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Georgia will look to pick up another big win on Saturday.

Handicapping Georgia football bowl game options heading into key November stretch

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Georgia football bowl projections heading into the home stretch

Georgia football will be playing in a bowl game this year. Even if the Bulldogs somehow lose their final three regular-season games, Georgia will still finish 8-4. Of course, the Bulldogs will be aiming to finish much higher than that. Should the Bulldogs win one of their final two SEC games, Georgia will play in the SEC championship game.

And as Tuesday’s College Football Playoff rankings told us, Georgia is very much still in the playoff discussion. To stay in the top four Georgia must win out, which would include wins over No. 12 Auburn and No. 1 LSU. But those options are still on the table, however unlikely that might be.

So with only a handful of options still on the table, let’s look at where Georgia may end up playing in December (or January).

The 2019 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Dec. 28 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. in Atlanta

How Georgia gets there: Beats Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and LSU. Have Ohio State lose a game but still win the Big Ten. Hope the committee values Georgia’s wins over Clemson’s potential unbeaten record.

Why it might happen: This is the dream scenario. This is one of the two College Football Playoff games and it will be played in Atlanta. Georgia would need a lot of chaos to move up to the No. 1 spot, but college football is a sport built on chaos. Ohio State has losable games against Michigan and Penn State. Clemson struggled with North Carolina earlier this year and plays a 7-2 Wake Forest team this weekend.  To quote Kevin Garnett, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.” 

Why it might not: Even if this is supposed to be a neutral site game — as well as the site of the SEC championship game — it won’t be if Georgia is playing in it. And I highly doubt the College Football Playoff committee is going to want to reward an unbeaten Ohio State or Clemson by matching them up against a one-loss SEC champ Georgia in the Bulldogs’ backyard. Seeing as how Atlanta is much closer to Clemson, S.C., and  Columbus, Ohio, that would likely be the first choice for either of the schools.

And as illustrated in the “how Georgia gets there” section, the Bulldogs would need to win out and have quite a bit of chaos happen.

Chances of playing in this game: 5 percent

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The 2019 Playstation Fiesta Bowl: Dec. 28, 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. in Glendale, Az.,

How Georgia gets there: Beats Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and LSU.

Why it might happen: This is the other College Football Playoff game. If Georgia wins out, it seems clear the committee is going to put them in the College Football Playoff. And given that Georgia would have a head-to-head win over LSU, the committee probably puts the Bulldogs ahead of the Tigers and makes them the No. 3 team. The most likely scenario here would be Georgia playing an unbeaten Clemson, assuming the Tigers and the Buckeyes also win out.

Why it might not happen: Did you see what LSU did this past weekend? To quote Marcus Spears, “They went into Bryant-Denny and put 46 points on the board.” And even before that Georgia has to get past a tough Auburn team. Kirby Smart’s record against SEC West teams on the road is not what you want going into this game. But Georgia has beaten the likes of Florida and Notre Dame already, making this the more likely of the two  College Football Playoff scenarios.

Chances of playing in this game: 20 percent

*Of note here: ESPN’s Playoff predictor gives Georgia a 25 percent chance of making the College Football Playoff

The 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl: Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. in New Orleans

How Georgia gets there: Georgia is the highest-ranked SEC team not to make the College Football Playoff.

Why it might happen: Georgia would have to get to the SEC championship game with an 11-1 record to LSU and then lose that game. But that’s only half the battle. To get to New Orleans, Georgia would need the College Football Playoff committee to decide that Alabama is one of the four best teams in the country. That would mean it likely needs a two-lose PAC 12 champion as well as possibly a two-loss Big 12 champion.

There’s also the chance that Georgia loses to Auburn, beats Texas A&M and then beats LSU in the SEC championship game to finish. That gets very murky though, and it’s not a guarantee that Georgia would be ranked above the Crimson Tide.

There’s also a scenario where Auburn beats Alabama and Georgia. A 10-2 Auburn team would be a very compelling Sugar Bowl pick.

Why it might not happen: It would need a whole lot of chaos, as outlined above. There’s no way a two-loss Georgia team that fails to win the SEC championship is ranked above a one-loss Alabama team.

Chances of playing in this game: 2 percent

The 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl: Dec. 30, 8 p.m., Miami Gardens, Fla.

How Georgia gets there: Georgia beats Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech but loses to LSU. Georgia would also finish behind an Alabama team that does not make the College Football Playoff.

Why it might happen: This is by far the most likely scenario in play. Just going by likely Vegas odds, this is how many will likely predict the Georgia season to finish. Assuming LSU, Clemson and Ohio State win out, a big assumption to be sure, and Oregon and Utah meet in the Pac-12 title game with one-loss each, those are your most likely playoff teams. Georgia would likely get picked for this game, given the Bulldogs haven’t played in the game since 1960 and there might be some interest to attend the bowl game in South Florida.

Why this might not happen: Beating Texas A&M and Auburn is no easy task. There is also the chance that the Orange Bowl could choose a two-loss Michigan to play in the game if the Wolverines are able to beat the Buckeyes at the end of the season.

Chances of playing in this game: 70 percent

The Georgia football misses the SEC championship game scenario

How Georgia gets there: The Bulldogs lose to Auburn and Texas A&M. Florida beats Missouri, thus putting the Gators into the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs very likely drop out of the top-10 and likely find themselves trending towards say the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. That game would be played on Jan. 1 and would pit Georgia up against a Big Ten or ACC team.

Why it might happen: Auburn and Texas A&M are good teams! Anything can happen, as evidenced by Georgia’s loss to South Carolina earlier this season.

Why it might not happen: Georgia is also a good team, and will likely be favored in both games.

Chances of this happening: Let’s say 3 percent to get to an even 100.

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