JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The SEC has tie-ins with 10 bowl games, including, from top to swampland: Sugar, Citrus, Outback, TaxSlayer, Music City . . . (this is where you may want to cover your eyes) . . . Texas, Belk, Liberty, Birmingham and Independence.
It’s safe to assume Georgia will not be heading to a garden spot.
It’s not safe to assume Georgia will be going anywhere.
The Bulldogs’ offensive misery reached new lows in Saturday’s 24-10 loss to Florida. They rushed for only 21 yards, totaled 164 yards in offense, finished the game with 10 non-scoring possessions and went three-and-out or four-and-out nine times. As I wrote in a column, even rebuilding projects shouldn’t look this bad.
And here’s a question we never expected to be asking at the eight-game mark: “Will Georgia even go to a bowl game?”
The Dogs are 4-4 (including a narrow win over expected FCS fodder Nicholls State). That means they need to at least split their final four games to become bowl eligible (unless there aren’t enough six-win teams to fill all of the games).
Two wins aren’t a certainty, given the backdrop. A look at the remaining four opponents:
• At Kentucky: The Wildcats have won three straight (Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Missouri) are 4-2 in the SEC (5-3 overall). This will be a night game. Fans will be loud and excited, in part because the basketball season hasn’t started yet. Not only is this game not a gimme, as most would’ve projected, Georgia might be an underdog.
• Auburn, home: The Tigers were 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the SEC going into Saturday’s game at Ole Miss. They won four straight after a 1-2 start and almost certainly will be favored in Athens.
• Louisiana-Lafayette, home: Georgia will be favored and should win. But after FCS entry Nicholls State came into Athens and nearly won (the Dogs pulled out a 26-24 win in Week 2), are you going to assume anything? For what it’s worth: The Ragin’ Cajuns are 3-4 (2-2 in the Sun Belt).
• Georgia Tech, home: The Dogs likely will be favored but the Jackets have a better record (5-3), with games remaining at North Carolina, at Virginia Tech and home against Virginia. It’s a rivalry game. Weird things happen.
How many wins do you see there? One? Two? Three?
It’s probably best not to assume anything right now.
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