ATHENS- With the 17-6 loss to South Carolina, our season becomes much more challenging if we are going to win the east. To win the east, Georgia will need to beat Florida. No if, ands, or buts about it. If the Dawgs are able to navigate the rest of their SEC schedule unscathed, they will need South Carolina to lose two games. This scenario is more possible than one might think because the Gamecocks go on the road to play Auburn and Florida. Spurriers bunch also plays host to Alabama and Arkansas that will not be easy home wins.
Barring an unbelievable upset of Alabama, the Gamecocks will lose at least one SEC game this season. It would shock me if South Carolina were able to win at Auburn and Florida. I believe Marcus Lattimore is an unbelievably talented back that is a force to be reckoned with. But, there will be a game when South Carolina is trailing in the fourth quarter and they have to rely on Stephen Garcia to win the game. I do not think Garcia is good enough to get it done.
Having said that, Georgia needs to win out which is the most difficult task to accomplish for this scenario to play out. Honestly, this weekend is your season. If Georgia loses at home to Arkansas, the wheels will start to fall off and Mark Richt’s seat will be in a blaze but a win could set the team on fire in a positive way.
I am not trying to hope consistency on a team that has not shown that in four years, but the Bulldogs need to muster something if they are going to salvage a successful 2010 season. With a Dawgs win Saturday, Georgia could begin a stretch in their schedule that they could win some games. Georgia will travel to Mississippi State to play a tough road game in a hostile environment. After Starkville, Georgia goes out west to play a beatable Colorado team. If the Dawgs win those two road games, they will return home 4-1 with games against Vanderbilt and Tennessee. The farther you get down the line it looks hopeful that Georgia could be 7-1 when they go to Jacksonville to play the Gators. But, before we look down the road too far we have to win against the Razorbacks.
Will Georgia win the east? I would love to say yes, but if anyone takes an unbiased look at Georgia’s remaining schedule they will see how difficult that task would be. With a rookie quarterback, an unfamiliar defense and a glaring deficiency at tackling, Georgia has its work cut out for them this season.
At this point it is not about winning a championship for Richt and his staff, its about keeping their jobs. In my opinion, with all the changes on defense and the inexperience at quarterback, Richt has one more year to show some improvement to the program. But, that does not give him a free pass on this season.
This weekend is a huge game for Richt and his staff. We closed our eyes and dreamed about what a Bulldog win could lead to down the road, but what if we lose… A loss could have an adverse effect on Georgia’s momentum or lack there of. Winning in Starkville looks much more difficult if we cant get any offensive production at home against an SEC opponent. How will Georgia produce when they have 30,000 ringing cowbells in their ear? I do not even want to think about how off the rails the train could fly if Georgia went on the road and collapsed against Mississippi State.
Mathematically, Georgia can still win the SEC east. But, from what the fans saw Saturday in Columbia there is not much optimism about the Bulldogs season to at least be in the mix. Win the game Saturday and get some momentum back to make a push this season. Lose this game and it is going to be a dog fight the rest of the way for Mark Richt and the Bulldog Nation.