Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Georgia's Bowl Outlook

Raise your hand if you thought Georgia would be looking at no worse than the Outback Bowl back on September 12th?  Anyone?

But here we are on November 15th and that is where we are. Here are my thoughts on Georgia's bowl chances:

BCS National Championship: This ain't 2007, y'all.

Sugar: Clearly, this is the crown jewel of bowl talk for the Georgia fan. The path is simple, but not easy. Beat Kentucky this week, then beat the SEC West Champion in Atlanta. We'll likely get Houston or the loser of the OU vs Oklahoma State game.

CapitolOne and Cotton (updated to reflect reality, not my perception..see comments): CapOne picks immediately after the BCS picks are off the table, and is obligated to take the top remaining team or a team within one game of that team. Traditionally, CapOne picks the top non-BCS team from the East and the Cotton the top non-BCS team from the West. Last year, 'Bama was picked over South Carolina, due to their better record.  2005 was the last Cotton Bowl to feature a team from the East (Tennessee). In fact, Tennessee is the only team from the East to play in the Cotton Bowl under the current bowl alignment agreement.

So where does that leave us?  A combination of 'Bama, LSU and Arkansas are BCS teams, with the other West team going to the Cotton Bowl. However, there is a rumor growing consensus that if the CapOne can get Arkansas, they will. If Georgia doesn't finish with a game of them, they have to take Arkansas. I think the CapOne grabs the Dawgs if Arkansas is a BCS team, unless somehow LSU isn't in the BCS. If Arkansas goes to Orlando, the Dawgs will likely go to the Cotton Bowl, since rumors/consensus has the Outback and Cotton working together to get the Gamecocks to Tampa and Dawgs to Dallas.

In the Cotton Bowl, we'd get Kansas State, Texas or Baylor, unless Oklahoma or Oklahoma State don't get a BCS nod. My money is on KState.

In the CapOne, we'd play some combination of Wisconsin, Penn State, Nebraska, or Michigan State. My money is on Wisconsin.

Outback: If we lose to Kentucky, this is the very best we can hope for. If we lose to Tech after beating Kentucky, it gets murkier. The more likely scenario, of course, is beat Kentucky, lose to Tech and have the CapOne and Cotton pass on us. Go to the Outback and we face some crappy B1G team, likely Michigan, which is far better than Nashville facing some crappy ACC team.  I think this is the 'worse' bowl game we'll go to if we beat Kentucky, but lose to Tech.

There is one other way we end up in Tampa: if Arkansas is the only BCS team from the SEC, which is frankly not very plausible.  If that happens, LSU and Bama will go to the CapOne and Cotton.

Peach...or worse: Lose both of the remaining games. Face regret and the Dawg Vent crashing. It is possible, but not conceivable, given the other options, that the Dawgs could win one/both regular season games, then lose the SECCG and end up getting South Carolina'ed, but considering that'd mean three bowls would have passed over a 9-10 win Georgia for 7 win teams, I don't see it happening.

Right now, let's win this week and see what happens in Atlanta.  Win the first one in Atlanta and we are nearly assured at least the Cotton/CapOne.  Lose both in Atlanta, CapOne is the very best we can hope for and are likely looking at Outback.

I'd love to go to Dallas if we aren't in New Orleans.  Wouldn't you?

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