Georgia fans were clearly very excited to take on Notre Dame this year. They got a chance to visit one of the most iconic college football stadiums in the country, and both sides had enough talent to produce a good game.
Then the game, and trip, somehow managed to live up to the hype. Despite it being Jake Fromm’s first career start, the Bulldogs managed to pull out a 20-19 road win. The defense made huge plays, and it gave Georgia fans a sign that this could be a special season.
And now, as the Bulldogs head into their closing stretch of the season, they now have the best win in all of college football. And they can thank themselves and Notre Dame for that.
Since the Notre Dame game, the Bulldogs have won games against SEC opponents by margins of 28, 41, 31 and 25. They’ve proven, at least to this point, that they clearly need to be mentioned in the same breath as Alabama. Coming into Saturday, it had the SEC’s leading rusher, Nick Chubb, and it has found an answer at quarterback in Jake Fromm.
Fromm may not have wowed against Notre Dame, or even Tennessee, but he’s gotten better every week and had his first 300-yard game against Missouri. He’ll be tested in the final month with games against Florida and Auburn, but he’s shown enough that Georgia fans can at least have some trust in him.
As for Notre Dame, who crushed USC on Saturday night and thus snuffing out the Trojans and potentially the entire Pac-12’s shot at the College Football Playoff, it has won every game with the exception of the Georgia contest by at least 20 points. In its wins, Notre Dame has rushed for an average of 358.6 yards per game. Against Georgia, the Fighting Irish mustered just 55 yards.Those numbers make the Bulldogs’ already-stout defense look just that much more impressive.
And while some could point to Oklahoma handling Ohio State in Columbus or TCU besting Oklahoma State in Stillwater, we don’t know nearly as much about the Buckeyes and Cowboys as we do the Fighting Irish. And that’s an Oklahoma team that has since lost to Iowa State and struggled against Kansas State and a winless Baylor team. And Oklahoma State had to go to overtime to beat Texas on Saturday.
There’s still a lot of football left to be played, even before the first College Football Playoff rankings come out on Oct. 31. Georgia hasn’t beaten Florida since 2013, so Bulldogs fans won’t want to assume anything. The road trip to Auburn will be challenge, and there’s the looming threat of meeting Alabama in Atlanta in the SEC Championship Game. And Notre Dame still has a number of tough games, including NC State, Stanford and a visit to Mark Richt and Miami.
But as of right now, as we wrap up Week 8, the Bulldogs’ Sept. 9 triumph over the Fighting Irish is the best win in college football this season. And when the playoff committee meets to decide which four teams are worthy of spot in the College Football Playoff, this win will put Georgia in that discussion.