How bad has the Georgia Bulldogs’ early loss to South Carolina become?


It’s true. The South Carolina Gamecocks have become a yearly royal pain in the schedule for the Georgia Bulldogs.

More from Georgia Football

The outcome of that game usually has some sort of lasting effect on the SEC East standings, bowl bids, or (back in the dark days of the BCS) computer rankings.

This season the chickens once again played early season spoiler to any illusions the Dawgs had of their first unblemished record since 1980, and while at the time it seemed like a mere annoyance, that loss has now taken on a whole new meaning.

In terms of the SEC East, the Bulldogs are still firmly in control of their own destiny. It will take a huge collapse in conference play for Georgia to come out with anything less than a tie for first in the East, and at this point South Carolina is going to be happy with bowl eligibility.

When Georgia crept quietly out of Columbia S.C. after that rainy, controversial loss, the Cocks were ranked in the Top 25, and had even bordered on Top 10 in some polls following the win over the Bulldogs. It was a loss to a (supposedly) tough, ranked SEC opponent whom the Dawgs would be scrapping with for superiority in the Eastern Division this season.

Since that time, South Carolina has stumbled to a 2-3 conference record (3-3 overall) and has tumbled so far out of the rankings, you don’t even see them in the “also receiving votes” list anymore.

Should Georgia hold steady and finish off the season with only one loss, they’ll more than likely be among a plethora of other teams in the same boat, and the College Football Playoff Selection Committee is going to be charged with sorting it all out to pick four teams to compete for the national championship.

When your only loss is to a team who fell further and further out of favor as the season went on, and you have wins over Troy and FCS opponent Charleston Southern on your schedule, that doesn’t help make your case to the committee.

Sep 13, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt reacts to a missed Georgia field goal against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia could have overcome the light non-conference schedule (with the only heavy hitters being Clemson and Georgia Tech) had their singular loss been say to Auburn or Missouri (which still technically could happen) then the committee would view that as a “quality loss” and not penalize Georgia as badly on paper.

This past week’s bevy of upsets didn’t really help matters much either.

If there are 6-8 one-loss teams, and four of them have losses to Top 25 or better squads, then unfortunately, Georgia may get left off the dance card.

If only Spurrier’s Gamecocks could play as well against everybody else as they do against Georgia.