Good morning Bulldog fans!
It’s SEC Championship Week, and like the Red and Black you’ve got a ton to do before Saturday. So let’s get straight to it.
Georgia remains atop the College Football Playoff rankings, with Michigan at #2, Washington at #3, and Florida State hanging in there at #4.
Check out the full #CFBPlayoff Top 25 for games played through Saturday, November 25.— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 29, 2023
Where does your team rank as we head toward conference championship weekend and Selection Day?
A few Bulldog-related thoughts:
* By placing Alabama at #8 the committee has made it very unlikely for the Tide to get into the playoff even with a win. That’s right, the Alabama Crimson Tide have become college football’s plucky spoiler/underdog.
* However, it appears reasonably likely that if Georgia loses the Bulldogs are not getting into the playoff. There simply haven’t been many upsets this season, so there’s not a lot of room for judgment calls. The winner of the PAC-12 title game is in. If Alabama beats the Dawgs then Texas’s win over the Tide looks even better and burnishes the Longhorns’ resume.
Losing the week of the playoff selection would be disastrous, and the Red and Black would probably need Iowa to beat Michigan and Louisville to beat FSU to have any chance. That’s 2007 level juju, which we cannot count on. Just win, that gets you in.
* If the Bulldogs do win on Saturday, they likely stick at #1. If that’s the case I think Georgia fans should hope for an FSU win and a Washington victory, because that would put the wounded Seminoles in the #4 slot. Truth be told, no team in the top four as it’s currently constituted is as tough as matchup as the Tide.
By now you already know that UGA defensive backs coach Fran Brown is leaving Athens to take over as the head coach at Syracuse. Marc Weiszer has a solid rundown of potential replacements. Personally I’d keep an eye on Doug Belk, Houston’s outgoing defensive coordinator. Belk was a graduate assistant (at the same time as Dan Lanning) when Kirby and Glenn Schumann were at Alabama. He’s a Valdosta native who’s recruited the Peach State as an assistant at West Virginia and Houston. While Houston struggled this season with the transition to the Big XII, his units were at or near the top of the AAC in 2021 and 2022 in most major defensive statistics.
In addition to coaching silly season it’s also transfer portal time. As expected, Bulldog linebacker Darris Smith has announced he’s headed elsewhere. After playing a good bit as a true freshman and seeing sporadic action early in 2023 Smith hasn’t played in the last seven games and hasn’t been a part of team activities. Coach Smart had been cryptic about the reasons for that, but when a player takes an extended break like that on a roster as competitive as this one it’s unusual for them to jump back in and catch up. Here’s wishing Darris luck wherever he lands.
But enough off the field news. Back to the big game. DawgNation has a profile of Bama QB Jalen Milroe, who’s growing into his role as the season progresses in much the way Carson Beck has.
Milroe’s ability to run the ball in both scripted and unscripted situations has me terrified. He’s all the quarterbacks Georgia has struggled with this season, only bigger, faster and with a better arm. He’s going to throw some haymakers against the Bulldogs, the question will be whether we can recover from them.
We’ll be back with more later, until then….