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

AFDawg

December 5th, 2011
7:46 pm

TO ALL DAWG FANS — don’t forget how the Outback Bowl severely snubbed the Buuldogs a couple of years back in favor of a much less worthy opponent in Auburn. Thye said at the time Auburn would travel better. Well screw them.. We all swore back then that we would never support that bowl again — now is the time to speak with our wallets and show our dissatisfaction. Boycott the Outback Bowl!

bloomin' onion

December 5th, 2011
7:46 pm

The stadium in Tampa is a good one,

the stadium in Orlando is a dump.

BuzztheKiller

December 5th, 2011
7:47 pm

I guess Crowell is the next Caleb King instead of the next Hershel…how surprising.

Typical

December 5th, 2011
7:48 pm

UGA played 3 ranked teams this year, and lost to all of them…would appear to be a very average football team.

As far as the NC being “mythical,” it’s only because you are not playing in it.

ARdawg

December 5th, 2011
7:53 pm

Auburn and Tech were ranked, until they ran into Murray and UGA

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
7:55 pm

So was florida

Typical

December 5th, 2011
7:55 pm

AR…the only rankings that truly matter are the ones that come out after the season…when a team’s entire body of work can be reviewed.

In the case of UGA, the only teams that are STILL ranked, are the 3 teams that UGA lost to. If Auburn and Tech had only lost to UGA, then they would still be ranked. However, they lost to more than just the mighy Dawgs.

Typical

December 5th, 2011
7:56 pm

Same for Florida.

Erk Russell's Dog

December 5th, 2011
7:57 pm

Attention All Tech Trolls ,
Time for you to go back to Sun Bowl Blog, CPJ just posted his new corn dodger recipe for your fish fry at the Sun Bowl.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
7:57 pm

Typical

December 5th, 2011
7:58 pm

Nice try Dawg48…we aren’t talking about the BCS rankings and you know it.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:01 pm

Typical
Typical moron
Got your flight booked to el paso or are you walking?

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:01 pm

Dawg48…resorting to name calling now? Stay classy….

Not a Tech fan. Nice try again.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:03 pm

I’m classy…..

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:03 pm

You might be, but you don’t act classy.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:05 pm

Typical
If you are not counting weeks 15 rankings then come back in a month and then post you crap….
When the “season” is over….

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:07 pm

Stay “classy” my friend!

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:07 pm

Dawg48…the reason we weren’t talking about the BCS rankings, is because it doesn’t come out until weeks into the season. There is no way that you can use the BCS rankings to discuss how many ranked teams you played against. For instance, Boise St. and SC weren’t in the BCS when you played them…know why?…because the first BCS ranking hadn’t come out yet.

However, if it makes you feel better to count Auburn as a “ranked” team that you beat, then be my guest. I don’t know why it would though.

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:09 pm

Dawg48…how old are you? I won’t make the same mistakes that you did in assuming that you know more than you do, so I”m asking the question. It’s just that I am having a hard time following your posts.

ARdawg

December 5th, 2011
8:10 pm

Typical

The BCS is quickly losing all credibility and effectively getting deemed as non-functioning. Bama in for a rematch is evidence.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:11 pm

Typical
Will this one work?
http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings
If not will keep searching for you….

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

December 5th, 2011
8:11 pm

I agree with boycotting the Outback bowl

The Chick-fil-a has typically been a more exciting bowl anyway

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:12 pm

AR….I’m not a fan of the BCS system either…however, LSU and Alabama are the two best teams i the country…in my opinion.

You can disagree, but apparently a lot of other people felt the same way. A large part of the BCS formula is the human voters.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
8:12 pm

Typical………….NO poll is worth a CRAP until the High School Scrimmage games are mostly over. Play at least 1 Conference game has been played. Preseason rankings are a JOKE. How can you rank a Team in the top25 when they just got a new coaching staff?

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:15 pm

Dawg48…ummm…yeah you just proved that Auburn was #25 in the BCS. You already posted the BCS rankings. Not sure what you are trying to get across.

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:16 pm

Still….you are proving my point. Agreed. You have to wait until the regular season is over, then judge strength of schedule at that point.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:17 pm

Typical
December 5th, 2011
7:55 pm

AR…the only rankings that truly matter are the ones that come out after the season…when a team’s entire body of work can be reviewed.

In the case of UGA, the only teams that are STILL ranked, are the 3 teams that UGA lost to. If Auburn and Tech had only lost to UGA, then they would still be ranked. However, they lost to more than just the mighy Dawgs.

You posted to AR and said tech and auburn are not ranked I showed you 2 polls that auburn was…
What more do I have to say….

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:18 pm

You proved that Auburn was ranked in the BCS. I already told you that we weren’t talking about the BCS…however, I also already told you to count Auburn if you wanted to.

ARdawg

December 5th, 2011
8:18 pm

Typical
I don’t doubt Bama might be the 2nd best team in the nation but, they’ve already proved they are not the #1 team in the nation. There’s no evidence that the Pokes aren’t the 2nd best team either. Pure opinion of the voters which is the same thing we had before we got the BCS, no?

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:19 pm

Dawg48…go back and look at your own link there bud. Auburn is ranked in the BCS, not in any of the other polls on that page. 1 Poll (BCS), not 2.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:20 pm

So you pick the poles you want to talk about…
So when does the BCS not count?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

December 5th, 2011
8:21 pm

Oklahoma St doesnt deserve to be their for 2 reasons

1. They lost to a lousy Iowa St team. had been a Kansas St or someone remotely worth anything then maybe

2. Texas the instigator wanted the Big 12 conference championship game eliminated so they wouldnt have to play an extra game and the entire Big 12 conference agreed

The Big 12 chickened out of playing a conference game because they didnt want to risk an additional loss like almost happened to Texas against Nebraska a few years ago that would have pitted another team against AL for the NC.

Sorry but every one has a conference championship game now. So its not fair to those conferences who play that extra game

So AL didnt play in the extra game neither did OK ST and AL didnt lose to a lousy team either

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

Dawg48…are you admitting your error?

When in the course of discussing a team’s schedule, and in doing so a person speaks of how many “ranked” teams they played against…everybody always uses the AP and ESPN Coaches poll. The BCS is used to determine bowl games.

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:24 pm

AR…there will ALWAYS be a human element to selecting teams that play in bowls or the NC game..even if you have a playoff.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:24 pm

Flat
If LSU loses to bama
Should their be a split NC?

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:25 pm

AR…I can see that you are not in favor of Bama playing for the NC….however, most agreed that they were the 2nd best team in the nation…hence the reason they are playing in the NC game.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

December 5th, 2011
8:25 pm

Oklahoma St has one of the worst defenses by the way

Sambo

December 5th, 2011
8:26 pm

C’Mon Man, if anyone got screwed it was Boise State who finish #7 but was not in BSC Bowls games..Skipped over by teams ranked 13, 15. 17..What a joke for a system. Boise State Pres is calling for reasons and play-off system. May Sue BSC. OK Pres also hot about skip….

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
8:26 pm

Pre Poll rankings week 15
1 Oklahoma 19
2 Alabama 2
3 Oregon 6
4 LSU 1
5 Boise State 8
6 Florida State 25
7 Stanford 4
8 Texas A&M NR
9 Oklahoma State 3
10 Nebraska 21
11 Wisconsin 9
12 South Carolina 10
13 Virginia Tech 17
14 TCU 16
15 Arkansas 7
16 Notre Dame NR
17 Michigan State 12
18 Ohio State NR
19 Georgia 18
20 Mississippi State NR
21 Missouri NR
22 Florida NR
23 Auburn NR
24 West Virginia 23
25 USC 5

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:27 pm

Sambo…I don’t disagree about Boise St….however, they either need to join a legit conference or get a better schedule.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

December 5th, 2011
8:27 pm

Dawg48

No split because their first meeting was tied and went into overtime

ARdawg

December 5th, 2011
8:27 pm

Flat Tire

I disagree. It’s nothing but a beauty contest already. Somehow it’s turned into forgetting the wins and judge the losses. Kind’a like judging which of the contestants birthmark or wart on the nose is the most attractive. BS

Both have one loss. I don’t care who beat them or where, a loss is a loss. Strength of schedule, beating more top teams and conference champion all go to the Pokes. Bama has well, nothing but a loss at home

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:28 pm

Still…where is Florida and Auburn ranked now?

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:29 pm

AR…a loss at home in overtime to the absolute best team in the country. You cannot only judge wins…you have to look at losses as well.

Dawg48

December 5th, 2011
8:30 pm

Typical
I showed you 2 links to show you auburn is ranked you never mentioned when you posted you did not count the BCS pole until AR and my self told you auburn was ranked then you said “we are not talking about the BCS and you know that”. If you said that you were talking about all poles other than the BCS then you have a better argument but you didn’t!

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:31 pm

Dawg48…what other poll exists that shows Auburn is a ranked team?

ARdawg

December 5th, 2011
8:31 pm

Typical

I’ve already seen that game and there is nothing to indicate Alabama is special and gets a “do-over”. No other team does.

I have nothing against Bama. They have had their chance and blew it. It’s not the first time a good team was only the second best in their own division

Still@theKool-aidBAR

December 5th, 2011
8:32 pm

Give LSU the BCS Championship and let the other teams play for #2. LSU has NOTHING to Win and everything to lose.

Typical

December 5th, 2011
8:32 pm

The link you send me had 4 pples…the only one Auburn was ranked in was the BCS. Which other pole are you referring to?

AND…why does it matter so much to you? Do you need it that badly to make yourself feel better about your average football team?

ARdawg

December 5th, 2011
8:33 pm

“AR…a loss at home in overtime to the absolute best team in the country. You cannot only judge wins…you have to look at losses as well.”

BS. No you don’t have to look at those losses. A loss is a loss. The regular season games are suppose to count. The game of the century, doesn’t. That’s your argument?