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Georgia and Kirby Smart will look to end the season with a win over Texas.

Why the Sugar Bowl is a lot more important to Georgia than Texas

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Why Georgia has to win the Sugar Bowl

As Georgia takes off for the Sugar Bowl against Texas, we’re going to make something very clear: The Bulldogs have to win this game. While some college football fans may feel this way, this game is not meaningless for Georgia. A win for UGA would do a lot to put a bow on the 2018 season and set up the 2019 season.

We’ve already seen a few teams —hello Georgia Tech and Houston — just completely not show up for their bowl games and lose in embarrassing fashion. That can’t happen with Georgia, especially when we’ve seen SEC teams treat this game that way in the past, as Florida did in 2013 an Alabama in 2014. Here’s why Georgia has to show up and win the 2019 Sugar Bowl against Texas:

To prove that the game against Alabama wasn’t a fluke: Georgia fans weren’t surprised by how close the Bulldogs played Alabama in the SEC Championship game. But a solid chunk of the country thought Georgia wouldn’t stand much of chance against the Crimson Tide.

Beating Texas makes Georgia seem more legitimate in the eyes of people outside the SEC footprint. SEC fans know that Georgia is going to be good year in and year out. But to get to that next level, where Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State reside, the Bulldogs need to take care of a Texas team that they are better than. As Georgia starts to win more games against the blue bloods, Georgia is going to start getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being mentioned with the national elite.

Georgia’s performance against an Alabama, a team that many thought was an all-time great team, opened a lot of eyes. A beatdown against Texas would keep a lot of peoples’ eyes open for the future.

Prove that the playoff committee got it wrong: The reason there’s been a lot more talk about UCF in the College Football Playoff this year than last year, was because the Knights went out and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl. That made some wonder, rightly or wrongly, whether or not UCF should’ve gotten a shot at the College Football Playoff. Georgia can do something similar this year against Texas.

Let’s say Georgia beats Texas convincingly — which Vegas experts them to do as a 13-point favorite — and Alabama beats Oklahoma. At that point it would be very fair to wonder, again for some, whether Oklahoma should’ve made the College Football Playoff over Georgia.

I’ve said before, I’m not sure Georgia should’ve made the playoff and played Alabama in rematch in the semifinals. But if Georgia wins and Oklahoma loses, it will give Georgia fans a chance to boast that they deserved to be in the College Football Playoff. A Bulldogs win and Sooners loss also will make the cries for an eight-team playoff only louder, which I believe is a good thing for the sport.

Start 2019 on a winning note: This is the most important thing Georgia can get out of this game. If Georgia is going to win a national championship and beat Alabama, 2019 is going to be the year it happens. Georgia figures to bring back most of its potent offense and a defense that is brimming with young talent. Next year’s team will have a perfect blend of talent and experience.

Regardless of outcome, Georgia figures to begin next season with a high-ranking. A win over Texas isn’t going to propel the Bulldogs to a No. 1 preseason ranking — it’s probably still going to be Alabama. But there’s a very good chance Georgia begins the season in the top 5. And given what Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are set to lose, there’s a good chance the Bulldogs are a top 3 team.

A big win over Texas would show that Georgia was one of the best teams in 2018, and very much will be one of the best teams in 2019 — with the likes of Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift and a host of players returning. The Sugar Bowl may not have been the game or venue that many Georgia fans wanted, but the Bulldogs and coach Kirby Smart can absolutely make a number of statements with a big win over Texas.

The three best Georgia football gifts

3. Aulden Bynum’s framed jerseys

Aulden Bynum was a member of Georgia’s 2017 team. For Christmas, his parents framed the jerseys he wore in the Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma and the National Championship Game against Alabama. Obviously only a select few can have something like this, but this is a really great gift that Bynum is going to cherish for the rest of his life.

Related: The best Georgia football gifts for 2018

2. A jersey from each of the big Georgia rookies

When I was growing up, I was lucky if I got one NFL jersey for Christmas. Well, one Georgia fan came away with three jerseys. He got a Roquan Smith Chicago Bears jersey, a Sony Michel New England Patriots jersey and a Nick Chubb Cleveland Browns jersey. What a haul! The toughest decision this pretty clear Georgia is going to have to make, is which jersey he’s going to wear on his first day back at school.

1. A homemade pair of Savage Spikes

This is far and away the best gift. Sure you can’t wear them as much as a jersey, and there might not be the sentimental factor of a jersey you played in. But these Savage Spikes are the perfect gift to encapsulate the 2018 Georgia football team. It’s clear that a lot of thought and effort went into this gift, and that’s why it’s the best Georgia football gift of 2018.

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