As we get ready for college football’s version of the Cavs/Warriors this weekend, there are, obviously, two outcomes for the Georgia football program.
Win and it’s a straight shot to the CFP again. Lose and it’s a nice consolation prize in a year that was a transition season - a berth in the Sugar Bowl.
Georgia may win, Georgia may lose. Regardless, being in this spotlight is one that may or may not come again later for this program as college football has no guarantees.
I mean...who’d of thought in 2007 that we’d be saying “Kansas head coach Les Miles?”
So while sitting back, relaxing and enjoying all that being on the big stage this week comes with, there are two huge what-ifs this week. What if Georgia wins and what if it loses?
What would a Georgia win mean?
First and foremost, the Dawgs become national title favorites by beating the Crimson Tide. It means the start of the further rise of Kirby Smart and the acceleration toward the sunset of Nick Saban’s time over in Tuscaloosa.
Plus...Finebaum on Monday would be as the youngsters say....LIT
It also underscores the fact that Georgia’s program is even further ahead than it was a year ago toward being what it could be. Think about it - for a team that was penciled in as not quite as good as last year’s it’s in the same position in December as last year’s was. Sure, the goal in the end is, and should be, a national title each year. But the key step to getting to that point of being in the conversation each year and that is where Georgia is.
Sure, winning on Saturday would be incredible. But being in position to win a conference title again is no small accomplishment given the losses of a year ago.
So what if Georgia loses?
Obviously, it would not be fun. Losing never is.
But there would be no shame in losing to a likely national title favorite.
A loss would be a driving factor for this team going toward next year, and if nothing else, would light a fire under the program not to sleepwalk through a bowl game against a team that it should beat (looking at you, 2017 Auburn).
It shouts volumes about how the expectations have so quickly changed. If Georgia was a national title-favorite, landing in the Sugar Bowl would not be spectacular. But given that last year’s Rose Bowl was the team’s first marquee bowl game (sorry Gator and Citrus Bowls) it was in since 2007., spending New Year’s Day in NOLA would hardly be anything to be sad about.
Georgia is not in a role of a token SEC West punching bag from the 90s that played those Florida or Tennessee teams, clubs that were only in Atlanta on a formality.
It’s there for a reason, and that’s the fact that this coaching staff has continued to raise the expectation level in Athens.
Georgia may win Saturday. It may lose. Regardless, these next few days will be fun.