What the national media is saying before Georgia plays Auburn
The Georgia-Auburn game almost always has some stakes attached to it. These two teams have had a few memorable battles, especially when both teams enter the game ranked. In 2017, Auburn took a sledgehammer to Georgia’s unbeaten season, winning 40-17. Then just weeks later, Georgia returned the favor by beating Auburn 28-7 in the SEC championship game to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
There’s also the Prayer at Jordan-Hare in 2013 and the famous black-out game in 2007. And this year’s contest between the No. 4 Bulldogs and No. 12 Tigers figures to be no different.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich labeled this Saturday’s game between the two sides as the biggest remaining SEC game on the slate. Bigger than LSU-Texas A&M and Alabama-Auburn.
This largely has to do with how a potential defeat would affect the College Football Playoff discussion. Dinich called a two-loss SEC champion Georgia the “worst-case scenario” for the SEC.
As for the best case for the conference, Dinich said it would be a one-loss Georgia beating an unbeaten LSU in the SEC Championship game. That likely opens the door for getting two SEC teams into the College Football Playoff, regardless of what happens in other conferences.
If the scenario mentioned above happens, it would leave Georgia, LSU and Alabama all with one defeat. That does potentially allow for some to make a case that Alabama should be in the College Football Playoff.
But ESPN’s Paul Finebaum would actually side with Georgia over Alabama in that scenario.
“I also think beating LSU would be significant. In the end, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to side with the SEC Champion,” Finebaum said. “Georgia would’ve found a way to get there and Alabama didn’t do that.”
Georgia only needs a win this weekend to officially punch its ticket to Atlanta. If the Bulldogs do so, it would be the first time the program has been to three consecutive SEC Championship games. Georgia is most likely to face LSU. The two teams have played for the SEC championship three times, with LSU winning two of those contests.
As for Georgia’s current College Football Playoff ranking, Georgia came in at No. 4 in this week’s poll. But there are a host of contenders who also have arguments to be the No. 4 team at the moment.
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde explained that the reason for the Bulldogs having the best argument for that spot is because Georgia has the best wins.
“Nobody vying for the fourth spot has two better victories than the Bulldogs (8-1), who beat Florida on a neutral field and Notre Dame between the hedges; six wins by 21 points or more, and an average victory margin of 23.6; 10 Power 5 opponents,” Forde wrote.
Forde did also point out that among the teams vying for the No. 4 slot, no one has a loss worse than Georgia’s 20-17 home loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Georgia and Auburn kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will air on CBS. Georgia beat Auburn 27-10 last year when the game was played in Athens.
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