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Georgia football winners and losers heading into Florida game
Winner: Fans of college football chaos
Part of the allure of college football is the unpredictably of it. Despite there being a clear divide between the haves and have nots, you still see upsets from time to time. Georgia fans got a first-hand experience of this when South Carolina came into Sanford Stadium and beat a much better Bulldogs team.
With Georgia not playing this week, hopefully some of you got a chance to see some of that chaos affect the likes of Oklahoma. The Sooners were a three-touchdown favorite over the Kansas State Wildcats. Oklahoma’s offense, led by Jalen Hurts, seemed unstoppable. And despite a few glitches, Oklahoma still put up 41 points. But its defense got gashed on Saturday, as the Sooners defense gave up 48 points, leading to a stunning 48-41 defeat.
Much like Georgia’s loss, this result is not a season-ender. But it is worrying, given the Sooners still have tough games against the likes of TCU, Iowa State and an unbeaten Baylor team. Oklahoma’s resume will now become more scrutinized than it would’ve been had it just beaten Kansas State.
This result should serve as a reminder that anything can happen on a college football Saturday. And given there are still five weeks left in the regular season, there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way.
Winner: Those looking for a more-hyped Georgia-Florida game
The Oklahoma loss was one of the many results that allowed Georgia and Florida to move up in the latest edition of both the Coaches and AP Polls. Florida sits at No. 6 in both, while Georgia is No. 7 in the Coaches Poll and No. 8 in the AP Poll.
Related: Georgia football moves up in Coaches, AP Polls ahead of huge clash against Florida
Thanks to some other upsets, this match-up will be between what many believe to be the two best one-loss teams in college football. Factor in that Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Penn State are all off, there will be a dearth of elite teams in action.
That means that all eyes will be on Georgia and Florida this weekend, as it is the marquee game of the weekend. And both teams will get a chance to make a major statement on Saturday, right before the first College Football Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Loser: Georgia’s resume
We mentioned above that a few teams ranked ahead of Georgia ended up losing. But that might not have been what’s best for the Bulldogs, given two of the teams that lost are on Georgia’s schedule.
Auburn put up a respectable effort against LSU, but lost 23-20 in Baton Rouge. That’s Auburn’s second loss of the season, and given the Tigers still have to host Georgia and Alabama, it might not be their last. Auburn is clearly one of the better teams in the country, but how impressive would a hypothetical Georgia win be if the Tigers end the season with defeats to Alabama, LSU and Florida as well?
Auburn’s defeat was nowhere near as damaging as Notre Dame’s 45-15 skull-dragging was against Michigan. The game was played in a constant downpour, and when Notre Dame fell behind 17-0, it made it very difficult for the Fighting Irish to pass their way back into the game given the conditions.
Michigan did play Penn State close a week ago and isn’t quite as bad as the 35-14 loss to Wisconsin would indicate. But for Notre Dame to get crushed in the manner that it did really brings in to question how impressive Georgia’s win over Notre Dame was. The one potential saving grace is that Notre Dame’s closing schedule is very manageable and there’s a real chance it can finish the season 10-2.
To cap everything off, the South Carolina team that beat Georgia just two weeks ago, lost at Tennessee to the score of 41-21. The Gamecocks were outscored 24-0 after halftime. Results like this only make the Oct. 12 loss to South Carolina all the more puzzling. If Georgia is going to make the College Football Playoff, it will have to win every game on the rest of its schedule, including the SEC championship game. Because there are some real questions about the quality of Georgia’s resume to this point.
Winner: Tyson Campbell
The junior cornerback has not played since Georgia’s Week 3 contest against Arkansas State. The Georgia defense hasn’t much him per se, as the unit has given up an average of 12.75 points per game in the four that he’s missed.
But there have been some explosive plays allowed in the passing game with Campbell not in coverage. Against Tennessee and South Carolina, the Georgia defense gave up a passing touchdown of 40-plus yards.
If Campbell continues to progress — he was spotted at practice last week going through drills for the first time since he picked up his turf toe injury — that could be a huge boost to a secondary that should face a test against Florida.
No one would mistake the Gators’ passing offense with that of say LSU or Washington State, but Florida has shown it can put up points through the air with Kyle Trask at the quarterback position. And he has a stable of talented pass catchers that will test Georgia’s secondary.
Related: Kirby Smart concerned with Florida QB Kyle Trask and Gators’ pass game
So Campbell having this past weekend off and getting another chance to heal up and be ready to go for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party makes him a big winner.
Loser: Nick Chubb and Sony Michel
For the first time in their careers, Chubb and Michel played on the same football field as opponents. Chubb’s Cleveland Browns took a visit to Michel’s New England Patriots. But what should’ve been a celebration of the two Georgia greats, ended up getting washed away, almost literally.