The biggest challenge facing Mark Richt’s Bulldogs over the next couple of weeks may not be defending the triple option’s fullback dive against Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech or even dealing with those nasty legal-but-shouldn’t-be cut blocks that both teams employ.
Or even thinking about likely SEC Championship game opponent Alabama.
No, what the Dogs have to resist is getting caught up looking even farther ahead to where they’ll be if they manage to win out.
Already, players admitted to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, they’re keeping their eyes on the BCS standings, where Georgia sits at No. 5, with Bama and three undefeated teams ahead of them.
As Christian Robinson put it: “Everybody in the nation knows we’re cheering for other teams, because at this point it’s the only way we would have a chance of getting in” to the BCS national title game.
Richt may have the maturity to be able to not worry about what he can’t control, as he said this week, but his players can’t help but be like a kid looking in a toy store window.
“It’s a great feeling,” cornerback Sanders Commings said. “I came here to be a part of teams like this, and there is no better year than my senior year.”
Of course, you’d expect a bit of that what-if thinking anyway for a Top 5 team at this late stage of the season, but the fact that the eventual SEC champion, whether it’s the Dogs or not, will need help to make it to Miami makes the temptation to be thinking about the national standings even more compelling.
As quarterback Aaron Murray told the Times Free Press, “I’m definitely going to be watching the Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame matchups the next three weeks to see if two of them will lose.”
Fortunately, Murray seems to be doing a good job of keeping it in the proper perspective. “It definitely excites our guys. There is nothing wrong with thinking big and dreaming big as long as we make sure we focus on the next two weeks and finish the regular season strong.”
And that’s where the Georgia coaches come in. Rather than ignore the elephant in the room, they need to acknowledge the team’s excitement and thoughts about what lies ahead and channel it to make sure the Dogs come out against both Georgia Southern and Tech fired up and determined to take control of the game the same way they did against Auburn.
Otherwise, a Bulldog busy thinking about K State or the Fighting Irish might find an Eagle or a Yellowjacket rolling his feet right out from under him.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg