win a national title this season.

It’s not that I’m pessimistic about the Dawgs’ play, as I like their chances to make a third straight trip to the SECCG.  But as Pat Forde points out, the skids sure are greased for a number of top ten teams.  Take these three tidbits as examples:

  • The only time Alabama plays 2012 bowl teams on consecutive Saturdays is Nov. 9-16, when its home game against LSU is followed by a trip to Mississippi State.

  • If Ohio State isn’t 12-0 headed to the Big Ten championship game, something went wrong. The Buckeyes play just five FBS teams that had winning records last year, avoid Nebraska and Michigan State in inter-divisional play, and draw Wisconsin and Penn State in Columbus.

  • The only team more likely to go 12-0 than Ohio State is Louisville. The Cardinals, who flash back to their any-night-of-the-week scheduling of a decade ago with five non-Saturday games, don’t play a road game against a team with a 2012 winning record until Dec. 5, at Cincinnati. The toughest test at home could be Oct. 18 against Central Florida.

Even if Georgia avenges last year’s defeat with a win over the Tide, it’s still going to be difficult to overcome twin undefeated teams if there’s a loss on the Dawgs’ slate.  You can bet a 13-0 Ohio State squad will play for the title; the question will be if Louisville’s strength of schedule does it in.  Under those circumstances, I wouldn’t underestimate the power of SEC fatigue.  (I can hear the ESPN “if only there was a playoff this season” speculation now.)

And that’s assuming no other top ten school jumps into the picture with a stellar year.  Unless Georgia plows through with its own 13-0, it looks like a very tough row to hoe from my perspective.

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63 Comments

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63 responses to “Why Georgia won’t win a national title this season.

  1. If UL ends up in the national championship game with OSU over a 12-1 SEC champion, then chalk it up to nothing but SEC fatigue where the coaches vote UL in over the SEC champion. I think it’s going to be hard for UL to jump the SEC champion in the computers especially with their joke of a schedule. Let’s just go 13-0 and dare the BcS to leave us out.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Don’t forget the fact that Louisville beat the slobber out of the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. You can bet the pollsters and pundits won’t.

      Granted that’s last year and granted it’s a game that Louisville was probably more amped up for than Florida was. But Florida was a team that was in the national championship discussion last year and would have been even more a part of that discussion if Georgia had taken another loss down the stretch. Florida went through their SEC schedule last year with only one loss and Louisville humbled them. That’s going to be on the mind of every pundit if Louisville is sitting there undefeated and they’re being compared with a one-loss squad from the SEC.

    • Ben

      It wouldn’t jump at 12-1 Alabama, LSU, or UF. It might jump a 12-1 UGA, though.

      • 69Dawg

        +1 We are probably the only SECC that would get screwed. They would put a 12-1 SCU in just because of SOS. We are the Rodney Dangerfield of College Football.

  2. DawgPhan

    I think that last year plays a part in that scenario. Everyone will have spent so much time talking about how close and how the SEC was the MNC game that SEC champion gets in regardless.

    unless it is a 10-2 Ole Miss beating a 9-3 USC team or something like that were everything is off the rails.

  3. Macallanlover

    SEC baby….just win the SEC. That is the goal, the only goal we can determine our fate in achieving. If we beat SC we get to the Dome; if we get there and beat Bama everyone will know. That would give us a tie for the 2nd most SEC titles (I think), and that will fit anyone’s definition of elite. There may be SEC fatigue in areas of the country, but there is no lack of respect.

  4. Gravidy

    Why do I get the idea that a 12-1 Bama team would be in the title game come hell or high water while a 12-1 UGA team would be in the Peach Bowl?

  5. stoopnagle

    We’re totally going to win the SEC. With one loss. And get left out. Again.

    I swear, I think UGA is the only SEC team that wouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

  6. MGW

    Undefeated Charlie Strong will go to the national title, no matter what.

  7. pantslesspatdye

    With all the variables that make college football great, this is an improbable scenario. That said, a 12-1 SEC champ would play in the title game over 13-0 Louisville. Ignoring the shrill and outright partisan, people around the country know that the SEC is dominant right now.

  8. I vehemently disagree with your L’ville assessment. 12-1 UGA with wins over UF, LSU, Clemson and Bama will guarantee them a spot over L’ville, and it will be because of L’ville’s terrible schedule. Prepare for that sked to be mocked at every turn next year. UGA would have wins over 4 top-20 teams at the very least, with all four being potential top-15/10 teams.

    • Maybe, maybe not.

      If Louisville and Notre Dame started out ranked higher than Georgia in the polls and don’t lose, it’s gonna be tough for a one-loss Georgia team to pass ‘em. Not impossible, mind you… but tough.

      BTW, what if it’s an 11-1 Georgia team that doesn’t play in the SECCG?

      • 11-1 UGA not in the SEC title game is done. That’s just how it is for all teams not named Alabama. Total BS double standard, but it’s real. I totally get why you think L’ville would be an issue, but with THIS Georgia schedule, as opposed to 2012′s, pundits, polls and whatnot will be all over Georgia, especially compared to Louisville.

        • Well, here’s my evil scenario of 2013: Georgia loses a close one to SC, and runs the rest of the slate to finish 11-1. The ‘Cocks lose one game out West, lose to Clemson and then upset Alabama in the SECCG to finish with two losses. Let’s say Georgia finishes 2013 in much the same way it did 2007, with many observers claiming the Dawgs are one of the two best in the country. Still no way they jump an undefeated Louisville?

          • Hmmm….I think they jump L’ville, but SoCar would be ahead of them I think, and so would one of OSU/Oregon/Stanford.

          • Cojones

            If we had an 8-team playoff, none of this angst-promoting conversation takes place.

          • WarD Eagle

            I much prefer you go 11-1 with a loss to Auburn and still make the SECCG.

            If for a rematch and a second loss th Auburn would be even better.

            If then, both teams went to the BCSCCG and you lost again, why, I might be thrilled.
            ;)

          • Bobby

            Luckily, I think the chances of SoCar losing only 1 game are slim. They don’t have Marcus Lattimore. Even when they had Lattimore, they always found a way to cock it up late in the season. I think So Car’s run of being a national title contender is over.

            Honestly, I’d be much more worried about UF. They took chicken shit and made chicken salad last season. Driskel is a liability, but if he has a substantial improvement at all, it’ll more than make up for the loss of Gillislee.

            How the computer factors in SOS is an unknown, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a 1-loss UGA SEC champ jumped Louisville in the final polls.

            • Cojones

              Concerning FU: If they have a shaky, no backed-up O line, Driskel will be the chicken salad fed to our D. It would also slow the yardage of the good Freshman running back they have. If Driskel gets to us in the schedule and is uninjured, that will mean that they solved their problem. We will wait to see.

  9. Anthony Mccormick

    I think a one loss UGA team has as good a shot as anyone, the problem occurs when that one loss is an absolute blowout.

    • Go Dawgs!

      This is an excellent point. You can’t count on the list of circumstances that happened last year that made up for Georgia getting its bell rung happening every year. Alabama getting nipped at the end by a good Texas A&M team looks a lot better than Georgia getting its lunch eaten by a South Carolina team that went on to lose the next two in a row.

      • Bobby

        Very true. It’s also a distinction b/w letting in a non-SEC champ Bama (close loss to LSU), even though it rejected UGA in a similar scenario in 2007 (w/ a blowout loss to UT).

  10. The real concern for UGA would not be L’ville, but rather the winner of the Oregon/Stanford game. That is where the concern should fall.

  11. Can we just play the games? Every year someone points to a strong team with an easy schedule, be it Oregon or Southern Cal in the Pac 12, a non major like Louisville or TCU running the table, FSU or Miami or Clemson or Va Tech against the ACC, etc. And every year teams stub their toe. Until the games are all played, it’s a little premature to go throwing out multiple undefeated teams.

    • The year-round discussion is part of what makes CFB so great.

    • JRod1229

      What else would you like to discuss in the off-season?

      • We can keep talking about how crap the NCAA is, or about 8 games vs. 9 games, among several other topics the Senator discusses quite well.

        The main point was simply saying that it’s premature to already pencil in Ohio St and Louisville as undefeateds. They will combine to lose at minimum 2 games, I’ll call that now. No telling to who, but they’ll combine for at least 2 losses. How many times did Southern Cal look like a lock to go undefeated against a weak Pac 12, and lose to Cal or Oregon or Stanford or whoever. Expecting any college football team to run the table, regardless of their talent or their schedule, is not a good idea imo.

        • Well, I’ve got five other posts up today. Guess which one’s getting the most attention.

          • I’m not blaming you Senator, and as Twistification says below, this type of post is a natural part of off season discussion these days. I just can’t buy into the us getting screwed by an undefeated Ohio St and Louisville theory. Teams get the big head, start buying into the hype of their strength and their schedules weaknesses, and let one slip (say Louisville to Central or South Florida in late October, or Pat Fitzgerald gets a signature win for Northwestern as they keep building). It is extremely difficult to keep 18-23 yr old kids motivated at the level they need to be week in and week out to go undefeated.

            Talking hypotheticals can be fun, and can often generate a lot of discussion and back and forth. I just don’t buy the “We’re gonna get screwed” meme, at least not until you’re in late November when the potential hiccups and stumbling blocks are much, much fewer.

            • Cojones

              Wonder how many Dawg fans will glom onto the Northwestern remark. They are a sister University to our longings for someone to throw a horseshoe into the OSU works. And they can do it beginning this year. Quietly they have recruited and trained well with a very good coach.I’ve never outright cheered for a Big10 team, but will certainly pay close attention and pull for Northwestern this year. Who knows, maybe they can recapture an Ara Parsegian year.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Didn’t you do a “I’ll make the call now “over at Sports and Grits that the Tater Tot was gonna march into Knoxvegas and spank the uT? Zips lost. Vols Won 47-26. And it wasn’t close.
          Just sayin’

          • Because every thing I or CC have ever typed on S&G is intended to be taken as a serious, deadly accurate statement with no sense of humor whatsoever.
            But keep on spitting that diarrhea Small Group. I mean Homer, or is it Bazata today. You sure you’re not an Auburn fan?

            • AthensHomerDawg

              “Why Hijo….. you’re not wearing a bustle. How lewd.”

              • And there goes the Bazata/Small Group/Homer/WarPlainswhateverpersonalityhewantstousetoday standard operating procedure; when called out for your asshattery and idiocy, resort to nonsensical movie quotes.

                • AthensHomerDawg

                  I thought we had already covered this. When you get raddled you repeat yourself. That’s a tell . I’m only trying to help here. I’m not sure where all this angst is coming from but do let it go. Here’s the take away. You’d better sit down.
                  I want to tell you something, and you’re not going to like it.
                  Your dreary blog is putting me to sleep.
                  I just visited your site, gave it the requisite three seconds of my attention, and found myself in Dullsville.
                  Nothing grabbed my eye. No headline inspired me to read. No images drew me in.
                  And here’s the thing: I’m not a captive audience. It was remarkably easy for me to rid myself of your insipid prose, your bland blog. One quick click and I was gone.
                  But it seems as if I can’t escape you. Let it go Hijo.
                  “There…. now we can be friends again.”
                  just sayin’

        • Bobby

          I am not a betting man, but I think OSU going undefeated is as close of a sure thing as you get in this upcoming season. They’re back: plain and simple. Barring significant injury, I have few doubts that OSU goes undefeated . . . at least for games playd in 2013.

          • We’ll see. As said above, I remember a similar refrain about Southern Cal for several years there that ended with 1-2 losses. Good teams slip up, it’s just a reality of life with college football and kids. Northwestern, Michigan, the Big 10 title game, among others that could easily be a stumbling block if the Buckeyes come into a game feeling too big for their britches, don’t take the opponent seriously throughout a week of preparation, and the other side comes ready to hit them in the mouth.

    • mdcgtp

      with all due respect Jrod and parrish, I tend to think your point is spot. It is one thing to have worthwhile discussion and another thing to speculate on a range of hypothetical scenarios, and I think we all have a good idea what the arguments will center around for OSU (meyer) and Louisville (bridgewater and their win over UF in a meaningless bowl game that happened to be stamped with the BCS logo), but let’s just wait and see how things play out.

  12. AthensHomerDawg

    I would love to play the OSU for the title. I would love to put a beat down on them and then Murray call a couple of time outs at the end. Have the camera zoom in on Urban’s face. I know, I know. Not polite, and not the way CMR does business…. but it would be a hoot.

  13. It seems like around this time every year we get to the “we are going to get screwed out of the NCG” thread. I tend to not get as riled up about it since the record we would need to have would include maybe one loss and a SEC Championship. Call me crazy, but I would be thrilled beyond belief if we did that (and only slightly less thrilled if that loss was against UF). Outrage over being left out of the NCG would take second fiddle.

    But I understand, this is the off season. Just waiting for another highlight clip from the Senator I guess. ;)

    • Slaw Dawg

      What you said, bro. A Dawg SEC champ trophy would make the season for this fan regardless of who does/does not play for a national title. Even if UGA was in and won it, I’d just see that as icing on the real cake. But what do I know? I’m reasonably content with any year in which we beat the Axis of Evil (UF, AU, GT).

      • DawgPhan

        and when you see what is really on the table this season besides the glass football.

        3 game win streak against UF.

        Taking the lead in the Auburn series.

        A trying to get to 12-0 against UT, UF, Auburn, and Tech in the last 3 years.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        +1

  14. DawgByte

    I agree! It is quite conceivable that UGA starts the season 0-2. This is an untested D that’s relying on a lot if new faces to gel instantly! I like the talent on our D and the “team” first mentality of these guys, but early mistakes are the difference between winning and losing. If we beat Clemson then I love our chances of taking out the Chickens. GATA

  15. PTC DAWG

    12-1 UGA. SEC Champs, i will take it right now. Let chips fall where they may.

  16. JaxDawg

    My take is that most everyone who is calling for a Bama NC is forgetting just how hard it is to win back-to-back titles. They also forget just how near impossible it is to win it in 3 of 4 years. So think about how hard it is to win it 4 of 5 years!

    Folks, on paper, in mid-June, before fall practice begins and before leaves begin to turn, Bama may look like a sure pick however things happen during a season. PLayers get injured, the breaks you got last year suddenly cease to exist and the ball begins to bounce against you. There are reasons that Bama won’t win the SEC this lyear that can’t be fathomed right now. JUst let the eason play out and I’ll take the odds that no team has ever won 4 titles in 5 years and that it won’t happen this year.

    • Bobby

      Short of losing AJ, Bama has so much depth at every position that they’re virtually impervious to the effects of season-ending injuries. They haven’t had a weak recruiting class since Saban has been there. Saban weeds out the weak links. And they stockpile at positions most likely to get injured. Bama could lose its top 3 RBs before the season begins and still be plenty productive in the run game. What other team could you say that about?

      • Bobby

        That goes for suspensions, too. Suspensions just serve as a way for Saban to weed out weak links. And they don’t suspend players for minor infractions in the first place (unless Saban wants to).

      • Jax

        disagree, no team has ever been impervious to injuries and such. If McCarron goes down then watch out. Look at the injuries to Derrick Harvey and other frosh backs and tell me that attrition won’t hurt them.

        That said, Bama is as deep as any team around and can tolerate these problems better than most.

        • Bobby

          It’s not going to hurt them. They still have Yeldon, Drake, Tenpenny, Kamara, and Jones. I’m not sure what the status of Dee Hart or Fowler is, but I imagine they’ll be ready to contribute again this year; even if they aren’t able to contribute, Bama still has 5 legit RBs. They’re plenty comfortable at that position.