The annual match up with Florida always seems to be the most pivotal game on the schedule. In recent years, we have seen this game cost the Dawgs a shot at the national title (2002), spark the team for a late season run (2007), and completely humble a team that had great expectations (2008). This year’s game means so much because instead of championship implications, it has bowl implication. More specifically, whether Georgia will reach a bowl game at all.
At 4-4, the Dawgs need two more victories to become bowl eligible this season. With Idaho State coming to Athens next week, there is little doubt the Dawgs will get to 5 wins. But if they lose on Saturday, there is no guarantee win #6 will happen. Auburn is currently atop the BCS standings and despite Georgia’s 4 game win streak over the Tigers, a victory this year is definitely a long shot. And then there is the final game of the season against Georgia Tech. As an underdog last year, Georgia ran its way to victory over the eventual ACC Champions. And while the Jackets surely have struggled at times this season, the game will be even tougher if the Dawgs head in with a losing record.
But if the Dawgs win on Saturday, Georgia may be in line to head back to a New Year’s Day Bowl. While I am not crazy to think we could play for the SEC Championship, I think a victory on Saturday will help lead to a 7-5 record for Georgia. With the struggles of the East, I can see the Dawgs receiving an invite to either the Outback Bowl or the Gator Bowl, both on January 1.
But first, we have to take care of business on Saturday. Florida, we’ll see you at the crossroads on Saturday.