You’re not getting an Observations post this week. For one thing, the mass substitutions kind of blurred in my mind. For another, it was a 49-point seal clubbing of a mediocre FCS team that got its only score by virtue of a bizarre double-turnover play by the third string defense. What else is there to say, really? Except for Dom Blaylock seeing the field for the first time in a while, there really isn’t anything memorable to report.
Instead, I thought I’d walk back through the schedule, at least against Georgia’s P5 opponents, to see how those wins have held up over time. [SPOILER ALERT: Better than you think.]
CLEMSON (10-3). One of the funnier developments of the season has been everyone continuing to blow off the Tigers because of their slow start. You may not have noticed, but they’ve gotten some traction of late: they’ve won four in a row, averaging 38 ppg during that stretch. No, that doesn’t make them world beaters by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re not a pile of crap, either.
SOUTH CAROLINA (40-13). The Gamecocks are bowl eligible. In their last three games, they’ve blown out Florida 40-27, narrowly lost to Missouri on the road 31-28 and beat Auburn 21-17.
VANDERBILT (62-0). The most lopsided loss Vandy has suffered this season.
ARKANSAS (37-0). The Hogs have won seven games and just lost to Alabama on the road 42-35.
AUBURN (34-10). See notes on South Carolina, above.
KENTUCKY (30-13). Biggest loss of the season — even accounting for that infamous garbage time scoring drive — for an eight-win team.
FLORIDA (34-7). Another loss by a team’s widest margin of the season. Also, see notes on South Carolina, above.
MISSOURI (43-6). The only game this season Mizzou was held under 14 points. Last two wins are against South Carolina 31-28 and Florida 24-23.
TENNESSEE (41-17). Largest negative margin of loss at home this season; would have been worst loss of season but for late garbage time TD.
I know there’s a tendency to dismiss results because of small sample size, but there’s a very consistent pattern with regard to Georgia’s conference play. Over and over again, the Dawgs have beaten their opponent by a wider margin than any other team has managed. Teams that Georgia beat convincingly struggle when facing each other. Even Alabama has been less consistent in its play than Georgia has.
Add in how Clemson has stabilized at this point as something close to a top 25 team and that schedule makes for a pretty good resume.