ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit: Georgia needs win to prove worthy of elite ranking
ATHENS — ESPN national college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit says it’s up to Georgia to “prove it” if the Bulldogs are indeed one of the top two or three teams in the country.
LSU, Herbstreit says, offers the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs a chance to “show how good they really are” at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Baton Rouge.
“From the Miami game all the way through last week at The Swamp, the (LSU) defense has been outstanding , just a tenacious approach,” Hebrstreit said on The Paul Finebaum Show.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 9, 2018
“(LSU defensive coordinator) Dave Aranda does as good a job as anybody in the SEC, he’s got an athletic bunch, great linebacker play, outstanding secondary,” Herbstreit said. “They go back home after a disappointing loss, you can imagine how they will be playing with a chance at redemption from the loss.”
The No. 13-ranked Tigers (5-1, 2-1) opened the season with a surprisingly convincing 33-17 upset over former Georgia coach Mark Richt and the Miami Hurricanes in Arlington, Texas.
LSU backed it up in Week 3 with another stunning upset, beating Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium, 22-21.
The 27-19 road loss at Florida last Saturday has put the Tigers’ backs against the wall, and a loss to the Bulldogs could start the rumblings again about Coach Ed Orgeron’s job security.
“And here comes Georgia, we’ve all been saying since August that this Georgia team is real, now we find out,” Herbstreit said. “They went into Columbia, dominated South Carolina, and now this is really the next game up that gives us an indicator of how good they really are, we think they are a top two or three team in the country.”
Alabama is No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll with 59 of the 61 first-place votes and Georgia is No. 2. But Ohio State is a very close No. 3 and has a first-place vote, and No. 4 Clemson also has a first-place vote.
The Bulldogs could solidify their hold on the No. 2 spot and perhaps even garner consideration for first-place votes with a win over the No. 13 Tigers on the road.
“But this is the stage that they need to go out and prove it, on the road in a tough environment, and they don’t have to win by 20 or 30 points,” Herbstreit said, “but go in and take LSU’s best shot, and survive it and try to move on.
“If they do that, then I think they’re worthy of being one of the top two or three teams in the country.”