Monday, November 28, 2011
The Non-Believers are Justified
I've been reading over some of the other blogs out there, and the guys are doing good work trying to disprove the meme that Georgia hasn't beaten anyone of significance. They're working feverishly to show that our schedule isn't that dissimilar from those of Alabama and LSU. The Dawg Bloggers are pushing the concept that UGA is an elite team and can compete with elite teams.
The problem is, the world ain't havin' none of that.
I've watched Georgia's ranking stay very stagnant over the recent weeks, and even I have to admit I'm a bit surprised at the national media's reluctance to move us up. They say that in the college football world today, you have to lose early. Well, Georgia did that. Georgia lost both of its games at the onset of the season, and hasn't been too well-challenged since. The two "top" teams (AU, GT) we've played since starting 0-2 were both full-bore blowouts. Still, because we lost to Boise, no one wants to give this Georgia team any credit.
And that's fine.
Look at yourself honestly and ask if Georgia DESERVES credit right now. We don't REALLY deserve more than we're getting, based on our record and opponents.
Being a two-loss team, the highest we could possibly be ranked this week would be #8, behind all the undefeated and 1-loss squads. This means we would have to be ranked above 2-loss Arkansas, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas State, South Carolina and Michigan State (And if you're a fan of the AP poll, USC). Now, I know that most Georgia fans out there believe that we're the best 2-loss team in the nation. And well, conventional wisdom would state that we lost our two games early and have only progressed, while many of the other 2-loss teams have had their troubles very recently and deserve to fall behind us.
However, when you start to break things down and compare, you find this:
Arkansas is 10-2, with losses only to the #1 and #2 teams. Both losses were absolute blowouts, but in Voters' minds, that doesn't matter. They beat 5 teams that we beat, and one that we didn't...and the box scores on those games look better than our box scores. So, they'll still be ahead of us.
Oregon is 10-2, with losses to the #1 team, and perennial media golden-shower recipient USC. They have also completely dominated the other 10 teams they've faced, including number 4, Stanford.
Oklahoma is 9-2 with a game to play and a "quality' win over 2-loss KSU. They also hold wins over Texas and FSU, who were preseason top-15 teams, but now have 8-4 records. I still don't understand the hype machine still pushing Oklahoma, especially after the first-ever loss to Baylor. Wow. That's like Tennessee losing to Kentucky (oops).
Kansas State is 9-2 with a game to play and holds losses to both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (top 10 schools). Still, it took 4 OT periods to dispatch a 6-6 Texas A&M squad. This is another head-scratcher. They're getting love for love's sake.
South Carolina is 10-2 with losses to Ark and Auburn, but they hold a victory over us...so we really can't be THAT upset about them being ahead of us in the polls. Remember, most voters don't watch football games.
Michigan State is 10-2 with a loss to ND and a blowout loss to Nebraska. Sparty also holds victories over two top-16 programs in Wisconsin and Michigan. So, they get the edge over us.
To be real, you could make the argument that Oklahoma and Kansas State should be ranked behind Georgia and Michigan State, but that really only moves the Dawgs up two spots. All we've done since the third game of the season kicked off is win, that's true. But we don't have a single top-25 quality win to show for it. As a result, the voters aren't moving us anywhere. In their minds, we simply aren't the best 2-loss team in the country.
Unless, of course, we do what #2, #8, and #9 have failed to do - Beat LSU...