Even after Vandy, UGA can make something of this season

Georgia mascot Uga X looks out of his doghouse in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

He didn’t see this coming, either. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Entering the season, Georgia stood to be favored in 10 and maybe 11 games. As it happened, the Bulldogs were underdogs at Ole Miss, always seen as their toughest game, and against Tennessee the next week. Everything before and after figured to have Georgia bearing the minus sign on the betting line.

Look now. Georgia is a 7-point underdog to Florida on what’s considered a neutral field. For comparative purposes, Duke is a 6-point underdog at Georgia Tech, and the Blue Devils are winless in ACC play. (Also: The Gators have played once since Oct. 1, that at home against Missouri, so it’s not as if they’ve had a rousing month.)

Should the Bulldogs lose in Jacksonville, there’s a chance they’d be an underdog at Kentucky (yikes) the next week. As it stands, Auburn figures to be favored at Sanford Stadium on Nov. 12. Yes, things can change. (Me, I’m not sure Georgia will lose to Florida.) Still, this was supposed to be the back nine of the 2016 schedule, and not a back nine with an Amen Corner interspersed. What happened?

Georgia lost to Vanderbilt. That’s what.

You can get away with looking so-so as long as you don’t actually lose to anybody terrible. When you do, those narrow escapes become debits — hey, you almost lost — and not whatever-it-takes triumphs of resourcefulness. Georgia has been outscored by nine points this season. Its margins of victory are 14 points, nine, two and one.

Then again, this same Georgia was within a football’s grasp of seizing control of the SEC East. Had the Bulldogs beaten Tennessee — and for most of the game they outplayed Tennessee — they surely would be 6-1 headed to Jacksonville, which would have put them near the top 10 in the national rankings. And they wouldn’t be a touchdown underdog to Florida, which has beaten nobody.

The point being: As disappointing as Georgia has been, it came very close to having the sort of season that would have had Bulldog fans barking, as opposed to growling. That can happen. Had LSU gotten one more second at Auburn, it might have been Gus Malzahn who was fired the next day, not Les Miles. Mark Richt always conceded that his career arc could have been different had Auburn’s Horace Willis batted away David Greene’s fourth-and-14 pass to Michael Johnson on Nov. 16, 2002.

To say the Bulldogs might have been 6-1 isn’t to suggest they’d have been a world-beater. They’ve played seven games and looked tepid more times than not. But this schedule wasn’t oppressive, and of Georgia’s opponents only Auburn appears much better than we thought it would. (And that could be a function of having played six home games. The Tigers still might finish 7-5.)

Seven games in, Georgia remains a team in the throes of transition. Some of that was inevitable. Losing to Vandy was not. But the Bulldogs have a chance to make something of 2016. As grim as it seems today, there’s not a game left that’s unwinnable.

From today’s AJC: After seven games, we ask: What is UGA under Kirby Smart?

Reader Comments 0

144 comments
Yougottabe Dryhumpinme
Yougottabe Dryhumpinme

Great news!!!!   UGA now has the Franklin American Music City Bowl birth ALMOST locked up at this point!!!!!!

Yougottabe Dryhumpinme
Yougottabe Dryhumpinme

Florida is going to demolish UGA being that UGA has the worst offensive and defensive lines in college football.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

I love a tech fan embarrassing himself all day on here. UGA owns you. Get it?

UGA and Tennessee put down the coastal division leaders on the field. Get it?

Your team is weak, the division weaker and we have beaten you 13 out of the last 15 years. You are a complete embarrassment to your fan base!

TOJacket
TOJacket

See where Sony Michel is giving the gators some bulletin board material. He is guaranteeing a win!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Must beTeacher work day? Looks like the AJC would keep the kids off the blogs?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Did he? You read the article old bi@tch or did you break the lense on your binoculars so you couldn't?

By the way does 13 of 15 mean anything to you?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Nap time approaching at the old folks home? Embarrass yourself a little more trying to talk trash to a team that owns you before the orderly comes to put you down.

dawg fan
dawg fan

I will only say that Florida has played absolutely no one other than Tennessee.  Not sure we know how good or bad they are.  They also only managed 236 yards of offense against Vandy.  Granted they won 13-6, but I'm thinking Vandy's 3 gift turnovers probably had something to do with that.  Florida is not all that and a bag of potatoe chips my friends.   

TOJacket
TOJacket

Shoulda, woulda, coulda?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

I agree with everything you said and it isn't one of their better teams. Their D is really good as usual but that is about it.

Our problem is we tend to not show up in Jax and it takes them being next to awful for us to win because we spot them at least 2 td's in just pathetic play.

Reminds me of when we play GT.

TOJacket
TOJacket

The East is really strong...lol....Tech scores 38 and the mighty dawgs and gators combined scored 30? SEC!!!!

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

And UGA and Tennessee both beat the top two teams from your division. So what does that tell you? Coastal is weak.

I know what 13 of 15 does. Blood pressure okay old man?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Shoulda woulda coulda what? Win 13 of 15?

Hahaha we own you. Go crawl back under your rock like you do the saturday after thanksgiving.

Zino
Zino

florida lost to the only good team they played---their offense is bad. The dogs can win this game and get back on track. Ga 27-Fla 19 -- upset special!

TOJacket
TOJacket

What track were they on?

TOJacket
TOJacket

Oh so your not winning anything again.......shocking.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Maybe Tech can snap that losing streak to Duke and make new rings to signify it this year.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Well Flat they have 17 conference ships.....3 more than the dawgs.

TOJacket
TOJacket

50-32-1 against the Devils....go eat your fruit loops and get in that bus!!...the short one.

TOJacket
TOJacket

10 in the Southern Conference....you might have to research that some skippy.

TOJacket
TOJacket

The site....DawgNation has been temporarily closed due to complete irrelevance.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Thanks for caring obsessed old bia@tch.

We run this state

TOJacket
TOJacket

Y'all couldn't run for dawg catcher.

mgunter
mgunter

Dawgs will win 2 more games and go to yet another lousy bowl. Magarity and cigar smoking blue blazer boys will ring there hands . Next year they will win 9 and go to a better bowl and be back where they were. Players always bout same ...... coaches are stumbling around a bit.......not a pretty site.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Tech's got a cake walk to the Music City Bowl, then they can re-up JP for another 5 years.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Bradley! I don't think I would have written that article until after the next win.

DawgNole
DawgNole

MB: "Had the Bulldogs beaten Tennessee — and for most of the game they outplayed Tennessee — they surely would be 6-1 headed to Jacksonville . . . ."

________________

Well, no; they would be 5-2. I'm sure you'd like to forget that L to Vandy, but it's on the books--and that's where it will stay.

Floppy
Floppy

Fire Mark Richt!

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Dawgs and little ten bucky results against mutual oppoenents in 2016.

UGA 21 - PSU 17

PSU 24 - pretenders 21

Hahahahahaha

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

UGA and Tennessee have already beaten the top two teams from the coastal.

Coastal = weakest power 5 division in football.

Proven on the field.

Classof98
Classof98

The defense has played mostly well this season and inspires optimism.  The offense, on the other hand, already screams for coaching change.  We fired Schottenheimer and hired Obese Schottenheimer.


Classof98
Classof98

Good coaches develop a scheme and gameplan around the talents of their players, they don't try to hammer square pegs into round holes time after time after time after time....

The Doom
The Doom

Your comments that Georgia is a play away from leading the Sec east and ranked in the top 10 nationally speaks more to how terrible the Sec east is than anything else. The east is horrific- easily the worst division in the power 5. If UGA played in the west they would probably win one game all season- Miss. State, and even then that win would not be guaranteed.  

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Doom Classical liberal I would say the ACC coastal would be a close 2nd to the SEC Easy as the worst power 5 division. Although the entire B1G seems to be trending downward. Other than Michigan , a largely untested team ,no other team seems to be anything but below average.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Considering UGA beat the coastal champs that would be the weaker division in power 5.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Don't get technical with him, he'll have a nut explode!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Below average?......oh, you're talking UGA football?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Considering UGA and Tennessee have beaten the top two teams in the coastal already help me understand how it isnt weaker? Idiot!

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Tennessee and UGA have defeated the top two teams in the coastal. Sorry, it is proven on the field to be the weakest.

bufordtpusser
bufordtpusser

@twelveofthirteen You need to get off your parents computer and get back to your middle school homework. I write this only because your posts are inane and juvenile. Similar to a 13-year old. So do you need advice on controlling your acne and how to talk to girls?


twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Cry me a river tech fan. Fact: 13 of 15.

Get off the UGA blog.

TOJacket
TOJacket

I think 13 is a little gracious?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TOJacket The B1G has three teams ranked below the mighty Georgia State Panthers in the current FBS football rankings Purdue #100, Illinois #108 and Rutgers #117. No other power 5 conference has more tha two teams below the Panther line.

So in my book the B1G is below average this year.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Maybe you guys will get a trophy for that?

TOJacket
TOJacket

Yea.....that's what you guys thought about the SEC

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Called the Govenors cup and we have had it 13 of 15 years so yes.

Maybe you can beat Duke this year and make rings for it.