It’s game week, finally, part two

The last time Georgia came heartbreakingly close to beating Alabama in a game of national title significance was 2012.  There were big expectations for the following season, but those were derailed in a rash of injuries that decimated Georgia’s offense.

Now comes 2018.  The expectations are even bigger this time around.

Except now it’s all about lifting the championship trophy on Jan. 7 in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., in Shockley’s eyes.

“For a while it’s been just trying to win the SEC,” Shockley said. “I think now you’re at the level where you can win the national championship with the type of talent and caliber they have there. I think it’s all about winning that big one. Anything else, I don’t think they’d be proud of.”

Can they do it?  Or, more to the point, can they do the job that gets them back to the national title stage again?  Even an unbiased observer would agree there’s enough talent to do it.  The coaching staff proved their chops last year.  That would seem to leave the mental game as the remaining question.

Even with its surge into the top tier of college football last season, McGarity sees a sense of urgency with Smart.

“We’ve got a coach that doesn’t stand for complacency,” McGarity said. “It’s a new day. If you look back on last year too often, you’re not going to be able to look ahead. Complacency is always a concern. Being satisfied with what you’ve done—which you should be proud of—but it doesn’t really do any good in the future except recruiting (players) that want to be a part of that. They feel it when they come on campus.”

Can Georgia join those programs that have made multiple trips in the four seasons the playoff has existed? Alabama has made all four, Clemson has three appearances and Ohio State and Oklahoma have two each.

Or will they be a one-hit wonder?

“I always tell people it’s a sleeping giant,” Smart said in an interview on 1010XL in Jacksonville. “Hopefully we’re going to try to awaken it with some more years and more championships. …The expectation is very simple to get the most out of what we got and to win every football game because we feel like we’ve got superior talent and we can recruit at a real high level. We’re going to have years that we do better than others. The quarterback position is a big play in that because I really think it’s a quarterback driven game. “If you’ve got a quarterback then you’ve got a chance and if your quarterback plays well, you’ll be in a lot of games.”

Georgia’s got a chance, then.

17 Comments

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17 responses to “It’s game week, finally, part two

  1. Has DJ joined the “natty or bust” crowd? Of all people, he should know there are some things in this process you can’t control. A QB injury before a big game is one of them.

    Win the SEC and everything else takes care of itself.

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    • Any season that ends in a SECCG appearance is a good season.

      Any season that has an SEC championship is a great season.

      A national championship caps off a great season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Macallanlover

        Agree. I think we all know what Shock was saying but when we reach the point where an SEC title isn’t something you are proud of we have crossed a line where we have lost perspective. Best of the best, after that it is all gravy. The season long accomplishment trumps the two game season. Hitting your short term goals leads to the bigger prize, looking beyond those can lead to failure. If we duplicate last year, have we failed? Scoring 98 out of a hundred isn’t enough?

        I want UGA to win every game too but will be damned if if I get on the MNC or bust bus. Our guys want it all, sometimes that one break, or a few calls, don’t go your way. Just glad we are at the point where dreams of having it all are realistic.

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    • ugafidelis

      I think it’s generally accepted that it’s Natty or nothing these days. I agree that any season with an SEC title is great, but literally every other team that we play (cupcakes and Sakerlina notwithstanding) has won a Natty since we have. We just gotta win one, or we’ll continue to be the almost best.

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  2. Biggus Rickus

    The 2013 defense was also the worst of the Richt era. I don’t think this team is going to have that particular shortcoming.

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  3. Mayor

    Injuries are the only thing that could derail Georgia this season. Playing on a newly sodded Billy B field in Columbia makes me nervous on that front. I’m serious when I say make them move the game to Sanford.

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  4. stoopnagle

    Ah, yes, are we Oregon or are we Alabama?

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  5. Will Trane

    Thanks for the article Marc Weizer, unlike Dawgnation, you have your head in the right direction.
    Many think Coach Smart is built that way because of his coaching experience with one of the best in the business.
    I think one thig Mr. Weizer was saying was this.
    He gave a short history lesson on the top teams, Bama, OSU, OU, and Clemson.
    For me there is a stat that is often overlooked.
    The teams or programs that have been ranked the most weeks at NUMBER ONE over the course of a season or seasons.
    Look it up. Notice those teams…Bama. OSU, OU, FSU, Nebraska, and a Southern Cal. Most often those end up being your national champion.
    Watched the Wyoming and NMSU game this weekend. One of those announcers thought the SEC was the third best conference going into 2018.
    ESPN’s golden boy from OSU, Kirk, picked his three best player, one from MSU, OSU, and Sanford. Not a one from the SEC.
    Complaceny? No. Consistency? Yes!
    It has been hard for UGA to have those long stretches of being at the top.
    A few with Dooley and a few with Richt.
    2018 will be a dog fight in the East. Do not fool yourself and think it will not be. Personally I think the Dawgs have a tough schedule. Several teams on that schedule will be much improved in 2018.
    Time to push through and not get beat my a Bama.
    Time to level the field.
    Punch to the top and stay there.

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  6. Uglydawg

    Well it is game week and the Dawgs have their sacrificial cup-cake which will be fun to watch, but we won’t really know much until we travel to SC .
    The best game of the day will be Tennessee and WV. I am going to have a great big bowl of popcorn ready for that one..unfortunately, it runs concurrently with the Georgia game (I think)…so I’m in a quandry. I guess I’ll be flippin’ back and forth between the two games.
    BTW..I’ll be pulling for WV…got a lot of friends from there and they are a good bunch of folks…but then, I’d pull for most teams against TN.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Auburn-Washington also kicks off concurrently. They’ve really gotten bad about running every interesting game against one another.

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      • Macallanlover

        That is the better game (much better), and the most significant at year’s end. I think WVU blows TN out, at -10 it could be the best bet of the week. I will be watching UGA, all plays as the backups are of great interest as well. Flipping to the others when I get a chance but ESPN will provide highlights of the others. Michigan/ND is the most interesting of the night games by a wide margin. Not the best opening Saturday slate but the Sunday and Monday games are both attractive. Great to have some football to focus on again, it has been a long 8 months.

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  7. The Georgia Way

    http://www.dawgnation.com/football/uga-coming-down-to-wire-on-completion-of-west-end-project-at-ugas-sanford-stadium

    We ask you avoid using the bridge this weekend.

    Rest assured, we will install a railing once we find a donor.

    #COMMITTOTHEG

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  8. Busta

    Wonder how Bama feels about not winning the SEC, they don’t need to win it to play for the natty…it’s probably water under the bridge for them if they don’t win the SEC.

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