This didn’t seem possible when Georgia opened the season with losses to Boise State and South Carolina and Georgia Tech followed a 6-0 start with losses to Virginia and Miami: But both schools can all but assure themselves of a ticket to their respective conference championship game this week.
The Bulldogs and Jackets never have played for conference championships in the same season since the SEC (1992) and ACC (2005) split off into divisions, nor have they ever won conference titles in the same season.
Here’s the backdrop:
• Georgia (5-1 in SEC plays) holds a half-game lead over South Carolina (5-2) in the SEC East and is a whopping 12½-point favorite over Auburn Saturday in Athens. If the Dogs win, they need to only beat Kentucky at home the following week to clinch the East. The Gamecocks’ final conference game is against Florida, which was Georgia’s last SEC victim. They hold a tiebreaker edge should the Dogs lose one of their two conference games.
• Georgia Tech’s route is a little more difficult. The Yellow Jackets (4-2) trail Virginia Tech (4-1) by a half-game. But they play host to the No. 10 Hokies Thursday night. Most lines have Virginia Tech as a one-point favorite. Georgia Tech’s only other remaining ACC game is at Duke.
(UPDATE: Just to cover all bases: Virginia technically holds a tiebreaker over Georgia Tech. But the Cavaliers would need to sweep their remaining three games against Duke, Florida State on the road and Virginia Tech to win the Coastal.)
The Jackets are coming off an upset of then-No. 5 Clemson. Can they do it again?
Tech has been to the ACC championship game twice since the conference split into divisions in 2005: It lost the title game to Wake Forest in 2006 and defeated Clemson in 2009 (official records now show that championship as vacated by the NCAA, pending appeal).
Georgia has played in three SEC championship games: The Dogs defeated Arkansas in 20o2 and LSU in 2005, and lost to LSU in 2003.
In no year have the two schools won a football conference championship in the same season (both were in the SEC until Tech became an Independent in 1963 and later joined the ACC).
So what are the chances both pull it off this week?
And then what would the chances be that both win championships? The likely opponents in the conference title games would be LSU for Georgia and Clemson for Georgia Tech.
Or should we just go one step at a time?
By Jeff Schultz