Written by Max Bricker
Congratulations to Hayes Hanlon, the first person to comment and have an article written because of it. He asked my opinions on the upcoming Alabama v. Georgia game this weekend, so here they are:
Mark Richt has been second only to Bob Stoops in the disappointing coach category. Other than Oklahoma, Georgia is the biggest football program in the nation that perennially underperforms; both teams are ranked highly in the preseason before choking and losing to a mediocre team and losing any shot at a BCS championship. Lane Kiffin, does that sound familiar?
People may say that Georgia uncharacteristically did NOT underperform this year, but those people are wrong. Georgia unrightfully holds the #3 spot in the nation right now, and that does not make them better than the #4 and #5 teams. The Bulldogs are 11-1, 7-1 in the SEC, and are in the top 20 in the nation in offensive & defensive scoring. They may outscoring opponents by an average of 20.3 PPG, but do not expect Georgia to beat Alabama on Sunday.
Despite those impressive stats, these are in fact the Bulldogs of old. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- The SEC is overrated this year. Not only is the SEC down this year, Georgia managed to only play the worst teams in the conference. Here are a few of their seven wins: Tennessee, Auburn, Kentucky, and Missouri… Are you kidding me? All four of those teams have losing records, and they make up the bottom of the barrel in the SEC. They have only played three games against ranked opponents… check that, TWO games. They have only played TWO games all year against a solid opponent. One of the two was an embarrassing loss against South Carolina and the Old Ball Coach, a 35-7 beat down by the gamecocks. The other game was a 17-9 dog fight victory over Florida, the one loss in a rather tough schedule for the Gators.
While avoiding having to play the good teams in the SEC, Georgia also avoided good teams in their non-conference schedule. Their last two weeks have consisted of playing against Georgia South and Georgia Tech; do you really think that prepared them for the game this weekend against ‘Bama? Nick Saban has smiled more times this year than Georgia has faced a good opponent. Alabama may have lost to a red-shirt freshman quarterback at home, but they still lead the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 9.3 PPG. I much as I enjoy seeing the Tide lose, it does not happen very often.
At the same time, I underestimated the Aggies when they rolled over the Rolling Tide in Tuscaloosa. I do believe Georgia may give ‘Bama a run for their money, but it will not be successful. Expect a low-scoring defense struggle that may be closer than you think.
My prediction: Alabama 19, Georgia 10.