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The most dangerous game
Georgia football is 7-0 and staring down a spot in the College Football Playoff. According to S&P+, the Bulldogs have a 68 percent chance to finish the regular season 11-1 or better. A record like that would put them in prime position to earn a place in the CFP, perhaps regardless of the result of a potential SEC Championship Game with Alabama.
But to do that, Georgia must survive what’s shaping up to be the toughest five-game stretch of the season. Each of the final five opponents presents a different set of challenges, and each has the potential to upend what could be an all-time Georgia season. But which of the final five games is the most dangerous. Here are Georgia’s remaining games, ranked from least to most dangerous
5. South Carolina (Nov. 4) — South Carolina is 5-2 (3-2 SEC), and that’s way ahead of schedule in season two under Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks are a defense-first team, as shown by the 15-9 win over Tennessee on Saturday. Although their defense could pose some challenges for the Georgia attack, the Bulldogs shouldn’t have any problems stopping the Gamecock’s anemic offense from getting on the board.
4. Kentucky (Nov. 18) — This might be the most intriguing game left on the schedule, if only because of Kentucky’s current standing in the SEC East. The Wildcats are 5-1 and 2-1 in the SEC. It’s the only team with one loss in the East, which by default makes it the closest competitor to Georgia for the East crown at the moment. Kentucky has to face Mississippi State, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt between now and the Georgia game, though, so there’s a good chance it won’t be the closest competitor a month from now.
3. Florida (Oct. 28) — The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has served as a de facto SEC East title at times in the recent past, but that won’t be the case this season. Florida’s loss to Texas A&M gave it two SEC losses, which gives Georgia a safety net. A week ago, a loss in this game would have meant Florida would lead the race for the SEC East down the stretch. Now Georgia will stay in the driver’s seat regardless of the result. The Gators are always tricky opponents, but Georgia will be able to play loose thanks to its two-game edge in the East. But considering Georgia has an 82 percent win probability according to S&P+, it probably won’t need to be too loose to handle it’s business in two weeks.
2. at Georgia Tech (Nov. 25) — The most dangerous aspect of this game is the potential look-ahead factor. If all goes according to plan, Georgia will have the SEC East tied up by the last game of the season and a date with ‘Bama with a trip to the CFP potentially on the line will be set. But before the SEC title game, Georgia has to dispatch Tech and its always challenging option attack. This game won’t have any affect on the SEC, but a loss to the Jackets could spell disaster for any CFP hopes.
1. at Auburn (Nov. 11) — The Auburn game has been considered the toughest game on Georgia’s schedule for most of the season. The Tigers have held an edge in the S&P+ win probability all season until this week. Georgia’s dominance of Missouri and Auburn’s loss to LSU flipped the numbers and now Georgia holds a 53 percent win probability. Those are fine margins, though. Yeah, Auburn lost some luster with the loss to LSU, but it’s still one of the best 15 or so teams in college football. This trip to the Plains is shaping up to be Georgia’s biggest test of the season.
At second glance
Seth Emerson of DawgNation rewatched Georgia’s 53-28 win over Missouri and broke down what he saw from Georgia’s pass defense, Jake Fromm, the rushing attack, and a lot more. You should read the whole post, but here are his final thoughts on the win:
This game showed that Georgia’s defense still can be vulnerable to a good all-around offense, especially one that can throw it. But the offense continues to get better and build confidence that if Georgia needs to pass the ball to win, it’s possible. Through six games, the formula for this team was to ride a dominant defense and do just enough on offense, especially in the running game. The formula still could be revised: The offense, though it will face much tougher defenses than it did on Saturday, is showing signs it can pick up the slack if the defense doesn’t have its best day.
4-star OLB Adam Anderson sets decision date
The recruitment of 4-star Rome OLB Adam Anderson has been a bit of a roller coaster. Anderson committed to Georgia in August 2016, but flipped his commitment to LSU in the spring before de-committing from the Tigers over the summer. But the No. 5 player from the state of Georgia is ready to make a college decision yet again, hopefully for the final time, on Thursday, according to Jeff Sentell of DawgNation. Anderson has reportedly narrowed his potential destinations to Georgia and Alabama.
It’s good to be Kirby Smart
Kirby Smart makes a good living, collecting a reported $3.75 million per year to coach Georgia. But his pay for 2017 could take a significant bump with contract incentives. The more Georgia wins, the more Smart will get paid. From Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald:
A trip to the SEC championship game? That’s worth $150,000.
Winning the SEC title? Add another $250,000
Reach the College Football Playoff? A bonus of $500,000.
Advance to the national title game? Add another $100,000.
Win the national championship? That brings another $400,000.
Weiszer also notes Smart would take home an additional $200,000 if Georgia finishes the season in the top five of the coaches or AP polls. He would also collect $100,000 for being named national coach of the year and $50,000 for being named SEC coach of the year.
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) October 16, 2017
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) October 16, 2017
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) September 25, 2017
In case you're having a bad day, here's a squirrel trying to hide an acorn in a Bernese mountain dog. pic.twitter.com/Pr0XHBLpyA
— Barstool UGA (@ugabarstool) October 16, 2017
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