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Georgia has shown it deserves a title shot


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Georgia has shown it deserves a title shot 

 Peter Schrager

 

Under normal circumstances, college football polls work in an orderly and fairly predictable matter.

If the No. 1 and 2 teams lose, the No. 3 and 4 teams move up to take their place 99 percent of the time. Which means that Ohio State and Georgia should be making preparations for Jan. 7 and a BCS title game showdown as we type.

But there seems to be a strong sentiment among the talking heads that the Bulldogs should be disqualified from consideration for the title game simply because they were sitting at home watching the SEC title game instead of playing in it.

And that's just wrong.

In a college-football world filled with absolute chaos and utter confusion, the 2007 Georgia Bulldogs are the rare rock of clarity. With records, opponents, wins, losses, out-of-conference foes, intra-conference foes, weather, month, national visibility and respectability being analyzed with subjectivity and heated opinion across the country UGA's the logical team in this mess; the squad of reason.

 Undoubtedly the hottest team in the nation over the course of the final two months of this rather bizarre college football season, Georgia entered Saturday's games as the No. 4 team in the BCS rankings. Like Ohio State, they did not lose. And just like the Buckeyes, they should slide up the polls two spots while idle.

If the system settles these arguments on paper as opposed to on the field, then the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs should move to No. 2 when the previous 1 and 2 ranked teams go down. In a world clouded in grey, UGA's the black and white (or red) option for the No. 2 slot. Want to settle this with numbers, math and science? With reason and objectivity? Then UGA's the only way to go.

And it's not like the 'Dawgs are some charity case, backing into the postseason with a limp. Georgia deserves a trip to New Orleans as much as anybody. UGA finished the season with six straight wins, beat ranked teams both at home and on the road and only got better and better with each passing week, culminating with a dominating performance on their final weekend of the season against Georgia Tech. Of the top 15 ranked teams in the nation (outside of Hawaii), no squad other than Georgia's managed to maintain an undefeated record since October 6th. They've climbed the polls steadily without a peep of discontent from the general public. Why the sudden change of feelings now?

Coach Mark Richt presented his team's case on Saturday night, telling reporters, "Let's face it, going into today we were ranked No. 4 in the BCS. They ranked us there for a reason. They believed we belonged there. Two teams lost ahead of us. Everybody knew going in we were not going to play for a conference championship and still they voted us there. They voted us there for a reason and I don't know why that should change right now."

It shouldn't.

With super-frosh Knowshon Moreno and a healthy Thomas Brown carrying the rock, Georgia has arguably the best 1-2 rushing duo in the nation outside of the Darren McFadden-Felix Jones combo at Arkansas. Add in fifth year senior Kregg Lumpkin to the mix returning from an injury for the bowl game and you can make that the best 1-2-3. The passing game's improved dramatically since the 'Dawgs' October 6th loss to Tennessee, and the defense is working on all cylinders. Kentucky averaged 38 points per game in '07; Georgia held the 'Cats to 13 points a few weeks ago. Yes, the same Kentucky that (ahem) beat LSU earlier this season.

In a perfect world, Georgia would have played LSU for the SEC title on Saturday. But they didn't. Why should that matter? There's no rule in college football requiring a championship game for each conference. Ohio State's never won one; nor has USC. Notre Dame, West Virginia, Michigan nope, nope, nope and nope. Because the SEC is one of the five conferences to have such a game should not be a reason to penalize this Georgia squad.

Georgia was the fourth-ranked team in the country with voters well aware of the fact they wouldn't be playing in said championship game heading into Saturday. They did nothing to jeopardize that ranking. Why should they be penalized for it now, well after the fact?

So the 2001 Nebraska Cornhuskers and the 2004 Oklahoma Sooners flopped royally in national championship games after failing to win their conference titles. Does that and should that have anything to do with this destined and deserving Georgia squad? I'd hope not. Freezing the hottest team in the nation out of the big dance for previous teams' failures is like canceling the freshman ice cream social for the foul play of last year's seniors at the prom. It's not fair. It's not right.

Few would argue that no team in the nation finished their season playing better football than the Georgia Bulldogs. LSU's lost two games since the first weekend in October; Georgia's lost none. When asked about those SEC champion Tigers, Richt was rather blunt on Saturday night, "I think if we'd have played for the (SEC) championship, we certainly believe we could have won the game," Richt said. "Do I think we could beat LSU? Yes."

And who could argue with him? USC lost to both Stanford and Oregon since Georgia's last defeat; Virginia Tech fell to B.C. three weeks after; Oklahoma fell to unranked Texas Tech. Even Ohio State lost to Illinois ... at home. If you're going to reward the teams that finish the season looking the strongest, Georgia deserves a gold star. And in this case, even a silver will do.

 

 

 

In the end, options A, B, C, D, E, F and G can (and will) all make viable cases for their right to play Ohio State in the national championship game. From northwestern Virginia to the isles of Hawaii, there will be fans and academic institutions losing their collective breaths doing just that this week.

But if you're looking for the cut and dry answer the sensible, logical and fair case you need look no further than the team from Athens, Ga.

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well supposedly the schedule is out of the BCS equation, so who played who and how bad they were beaten doesnt apply. the system is most definately flawed, and has seriously been exposed this season. i think this is just one writer trying to get votes for UGA is all.

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What's also out of the BCS equation is whether or not a team won their conference.  I honestly thought we had no shot until hearing Richt on SC last night.  He's right...the BCS people decide year after year to not have the conf. championship as a factor...the polls knew last week we wouldn't be in there so why vote us up to 4 then?  Folks figured there was no way WV and Mizzou would lose, but they did...and the reality is we have the same amount of losses as all other teams in the argument and have looked much better over the past 7 weeks...sure I'm a homer but we SHOULD be in this game.  Not likely, but we should.

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well supposedly the schedule is out of the BCS equation, so who played who and how bad they were beaten doesnt apply.

That's why the whole thing should be scrapped.  The coaches are the ones who make the schedule matter.  They are biased and they are looking at who beat who and how bad.  The computers/humans had it right last week and this week they have it all wrong.  The system is flawed.

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its been said a million times but if georgia were in the big ten or vice versa thier records would be different. You shouldn't get rewarded for winning a conference if you hardly play in november and don't have a coference chapionship. at least the pac-10 keeps playing.

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