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It’s almost here, folks. The SEC Championship is just a day away and there’s nothing left to say about the Georgia-Auburn rematch that hasn’t been said twice. The only things left to do are wait, then watch. While you’re waiting, check out this hype video — titled “Preparation” — released by Georgia football ahead of the showdown with the Tigers.
1 of these games is not like the other
OK, so there is some stuff left to talk about. Like how the 40-17 loss to Auburn last time out doesn’t mean Auburn is doubtlessly the better team and will be Georgia handily again, as years of watching college football has trained us to think. From Bill Connelly of SB Nation:
Because there are no best-of-seven series, we think of single football games as referendums. Auburn beat Georgia; therefore, Auburn is better than Georgia and will therefore beat Georgia again.
Luckily for the Dawgs, that doesn’t have to be the case. We don’t get many rematches, but when we do, the second result is often quite different than the first.
Any time Connelly writes about Georgia, it is must-read material for Bulldogs fans. His SEC Championship Game preview, which cover two things Georgia must change to beat Auburn this time, is no exception. Make sure you read the whole post, but here’s what the nitty-gritty of it: S&P+ is predicting a Georgia win. Although that comes with its own caveats.
How S&P+ picks it: Georgia 26 (+2.5), Auburn 25
Here’s your reminder that analytics look at the whole season. They don’t care how overwhelmed Georgia’s offensive line and quarterback became against Auburn’s defensive front. For that matter, they don’t care about Kerryon Johnson’s shoulder injury.
All S&P+ sees is that, over the course of 12 games each, Georgia graded out as the slightly better team. We’ll see how much context ends up mattering.
The moment is now
While Connelly brings the logos to his SEC Championship Game preview, Will Leitch of Sports on Earth brings the pathos. Leitch is an Athens transplant who moved to the Classic City from New York in 2013, so he brings an interesting perspective as someone who became a big fan of the team in the strange window between the 2012 SEC Championship Game and now. But despite being a neophyte among Georgia fans, he does an excellent job of getting to the heart of why this game is so important to us.
Georgia football is the engine that has driven this town for decades, and in a way, the single organizing principle of the lives of just about everybody I know since I moved here. There has been turmoil and sadness and anger and fear, and there has been excitement and hope and inspiration and joy. Saturday is the culmination of years, of decades, of all of it. It’s the whole world here. It probably shouldn’t be. But it is.
It’s just one football game. Even if Georgia wins Saturday, it still has a long way to go to win a title like all its rivals have. But it’ll be in the game. Georgia will no longer be excluded. It gets to be a part. It’s all anybody here ever wanted.
Take some time and read Leitch’s entire post. You won’t regret it.
ICYMI: SEC title game edition
Since many of you might want to spend your Friday whittling down the hours to Saturday by reading everything about the SEC Championship Game. So to help you folks out, here are a bunch of posts you can read Friday instead of working.
- The ‘cross-pollination’ of Georgia, Auburn football spans generations (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- Planning for the Opponent: Bulldogs thrilled to get high-stakes do-over against Auburn (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- UGA mailbag: Let’s talk SEC Championship Game, bowls, basketball and beards (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- Opposing View: Auburn writer expects closer game but same result for UGA (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- Raise and extension inevitable for Georgia’s Kirby Smart, regardless of SEC outcome (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- What Might’ve Been: The years Georgia wished there was a playoff (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- 2012 UGA team rooting for Bulldogs to finish the drill in SEC championship (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Warner Robins to Atlanta: Big weekend on deck for Jake Fromm family (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- Stopping the Sensei: Georgia relishes challenge of Auburn’s Jeff Holland (Brandon Sudge, The Telegraph)
- Revenge, redo, rematch: Georgia gets another shot at Auburn in the SEC championship (Emily Giambalvo, Red & Black)
- Cocktail Thursday: SEC Championship Game Edition (MaconDawg, Dawg Sports)
- 3 Things That Worry Me About Auburn – Rehashed (GlimmerTwinDawg, Dawg Sports)
- Making a game of the championship game (Senator Blutarsky, Get The Picture)
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) December 1, 2017
Big game this week. pic.twitter.com/o5lkPhnPhr
— Joe Person (@josephperson) November 30, 2017
Here's a look at Jake Fromm's passing chart entering the SEC Championship Game.
Javon Wims primarily lines up the left side of field, which explains Fromm's dramatically better stats on the left/middle of field. pic.twitter.com/V96Saf0Ayo
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) November 29, 2017
Sorry, no dogs today. Instead you get a squid. To send you into the Georgia football’s most important game in a half-decade, here’s Early Cuyler and T-Pain with their classic hit, (I Like) Driving In My Truck.
Spot the damn ball already. Saturday can’t come soon enough.
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