So, 247Sports ranks its ten toughest places to play in 2019, and I’m a little confused. In some places, it sounds like it’s all about the venue, while in others, it’s about the quality of the team. Georgia, for example, is second. Alabama, though, is six spots lower, at eight.
I mention those two because it’s apparent that the quality of the team is what drives their rankings. Here’s the blurb about Sanford Stadium:
Why it’ll be tough: The Bulldogs have won 13 straight between the hedges since a 1-point loss to Georgia Tech left a sour mark on Kirby Smart’s first season in 2016. Taking care of business at Sanford Stadium has led to a pair of SEC East titles, a College Football Playoff berth and ample momentum heading into Jake Fromm’s junior campaign — which could be his best at Georgia. The Bulldogs’ average margin of victory in Athens during Fromm’s tenure is 28.1 points per game, which ranks among the most impressive point differentials nationally over the past two seasons. One caveat to that number? Only one of those wins came against a Top 25 team (Mississippi State). This year’s slate includes bouts with nationally-ranked Notre Dame and Texas A&M, so this unblemished mark will be put to the test.
Outside of the standard “between the hedges” reference, there’s no mention of the setting or the crowd. And, honestly, while there have been times I’ve been at a home game when the crowd has been intimidating as hell — I’ll put the last five minutes of the 2013 LSU game up against any home crowd in the country in that regard — as a 60-minute, week in, week out experience, it’s been good more than consistently overwhelming.
What do you guys think?