As we head toward an all-important SEC Championship Game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide, I can't help but think back to all the times over the past few months that we've heard about Georgia's soft schedule. First, there was the vast UGA conspiracy in which Greg McGarity used nude pictures of Mike Slive to make sure that Georgia only had to play Ole Miss and Auburn, while South Carolina was saddled with LSU and mighty Arkansas. Then, once the Chickens fell by the wayside, we began to hear that Georgia was only doing so well because our schedule was so pillowy soft.
Well here we are... lined up for a Championship game matchup against Bama and the soft schedule talk still continues. In fact, just a few days ago on ESPNU's "The Experts" (on which two of "The Experts" out of five are a Yellow Jacket and a Gator by the way), the #3 Bulldogs were brought up. Mike Bellotti, former Oregon HC, responded, "Yeah, but that's mostly the schedule." There are two SEC teams left and the general consensus seems to be that Bama deserves the SECCG nod, while Georgia's inclusion is just the product of a schedule that even a team composed of 5-year-olds could beat. But, now that the regular season is complete, is that really the case? To wit:
That's right! Both teams played two top opponents. Both teams played a mid-level, 8-4 opponent. Both teams played Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Missouri. And both teams played two terrible SEC bottom-feeders (you have no idea how happy I am to describe Auburn as a bottom-feeder).
Even outside the conference, both teams are similarly tested. Both teams played 3 cupcakes and, like the good SEC teams they are, defeated them resoundingly. Is it Bama's trouncing of Michigan (8-4) against Georgia's trouncing of Georgia Tech (6-6)? Does having an in-state out-of-conference rivalry game each year make Georgia's schedule soft? Does a win over an unranked Big 10 also-ran make that much of a difference? Is this the one game that makes Bama deserving and Georgia "not so much"?
But RedCrake, you say, Georgia dodged Bama (11-1), LSU (10-2), and Texas A&M (10-2) out of the West. To which I would respond, indeed they did... but Bama dodged Georgia (11-1), Florida (11-1), and South Carolina (10-2) out of the East.
It should be noted that none of this is meant as a knock on Bama. I believe both teams are deserving and that next Saturday's SECCG should be a great game between two fairly evenly matched opponents. But, looking at all of the above, I have to ask...
How exactly is Georgia's schedule soft?