The Georgia Bulldogs are on top of the college football world. Following their dominant win over the Tennessee Volunteers in Athens, Kirby Smart‘s team traveled to Starkville and handled their business against Mike Leach and Mississippi State. With games against Kentucky and Georgia Tech to finish the regular season, the Dawgs are all but guaranteed to make the College Football Playoff.
Even if LSU somehow upsets Georgia in the SEC Championship, they’ll still get the nod from the committee. That’s a big if, though. The Tigers would need a borderline miracle to pull off the upset in Atlanta. The Dawgs will likely roll into the playoffs undefeated, and a number of different teams could be waiting for them.
Any combination of TCU, USC, Ohio State, Michigan, and, most interestingly, Tennessee will likely fill out the final three spots. The Volunteers were absolutely embarrassed in one of the most anticipated college football matchups in history. For the first time ever, two No. 1 overall teams met up between the hedges — Georgia, the AP’s No. 1, and Tennessee, the CFP’s No. 1.
Honestly, it was one of the most disappointing outcomes I’ve watched in a long time as a man with no allegiances, on par with the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl that ended with a 13-3 final score. Georgia couldn’t have looked more in command, and the 27-13 score doesn’t do it justice.
Until five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Hendon Hooker and the high-powered Tennessee offense didn’t manage a touchdown. At the half, Georgia led 24-6, and Kirby Smart came out in the second half and chewed clock, passing just four times in the final two quarters. The Volunteers were outclassed in every facet of the game.
The Vols’ offense had six false starts in Sanford Stadium, which has quickly become one of the better atmospheres in college football since Smart took over. It just wasn’t even competitive. For much of the afternoon, all I could think about was how short the game fell to my expectations.
With that being said, there’s a decent chance we see a rematch in the College Football Playoff. The committee won’t make it official until Dec. 4, but it’s looking like both programs will make the final cut. The first matchup was so one-sided that I’d be confident the Dawgs would handle business in a hypothetical rematch, but others aren’t so sure.
According to CBS analyst Rick Neuheisel, Tennessee will beat UGA if there is a second game played on a neutral field. Going into Nov. 5, the Vols were nearly 10-point underdogs. Using the standard 3-point home advantage, the Dawgs would likely be around a 7-point favorite on a neutral field. The crowd noise certainly affected Hendon Hooker and the Tennessee offense, but it was far from the only reason the Bulldogs walked out of Sanford Stadium victorious.
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