The No. 2 choice to win the CFB playoff? Georgia

A sign o' the times. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

A sign o’ the times. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

A sign o' the times. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

A sign o’ the times. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Georgia won’t be in the first four when the initial College Football Playoff standings are announced today, which isn’t to say Georgia won’t be the final four come Dec. 7. For a team still officially without its best player, the Bulldogs are in a remarkably strong position, which is reflected by those cold-eye realists in Las Vegas.

According to publicist Jimmy Shapiro, Bovada lists Georgia as the second-favorite not just to make the playoff but to win the thing. Alabama is No. 1. (Wait a second. Wasn’t it just the other day we all thought Alabama wasn’t any good anymore?) Tied with the Bulldogs at No. 2 are Mississippi State and Oregon. Florida State, you’ll be interested to know, is the fifth choice.

As we’ve known all along, it’s a great year to be a good team in the SEC East. Nobody else in the division is anything special, and nearly everybody in the West is excellent. (And Georgia, again by luck of the draw, got to play Arkansas, the one exception.) It’s theoretically possible that the Bulldogs could lose to Florida or Kentucky, but the one truly difficult remaining game is against Auburn in Athens, and a worse Georgia team should have beaten a better Auburn team last year at Jordan-Hare.

Provided Georgia wins the East, it would then face what could be a battered SEC West champ in the Georgia Dome. Maybe Georgia couldn’t beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa or Mississippi State in Cowbell County, but that’s a moot point. The game will be in Atlanta, not in the Central Time Zone.

And now you’re saying: Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? Isn’t this Georgia-Florida week? Aren’t the Gators primed for a big day? To the latter, my answer is: No, they’re not. They’re a bad team with a terrible coach. Gurley or no Gurley, Georgia’s not losing in Jacksonville.

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502 comments
sprouse27
sprouse27

My God the Dawgs could NOT have played a worse game. They sucked in every aspect of the game and it was a TOTAL embarrassment. They have no business pretending to be anything other than a product of bad coaching and poor execution. Pruitt had a ONE dimensional Gator team and could NOT stop them! UGA will never win either the SEC or a NC with RICHT at helm and the people who keep Saint Mark in Athens don't deserve a championship.

ShowMeYurTDs
ShowMeYurTDs

Omg on national television....how embarrassing

bergdawg
bergdawg

Bradley picking UGA ?!! Very scary? Day after Halloween!!! UGA got a lot of turnovers in the previous two games. I for one hate to count on turnvoers.!



WestsideJacket
WestsideJacket

UGA will win the next 3 games, but they will lose 49-35 to Tech this year.  The Tech offense is easily one of the top 5 offences in the nation this year - on par with Oregon and TCU.  UGA will not stop the Triple option paired with a good passing game.


Then UGA will win the SEC, and still goes to the playoff with 2 losses.


If Tech wins out and beats an undefeated FSU in the ACCCG, then Tech goes to the playoff with 2 losses also.

heeldawg
heeldawg

@WestsideJacket This is one of the most ridiculous posts of the year. The basic flaw in the reasoning here is obvious:  Tech has a TERRIBLE defense. To assume that Tech's D can hold Georgia's offense to below its season average when Gurley, Michel and the rest will all be back is to assume an awful lot.  Georgia is averaging 43.4 points per game and giving up 20 ppg.  They are only allowing 105 ypg on the ground, and 3.0 yard per carry.  Tech is scoring 37.1 ppg and allowing 28.3 ppg on defense--against a weaker schedule than Georgia's.  The Dawgs lead the nation in turnover margin.  The game is in Athens, where Tech has won exactly 5 times since 1974. And Tech has already lost to division leader Duke as well as a 3-4 North Carolina team, so they are chasing the Blue Devils in the Coastal Division. Duke holds the head-to-head tiebreaker, so even if they lost a game and Tech won out, the Blue Devils would still go to the ACC title game.  For Duke to lose twice against the likes of Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, or Wake Forest would be someplace next to impossible.  So Tech will not even get the opportunity to play against FSU.  To add to that scenario, there is not one two-loss ACC team that will make the playoffs--not even FSU.  There are simply too many good one-loss teams in better conferences out there. A two loss SEC Champion would be a long shot.  A two-loss ACC Champion will be watching the inaugural playoffs on television.


Here's the reality check:  Tech will beat Virginia and NC State to go to 8-2, but will lose to Clemson, who will have Deshaun Watson back.  They will then lose to Georgia, who will be led by an inspired Todd Gurley playing in his last game in Sanford Stadium.  That adds up to an 8-4 record for Tech, and a minor bowl bid.  


The Dawgs should win this Saturday in Jacksonville, although the Gators will play their best game of the season and keep it close until late in the third quarter.  That game, with Muschamp's job on the line and a talented (but poorly-coached) Gator squad playing like they are backed into a corner, is the game I fear the most on the rest of Georgia's schedule.  Kentucky cannot stop the run, so I expect the Dawgs to beat them in Lexington.  Gurley returns to the team for a wild contest against Auburn in Athens--a game I expect the Dawgs to win going away, given the emotions of the night (remember last season?) and the fact that Auburn will be playing difficult SEC West teams week after week leading up to that contest. Georgia will beat Tech in Athens by limiting Tech's opportunities with a ball-control rushing game that Tech's defense will have no answer for.  Is Tech's offense explosive? Yep--but they cannot be explosive when they don't have the ball.  Georgia will score on almost every possession in the first half of that game. Can the Jackets keep up that pace?  I don't  think so. I predict a 48-35 Georgia win. The Dawgs then travel to Atlanta to face the SEC West Champion in a de facto BCS playoff quarterfinal. If Georgia can pull out a win there (and I'm betting on Bama to be the West's rep at this point), they will indeed go to the playoff--but as a one-loss SEC Champ.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Richt being owned by South Carolina the last few years makes him lose credibility with the pundits... thus we are deemed worthy of the ranking number 11 in the committee poll.

Jay_Crooner
Jay_Crooner

@SinceVince These rankings are irrelevant.  Wouldn't you agree that IF UGA wins all of their remaining games (Florida, Kentucky, Auburn, Tech, SEC West Champion) that they would be in the playoffs?  Yes or no?

MtnFalcon
MtnFalcon

Gurley will be back at full steam rested for the games that matter. He wants to win a championship before he's drafted by some crap team like the Jags or Raiders....or Falcons.

ToeMeetsLeather
ToeMeetsLeather

And UGA will certainly deserve to be in the final four after playing that murderers row of Ole Miss, TX A&M, Bama, Ms State, & LSU. Oh wait, never mind.


Better be glad they have ACC bookend games to their schedule. Probably two of three toughest games on the schedule for the mutts this year.


Columbus68
Columbus68

The opponent in the SEC championship must not mean much either....in your book. Auburn BARELY beat SC at home...UGA gave em the game in their place game 2 with an inexperienced qb and NO RECEIVERS. Auburn and the sec title game is sufficient measuring stick. Playing ALL the teams in the east is sufficient to win it. Bozo without a case

Columbus68
Columbus68

And clownboy...uga us much better now than game 2. Bring your team on. Hope its not the rambling wreck like just like you

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@ToeMeetsLeather 


And Tech certainly deserves playoff consideration after beating ACC Coastal Powerhouses VA.Tech and Miami. What?Tech lost to DUKE and North Carolina.Oh well Never mind,better book those reservations for El Paso  , Sun Bowl here we come again this year.

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

Oh great, Bradley is giving the Gators no chance.  That scares me worse than anything to do with Halloween.


Edit - And I mean that as no disrespect to Mark's prognosticating skills.  I mean that as he is jinxing us big time.

PigIron
PigIron

Makes sense. Bovada expects the SEC Champion to win the National Championship. They usually do.

Predicted West Division winner - Alabama

Predicted East Division winner - Georgia

Bovada obviously expects Alabama to win the SECCG, but even if they don't, they still expect the SEC Champion to win the NC.

DamonH
DamonH

"Georgia’s not losing in Jacksonville"

Falcons aren't losing to the Bears and Stafford isn't leading the Lions to a win ... oh wait!

LoMoney
LoMoney

The dogs upset auburn, upset miss state, make the final 4.  


FSU, UGA, Oregon, Alabama

DamonH
DamonH

Oregon will definitely lose another (Stanford has beaten them a few years in a row, they have to go on the road against Utah). Take Oregon out and put either Mich St or TCU/Kansas St (they play each other Nov 8). And it might be hard to count out Notre Dame too

bigcooterb
bigcooterb

@DamonH Always add Notre Dame, they could be 5-5 and they would be trying to add them.

Columbus68
Columbus68

Stanford is less of a team bro and utah just lost their leading receiver

JONBONBON
JONBONBON

Would hate to see your OH face OH-IO

22Shamburger
22Shamburger

Did GURLEY do it the GEORGIA WAY?

DGD Gurley you will be loved in Athens FOREVER. 

Columbus68
Columbus68

Not everyone us perfect like you and is able to cast the first stone

OH-IO
OH-IO

the Pony is a cheat

OH-IO
OH-IO

Georgia’s Gurley eligible to play Nov. 15 October 29, 2014 8:53amEmily James

Todd Gurley, University of Georgia football student-athlete, must sit a total of four games, or 30 percent of the season, for accepting more than $3,000 in cash from multiple individuals for autographed memorabilia and other items over two years. Gurley, who acknowledged violating NCAA rules, must repay a portion of the money received to a charity of his choice and complete 40 hours of community service as additional conditions for his reinstatement. Gurley will be eligible to play on Nov. 15.

22Shamburger
22Shamburger

Guilty Gurley.....................4 games

buztech
buztech

Madley is famous for all these UGA "what ifs" which never seem to happen.  Gotta keep the dawg faithful fed with fantasy football I guess.

WDE
WDE

@buztech no we get along just fine with the 12 of 13 ......

Columbus68
Columbus68

Ummm. Your comments could not mean less so just make better use of your life and buzz elsewhere

OH-IO
OH-IO

PEOPLE GOT TO BE FREE

OH-IO
OH-IO

LIVE FREE OR DIE

inoto20
inoto20

Would be funny if ga loses to auburn, aub then beats alabama, uga beats a one loss sec west champion and no sec team gets in the playoff.

Delbert_D
Delbert_D

The odds against Georgia with the bookmakers may have increased with the CFB Playoff ranking. I'm sort of surprised that both TCU and K. State are ranked high as they are. W. Va looms for both of them. K. State got the boost for beating Auburn, and I don't disagree with Auburn in the top 4 at this point. Week by week is going to be interesting.

Delbert_D
Delbert_D

Oops! I meant Auburn got a boost for beating K. State, obviously.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

FREE CHIPS AND SALSA!!!!!!!!!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Was he saying ..........thank god y'all drew Arkansas?

keendaddy
keendaddy

Exactly! The same Arkansas, that just held Bama to close 14-13 loss, the week before. Guess that's why so many people thought we would lose...

DawgNole
DawgNole

MB: "Gurley or no Gurley, Georgia’s not losing in Jacksonville."

________________________

Kiss of death!

GATiger
GATiger

If Georgia doesn't win the East, it'll be a shock, but I don't see them beating any of the possible West champs.  My, how the scheduling gods have smiled on the Dawgs in recent years.

Dawgsandbones9
Dawgsandbones9

@Gatiger...

Wrong.

Last year GEORGIA had the toughest SOS in all of the SEC.

@Clemson

@Auburn

LSU

MISSOURI

SOUTH CAROLINA

@Ga Tech

@UT

@FLORIDA

4 of those teams finished in the top 10 in the FINAL rankings, and another one was ranked number 14.

So, that's 5 teams in the top 14 of the final rankings that UGA played...

Very similar to Auburns treacherous schedule this year...

Look to South Carolina if you want to see who has had a cake schedule the last 2 or 3 years...at least as far as teams in the SEC EAST...

UGA has not had a "cake" schedule since 2010-2011

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@GATiger Horseshoe up the ying yang............better take advantage.

WDE
WDE

@OH-IO @Dawgsandbones9 how did that work out for us?.We are a lot better team this year for playing that schedule. 4 of those teams would have beaten the tar out of OSU last year..if OSU had the brass to play them. 

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@Dawgsandbones9 ...facts don't matter..."you can keep your own Doctor and your premiums will not go up"...people can say anything...go dogs