Georgia fared pretty well in illogical world of bowl pairings

outback-bowl logo“The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.” — Andrew Carnegie

“Nobody remembers who came in second.” — Charles Schulz

The SEC no longer allows the loser of its championship game to plummet to a third-tier bowl and Mark Richt’s Dawgs weren’t exactly forgotten as the team that finished No. 2 in the conference this season.

But it’s one of those typical quirks of the crazy world of college football that the SEC runner-up Dawgs and the No. 6 team in the BCS, Arkansas, both were passed over by the Capitol One Bowl in favor of South Carolina, which finished behind Georgia in the SEC East. Of course, the Gamecocks are ranked higher in the polls than Georgia and their fans are known for buying up all the bowl tickets they can get their hands on.

Another oddity: While getting pasted in the second half of the SEC championship apparently knocked Georgia down a notch in the bowl pairings, the ACC runner-up, Virginia Tech, managed to crack the BCS (also on the basis of its well-traveling fan base) despite suffering a similar loss in its championship game.

And, of course, Alabama, which didn’t even make its conference championship game, gets to play for the BCS national title. Basically, the only way making the SEC championship game helps you is if you win it.

One other bowl note: Georgia ended up with a much more prestigious postseason game than Boise State, the team that got the Dawgs’ season off to such a poor start. The Broncos, who only had one regular season loss, will be in the pre-Christmas Las Vegas Bowl.

I actually was hoping Georgia would end up returning to Dallas, where it’s still 10 to 9, but after getting blown out in the second half Saturday Tampa seemed the inevitable destination. The Cotton always prefers an SEC West team for ticket sales and probably would have gone with Georgia only if the SEC game with LSU had been a nail-biter. Which is fine; the Cotton and Outback are on equal footing and both are traditional New Year’s Day bowls (post-New Year’s this year). Plus, with Arkansas and Kansas State, the Cotton gets to match two Top 10 teams, which makes sense.

Also, in Michigan State, Georgia gets a higher ranked opponent than South Carolina, who will play Nebraska, which ranks a couple of spots behind Georgia in the coaches’ poll. And it seems fitting to match the runners-up in the SEC and Big 10 in a bowl game.

While the Spartans are higher ranked in the human polls, Georgia finished just ahead of Michigan State in the final BCS rankings at No. 16. It’s interesting that the human polls, where emotion and perception rule, all had the Dawgs falling to No. 18 (where even their own coach ranked them in the coaches’ poll) while they finished higher in the BCS thanks to the computer rankings, whose detached crunching of the numbers placed Georgia at No. 12.

Georgia and Michigan State look to be a pretty good match, with both having highly ranked defenses and occasionally prolific offenses.

The weekend might not have ended with sugar falling out of the sky like we dreamed, but this year’s bowl picture is certainly a lot brighter for Georgia than the past couple. I’m pleased. How about you?

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

740 comments Add your comment

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
11:05 am

Dawg_Mike

December 5th, 2011
11:08 am

Tampa in January aint so bad.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
11:09 am

UGA was #2 in the SEC? What world are you living that UGA was #2? UGA was more like #5 in the SEC.
1 LSU 13-0
2 Alabama 11-1
3 Oklahoma State 11-1
4 Stanford 11-1
5 Oregon 11-2
6 Arkansas 10-2
7 Boise State 11-1
8 Kansas State 10-2
9 South Carolina 10-2
10 Wisconsin 11-2
11 Virginia Tech 11-2
12 Baylor 9-3
13 Michigan 10-2
14 Oklahoma 9-3
15 Clemson 10-3
16 Georgia 10-3

Dawg_Mike

December 5th, 2011
11:09 am

Let the Crowell bashing begin in 3…2…1….

Raleigh

December 5th, 2011
11:12 am

Dawg fans will travel anywhere to watch their team so the cotton bowl missed out. Go dawgs!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
11:12 am

UGA v MSU should be a good game.

Newman

December 5th, 2011
11:17 am

You mean “Isabel” Crowell?

Just the Facts

December 5th, 2011
11:17 am

BCS – The C stands for CASH & the BS is exactly that. Georgia in my opinion got screwed like they always do when it comes bowl time. They could have matched Georgia in the Cap One against Nebraska which we have not played since ‘69 which would have been interesting but no we get Mich St which we just played in 2008. SC gets to go to the Cap One because they have a limited history of bowl wins & appearances so they travel well because they are hungry for something to do. The whole system is a croc.

fun in the sun!

December 5th, 2011
11:18 am

still@ – he meant by SEC conference rankings, #1 in the east, but lost to lsu – so #2 in the SEC overall.

I’m okay with Tampa…..Could use some fun in the sun. :-)

McDawg

December 5th, 2011
11:18 am

who thinks Arkansas is better that UGA-not a chance

Boise got majorly screwed as did Oklahoma St

BCS for sec=?

December 5th, 2011
11:19 am

Bill, the #2 in the sec is playing in the bcs bowl…against the team that only played one half against the dogs.

BeatMichSt.

December 5th, 2011
11:19 am

Word on the street is that Crowell has flunked out of school.

really???

December 5th, 2011
11:19 am

Still@theKool-aidBAR -
Using the polls, Georgia is #5 in the SEC. But Alabama, Arkansas, and South Carolina did not lose the SEC Championship Game. So the argument could be made that Georgia was the #2 team in the SEC, as they were the Championship Game runner-up. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Peadawg

December 5th, 2011
11:19 am

“Let the Crowell bashing begin in 3…2…1….”

The overrated heartless little “female dog” deserves it.

Top Row Dawg

December 5th, 2011
11:20 am

Ybor City beats Church Street Station hands down. Closer to beach, don’t have to get on turnpike, better newer stadium. The 1 PM game time beats the old 11AM start.

UGA going for tie with Penn State for 3rd most all time Bowl Wins.

UGA has current 8 game win streak against Big 10

Michigan 65
Ohio State 92
Purdue Twice
Michigan State Twice
Wisconsin Twice

See y’all at the Pirate Ship in the Endzone!!!

Dawg Fan

December 5th, 2011
11:20 am

What time tomorrow is Marshall going to make his announcement?

really???

December 5th, 2011
11:21 am

I really think there should be only 13 bowl games, matching up only the Top 25 and 1 at-large team. 6-6 shouldn’t be cause for celebrating a post season appearance.

Honky Talkin

December 5th, 2011
11:22 am

The SEC East was irrelevant this year. UGA is the 5th best team in the SEC and a 2nd tier program. Dawg fans need to lower their expectations so the mediocrity doesn’t hurt so badly.

StealthDawg

December 5th, 2011
11:24 am

So Bill I have heard a rumor that Crowell has managed to flunk out of UGA. Can you do some digging and go ahead and break that story prior to Marshall announcing tomorrow? Could make an impact, Thanks

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
11:24 am

Is ANYBODY excited about most of these Bowl Match up? Maybe the Conference alliances need to be Dumped so we can get some good games. the Fans of the teams TRAVELING are what make the Cities happy, but the money is made from TV. Give us GAMES worth watching. Bama v LSU is a JOKE. Give LSU the BCS title and make Bama v OSU play for the #2 spot. LSU shouldn’t have to PROVE anything by Playing Bama again.

That70sGAdawg

December 5th, 2011
11:24 am

Love beating the Big 10 teams…..

Moped cruiser 64

December 5th, 2011
11:28 am

HOLY HELL!! ITS RIBEYES FALLING OUT OF THE SKY!!!

NEED RESPECT

December 5th, 2011
11:29 am

WHILE BEING REPRIMANDED FOR THE UNSPORTSMANLIKE PENALTY, CROWELL TURNS HIS BACK AND WALKS AWAY- COM’N CMR. THAT CAN’T HAPPEN!

Buckdawg

December 5th, 2011
11:29 am

What I still want to know is who kidnapped the entire Gerogia squad at halftime and made Tech players dress in GA. uniforms and play the second half against the #1 team in the nation?

Dawg Tell

December 5th, 2011
11:31 am

@BeatMichST. I’m not a Crowell fan,but final grades are not due until Dec.20.All final exams are this Thursday,Friday and next Monday thru Wednesday.

Peadawg

December 5th, 2011
11:32 am

Buckdawg,

I think Crowell passed around some of that synthetic marijuana at halftime.

Pensacola Dawg

December 5th, 2011
11:32 am

I hate to say it but I hope isabel has flunked out. It looks bad for Coach Richt but the boy has no heart and cannot spell team.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
11:33 am

@Buckdawg
GT 3 LSU 33 = 30 point loss.
UGA 10 LSU 42 = 32 point loss.
Maybe Tech’s D would have kept the game closer.

Red Stick

December 5th, 2011
11:36 am

The matchup in the Outback is a good one for UGA. Michigan St is a good team it would be a nice springboard to 2012 if the Dawgs win.

I think you need someone else for OC.

BTW, Miles voted UGA 10th in the Coaches Poll.

Geaux Tigers
2011 SEC Champions

rex

December 5th, 2011
11:37 am

Big guy got two WF’s.

sogadog

December 5th, 2011
11:37 am

Glad to be driving to Tampa instead of Dallas.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
11:38 am

Rumor mill Crowell failed? How? Did he do so bad he can’t pass even if he passes his Exams?
Fall 2011
Final Exam Schedule

Find your class meeting time in the first table below to see when your exam is scheduled. Be aware that some classes are scheduled for mass exams (see second table below).

Monday/Wednesday/Friday Classes

Tuesday/Thursday Classes

8:00 am
Exam: Mon., Dec. 12

8:00 – 11:00 am

8:00 am
Exam: Thurs., Dec. 8
8:00 – 11:00 am

9:05 am
Exam: Fri., Dec. 9
8:00 – 11:00 am

9:30 am
Exam: Tues., Dec. 13
8:00 – 11:00 am

10:10 am
Exam: Wed., Dec. 14
8:00 – 11:00 am

11:00 am
Exam: Thurs., Dec. 8
12:00 – 3:00 pm

11:15 am
Exam: Mon., Dec. 12
12:00 – 3:00 pm

12:30 pm
Exam: Tues., Dec. 13
12:00 – 3:00 pm

12:20 pm
Exam: Fri., Dec. 9
12:00 – 3:00 pm

2:00 pm
Exam: Thurs., Dec. 8
3:30 – 6:30 pm

1:25 pm
Exam: Wed., Dec. 14

12:00 – 3:00 pm

3:30 pm
Exam: Tues., Dec. 13
3:30 – 6:30 pm

2:30 pm
Exam: Fri., Dec. 9
3:30 – 6:30 pm

5:00 pm
Exam: Mon., Dec. 12
7:00 – 10:00 pm

3:35 pm
Exam: Wed., Dec. 14

3:30 – 6:30 pm

6:30 pm
Exam: Fri., Dec. 9
7:00 – 10:00 pm

4:40 pm
Exam: Mon., Dec. 12
3:30 – 6:30 pm

8:00 pm
Exam: Mon., Dec. 12
7:00 – 10:00 pm

5:45 pm
Exam: Wed., Dec. 14
7:00 – 10:00 pm

9:30 pm
Exam: Fri., Dec. 9
7:00 – 10:00 pm

6:50 pm
Exam: Tues., Dec. 13
7:00 – 10:00 pm

-

7:55 pm
Exam: Tues., Dec. 13
7:00 – 10:00 pm

-

9:00 pm
Exam: Thurs., Dec. 8
7:00 – 10:00 pm

-

Neutral

December 5th, 2011
11:39 am

I like your thinking Buckdawg!!!!

Factchecker

December 5th, 2011
11:40 am

Just the Facts – Uh, what about last year whn SC was relegated to the Chick Fil-A Bowl? They were #2 and got dumped on because Auburn ran them out of the Dome in the second half. The Outback didn’t want them because of their ranking and because how often they had been to the Outback in recent times. (UGA apologists: Remember all of the comments about about SC, the weak SEC East, backing into it, etc.? What have you to say about being spotted 10 points and then getting smashed like a bug on a windshield?) Anyway, I’ve been to the Outback, Capital One, Sugar Bowl, and even to that dump called the Gator Bowl. Other than the early start time (11:30 a.m.), I liked the Outback the most. Besides, any excuse is a good excuse for a steak at Bern’s Steak House :)

ATL Fan

December 5th, 2011
11:40 am

Richt: “There’s a tremendous opportunity at the University of Georgia for running backs in this class to come to Georgia and make a big impact.”
Wonder what he meant by that.

Shut up

December 5th, 2011
11:40 am

If Ga would have been in the SEC west, 7 and 5 is the best they could have prayed for. They had the weakest schedule in the SEC, by far!

RealDawg

December 5th, 2011
11:41 am

When it is all said and done, because we lost to LSU, the only differnece in winning and losing the USC game was Capital One versus Outback. Looks like a good match up on a national stage. Dogs should be proud.

DP

December 5th, 2011
11:42 am

Georgia #2 in the SEC? Bill King remains delusional.

Bill, when are you going to write your “Is Isaah Crowell a candidate for the Heisman next year?” column like the one you did 2 years ago on Washout Ealey?

rex

December 5th, 2011
11:43 am

@Cool-aidbar, you can’t take your finals if you’ve already withdraw with an f.

ATL Fan

December 5th, 2011
11:44 am

Regarding the LSU runback for a touchdown. Was there a block in the back when #7 turned it up the field? Looked like it to me. That would be two missed calls on that play. (The other being the ball thrown out of bounds before scoring as pointed out by the announcers).

Enquiring Minds

December 5th, 2011
11:45 am

Will UGA still claim to be the second best team in the SEC after they lose to Sparty?

Will Bama still be the third best team in the conference after they win the National Championship?

Hmmm…

Dawgfan from Wrightsville

December 5th, 2011
11:45 am

I would prefer the Cotton Bowl, as Arkansas has played in Jerry World 2, maybe 3, times, while we never have. But Tampa is great, in my mind, better than Orlando. Nicer NFL stadium, beach, and no Disney traffic.

The BCS is a Joke. If only conference champions could play for a National Championship, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, LSU, West Virginia, Clemson, TCU, and and a 3 team play in game between NIU/Arky St/ and La tech would create a great 8 game playoff. I would prefer a 16 team playofff with the top 16 ranked teams, but this could work too.

If we had a seeded 16 team playoff, LSU would be 1, we would be 16. That’s the REMATCH we would want, not Alabama and LSU.

AltamahaDawg

December 5th, 2011
11:45 am

Yes, am pleased.

coko

December 5th, 2011
11:45 am

BeatMichSt, how did Crowell flunk out when the grades where out before the Tech game? he wouldnt have played dont ya think?

Leave him alone! Let him get another year of conditioning under his belt before you all go in on him. He clearly came to school in bad shape.

McDawg

December 5th, 2011
11:46 am

if a 300lb linemen rolled your ankle don’t think you are going to be too effective running the ball regardless of your attitude desire etc..

we have a problem at RB because Ealey walked, C. King flunked out and R. Samuel is hurt-is he a prima donna as well??

you need 2 TB in college football at least-I think Malcome and Crowell will be an outstanding combo

DP

December 5th, 2011
11:46 am

Is Richt going to have the offense line up on the field in front of Keith Marshall with an empty spot at tailback like he did for Isaah Crowell? Crowell was supposed to be the #1 running back in the country and he has 2 more years of eligibility before he goes out early to be the #1 pick in the NFL draft. Why do they already need another running back?

duh

December 5th, 2011
11:46 am

We came out of half-time running the ball????? Like it worked so well in the first half??????

Neutral

December 5th, 2011
11:48 am

Outback Bowl is great!!! I’ve been there twice and would recommend it to all Dawg fans.

AltamahaDawg

December 5th, 2011
11:50 am

I am far more disapointed in the year that Ken Malcome had, than Crowell’s. Hoping they both have great winter/springs in preparation to come back and have a better fall.

bcs

December 5th, 2011
11:50 am

i think you hit the big story here…Virginia Tech getting a BCS bid, really?? VT was 11-2, lost to Clemson TWICE, and still ranked 4 spots ahead of Clemson in the BCS standings??? How did Kansas State, ranked ahead of VT in the BCS get skipped for VT??? They tipped their hand and basically said that the BCS rankings doesn’t matter, it’s all based on how well the fan base will travel…..what a joke…..