Monday, October 10, 2011

Four Game Winning Streak, No Reason to Rank Us.

I watched the UGA-TN game with a couple of friends and the subject of what it would take for UGA to get back in the top 25 came up. I basically said, when we beat Florida, we'll be back in. My friend said, if we win today, we'll be back in.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, but I will just for a little patting-on-the-back of my own,

We won, we aren't in the top 25. Georgia dropped 2 games to start the season (one of which was a three-point loss to a team Currently ranked #15 whose only loss is to an unranked team). Since then, all we've done is win every game quite handily. Sure, we aren't hanging 50 points on every team, but the other teams have never really been in the ballgame. That's dominance. Still, we aren't in the top-25. Auburn has two losses, and has had to suck-out against bad teams (Utah-State, Mississippi State) to get two of their 4 wins. They have not been dominant in a single game. Auburn is in the top 25 in one poll. We aren't.

We won't likely be in the top 25 with a win over Vandy either. "Why?" you ask...well, I'll tell you.

We haven't done anything. Yes, we've won 4 games in a row, and one was in Neyland Stadium. But, the other victories came against a community college, a team that plays simply so that the co-eds will come hang out in the Grove, and an also-ran who everyone was hot about until they started playing football games. Vandy is no different. Georgia should always beat Vanderbilt. We don't - but we should. So, being 5-2 after playing decent competition only twice (and losing both of those games) will not get us much clout with the voters.

As the polls shake down this week, Georgia was listed as "others getting votes" in both. In the AP poll, we were 4th among those. In the Coaches' poll, 8th.

What does this mean? It means that we not only have to beat Vandy, but we have to beat Vandy more convincingly than any of the teams in front of us, AND someone in the 18-25 range has to lose. There are currently two 2-loss schools in that range - Auburn in the AP, and TA&M in the Coaches' poll.

A&M plays Baylor next - and could easily drop that one to all-world Qb Robert Griffin III, while Auburn plays Florida. What I hate about the AU-Florida matchup is that neither loss helps UGA in the polls. If Florida wins, then they beat a top 25 team, and likely just switch places with Auburn in the rankings (UF fell out this week). If Auburn wins, well, they win.

The rest of the teams from 18-25 and their matchups are as follows:

ASU plays Oregon, and will be expected to lose. A loss should not drop them out of the top 25 to be replaced by a UGA team that beats Vandy.

VT should beat Wake (WTF FSU?)

I like Baylor to beat A&M. If they don't, UGA faces the same no-win situation as with FL and AU.

TX - OSU is a tougher one to call, but the way Oklahoma beat up on them through the air, I'd say it's a likely loss. Then, though, their wins are very suspect. Texas COULD fall from the top 25.

Mich State takes on Michigan, and is likely to lose. They could potentially fall from the top 25.

Houston will beat Marshall.

Penn State - Purdue is a tougher call. If Purdue is able to pull one out against State, State will fall out. If State wins, but not convincingly, they could be jumped by someone behind them...but not likely by a team with 2 losses.


We have to look at the other teams who can slide UP into the rankings. UNC is 5-1, and plays Miami this week. A win would make them 6-1, with their only loss being a one-score defeat at the hands of Georgia Tech. UNC would move up before UGA.

Washington should beat Colorado to move to 5-1. Again, their only loss is to a top 15 team.

Notre Dame is idle this week, but at 4-2 they have a win over a top 15 program. They could still get the votes.

A South Florida win over Connecticut wouldn't be more impressive than a UGA win over Vandy, but it would put the Bulls at 5-1, a 1/2 game better than UGA's 5-2.

Simply put, we lost all the voters in those first two weeks. Georgia had two marquee games to open the season, and did not take advantage. If we split those games, we're a top 15 team right now. We didn't. We don't have many marquee games left, either. No one will care if UGA destroys Vandy, because we're supposed to. So, don't be shocked if we win 55-0 and still aren't in the top 25.

No, our opportunity comes in three weeks down in Jacksonville. God Willing, Florida will defeat Auburn, and we'll roll into Jacksonville facing a top-25 team which has beaten us in 15 of the last 18 contests. Win that one, and some people will take notice. Win that one, and the momentum will really be moving, and the Coaches and AP will have to pay attention. If we beat Vandy and Florida, we will widely become known as the "Best 2-loss team" in the country. By week 8, that's enough to get you into the top 25.

Go Dawgs.


genxdawg said...


Anonymous said...

I'll just say that I think that I'd rather have Auburn win to put some more room between us and the Gators. We have found ways to lose in Jacksonville, and I don't trust that we won't lose there again. That would put us tied with SC and UF and they'd both have tiebreakers over us. So go ahead Gators and lose out the month of October. Nothing could make me happier.

Ben Dukes said...

I will never hope for losses by other teams purely out of contingency.

We need to win in Jacksonville. That's all there is to it.

Dawgfan17 said...

I actually think a UF win will do more(slightly) than an AU win in that game. The perception right now is that the SEC east is light years behind the West. While South Carolina losing the AU helped UGA due to the tie breaker there is no way we win the east if we lose to UF so having the east look slightly better would help us more in the polls. Plus if AU beats UF then as sweet as any win over UF is it would seem hollow to the outside world where everyone would be like, that is just a very bad UF team.

Ben Dukes said...

Dawgfan - I have a problem with your assumption that there is "no way" we win the east if we lose to Florida - that's exactly what we did in 2002, 2003, and 2005. We have not beaten FL and won the East under Richt. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. It would be much more difficult and would require multiple additional losses by FL and USC, but it could happen.

Still, I never want to hang my hat on other teams losing when we need them to(see: 2007).

And again, the perception that this is a "Bad" FL team is already out there. Somehow, nobody thinks this is a "Bad" Auburn team, even though all evidence points in that direction. If AU wins every game until we play them, then they will be ranked even higher at that point, which would be a bonus for us as well.

But, in the short-term of THIS WEEK, there really is no UGA advantage either way.

Bman said...

Doesn't really matter. We need to win out and worry about what we can control. (Says the guy who actually has no control other than making a lot of noise on 3rd downs.) What ifs help us to a point - We need to win out and have SC lose. After that the discussion becomes about other teams that I don't really care about.