As I was strolling around beautiful North Campus this afternoon, a very real possibility entered my head. With this discussion comes the caveat that, Yes, we are only barely past the quarter-poll of the season. Anything can and probably will happen. But with all the uncertainty there is also good probability of what we think will occur.
Let me set up the situation. Obviously for a Dawgs MNC appearance, they must run the table and capture the SEC Championship. LSU (with a lone loss from UGA) beats Alabama giving them the Tide their only loss of the season. The Bayou Bengals play in the SECCG and lose to the Bulldogs. Following would be the relevent records if this occured:
- UGA (12-1)
- LSU (11-2)
- Bama (11-1)
If this scenario were to play out, UGA would have beaten LSU twice. Is the transitive nature (A>B, B>C, therefore A>C) enough to erase the head-to-head outcome? I don't think so. The reason why the "UGA did not play in the SECCG" argument held water last year was because UGA and LSU did not play during the regular season. There was no concrete way to prove that UGA was in fact the better squad over the SEC Champ. However, I do think that UGA would be one of the hottest teams in the nation closing the year again. Beating UF, LSU (2x), AUB, Vandy [maybe] will be impressive.
Did UA knock out our title chances like LSU knocked out Virginia Tech's on the second week of 2007? It was widely considered that VT could not overcome the embarrassment of that beatdown no matter how well they played the rest of the way. This was because you could not convince any pollster to rank a 1-loss VT higher over a 1- (maybe 2-) loss LSU. Granted, UGA showed alot more poise in the second half this week, but we were downright throttled in the first. I think the Tide would get the nod over a SEC Champs UGA because of the first half of last week's game.
The only draw against Alabama would be that they did not play in the SECCG. But they beat the eventual league Champs in convicing fashion on national TV. I am just not sure that the momentum built from this point on would erase the loss in the minds of voters.
I am still optimistic about our chances for our goals. I have bought into the idea that our goal is the SEC Championship. That is all we can control and that dream is very much still alive and kicking (Thanks Ole Miss!). We have a lot of work to do in our own camp to even think like this, but Evil Richt has me an optimistic person. Hopefully the consistency bug hits Bama and we get our own ship righted.