Posted on October 14, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Expectations were high for the Georgia Bulldogs this season. With the talent they have, they were projected to be in the thick of the championship hunt once again. They just had to do one thing this season—not lose. But if they did, it couldn’t be to a team they should beat.
You know—a team like the South Carolina Gamecocks.
That is not to say that the Gamecocks are a bad team; they are a good team. But they are not an elite one like the Bulldogs. Then again, since the Gamecocks beat the Bulldogs 20-17 Saturday in double-overtime, the Bulldogs are not so elite after all.
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Georgia entered the game with the No. 10 offense in the country and the No. 12 defense (total yards and total yards allowed); South Carolina’s units were No. 71 and 78. It should have been an easy one for Georgia. But then their Heisman-hopeful quarterback, Jake Fromm, did the one thing no team can do and still expect to win.
He turned the ball over four times.
“You can’t beat anybody when you have a 4-0 turnover margin,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the game, via ESPN. “We didn’t force any on defense. We didn’t cause any problems on defense, and we didn’t take care of the ball.”
The Georgia offense generated 171 yards more than South Carolina’s. Their defense held South Carolina to just 4.8 yards per pass attempt and 3.9 yards per carry—and they didn’t allow any points after three of the turnovers (one interception was returned for a touchdown).
However, when your quarterback shoots the offense in the foot with turnovers, it can be hard to win a game. But those turnovers may cost the Bulldogs more than just the game against South Carolina. They could cost them a shot at making the College Football Playoffs this season.
Georgia entered the week ranked No. 3 in the polls. With the loss to South Carolina, the Coaches Poll now has them at No. 10, and there are plenty of other playoff-caliber teams on the outside looking in ahead of them.
So—how do they leapfrog the pack, or can they?
They could still earn one of the four playoff spots, but it will require them to win out with tough games against Florida, Auburn, and Texas A&M on their schedule. But those are all winnable games, and with two of those teams ranked in the top 15 (Florida and Auburn), their resume will get a boost.
But then they will also have to face Alabama in the SEC title game. Let’s be real—they don’t stand a chance in that game. With two losses on their record, there is no way they make the playoffs. There will be too many one-loss teams with a better case for making it in than them.
As of Monday, they are +300 to win the SEC and +1200 to win the national championship (at DraftKings). Their odds are still not bad; there is certainly value. But barring a shocking turn of events for Alabama, the Bulldogs are effectively out of the national title picture.