Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It does NOT matter that the Dawgs haven't played "anybody" yet

Despite beating a South Carolina team coached by one of the game's best handily, Georgia found itself being leapfrogged by 1 or 2 teams in the most recent polls, depending on which one you look at.

Ole Miss, fresh off an impressive, albeit fortune-assisted victory at BD Stadium, was one of those teams.

Can you fault the pollsters? Not really. Tuscaloosa is a tough place to earn a victory, and the Crimson Tide were ranked #2 at the time. So, it stands to reason that the Rebels would jump up significantly in the polls.

The issue at hand is that we don't know how good Alabama is, just as we didn't know how bad Auburn was before a near-death experience at home against the Sisters of the Poor, followed by the debacle against LSU, just as we didn't know how good OR how bad Stanford is, and so forth.

We go through this nonsense every September, as the voters try to figure out who's who. It's not until mid October when we at least get some idea of the, wait for it, contenders and pretenders.

Look at it this way: IF (still a big "if" against Bama/Saban) Georgia beats the Crimson Tide a week from Saturday, the victory will not carry nearly as much weight as Mississippi's win over that same team did. Why? Because at that point, the Tide will have lost 2 of their last 3 (assuming a victory this week), and they will have been ranked ~#10-15 instead of #2.

Having said all that, let's turn our attention to the Dawgs themselves. Post-Vandy, it was bridge-jumping time. Post South Carolina, it was Lambert for Heisman time.

Either way, pollsters and playoff committee people alike (I'm looking at you, Condy) have nothing but box scores and SportsCenter highlights to judge.

What I want to focus on is, how did the Dawgs actually look?

You can tell a completely over-matched team from one that was outplayed and outcoached. ULM was the former. South Carolina was the latter.

It's not as though the Gamecocks were getting completely pushed around or getting torched on go routes. On the contrary. The majority of yards gained by Georgia on the ground were hard-earned. The majority of passes (the one to Reggie Davis notwithstanding) were amid reasonably to very tight coverage.

No, the lopsided victory Saturday, especially offensively, was the result of talent, execution, and a game plan that exploited weaknesses and kept South Carolina's defense off-balance all night. Spurrier has never been more dumb-founded as when, post game, he read the stat sheet indicating the Dawgs only even got to 3rd down 4 times the whole game.

I'm not here to tell you that Georgia will win the SEC and National Championships. I'm not even proposing as a matter of fact that they will not be on the losing end of a lopsided game, either. What I am telling you is that, barring injuries or illegal memorabilia signings, this team is prepared to, on a given Saturday, beat any team in the country.

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