I don’t know if anyone else played this game last weekend, but one thing I did as I watched all of the conference action last weekend was to judge whether any units of Georgia’s SEC brethren were more physically talented than the Dawgs’ defensive or offensive squads. Notice I wrote “talented” there – I wasn’t considering whether other defenses or offenses were better prepared, better coached on the field or stronger on their fundamentals, just comparing sheer athletic ability.
Outside of Florida’s defense, which is ridiculously talented and deep (and, by the way, has anyone ever considered that the primary reason the Gator special teams are so good isn’t because of the “ooh, Meyer makes it special to be on special teams” BS, but because he’s got a bigger pool of talent to draw on than any other school in the conference?), I couldn’t point to another program and say that it was running a bunch of kids on the field who were as a group clearly more talented than whom Georgia deploys (although in terms of matching above-average talent to a scheme, you’d have to give some serious credit to Alabama’s defense). Again, that doesn’t mean a lot of those teams aren’t playing better than Georgia’s – it would be foolish to deny that – just that Georgia doesn’t look like it steps on the field with the kind of deficiency that, say, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Auburn or even Tennessee faces when they play the top teams in the conference.
Special teams may be a bit harder to judge, but ask yourself a question. Is there another SEC team which can match Georgia’s four key special teams performers (Walsh, Butler, Boykin and Miller)? The only other school that can make a credible argument for that is Alabama. (Florida is close, though.)
I’m not offering this as proof of anything in particular, but it sure makes the lopsided loss to Tennessee hard to understand.
What do you guys think?