Glass-half-full dept.: How UGA might still win the SEC East

"Over? Nothing's over until we SAY it's over!" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

"Over? Nothing's over until we SAY it's over! Who's with me?" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Having spent the week hammering Mark Richt and Georgia, doing everything from crunching numbers to imagining the worst that could happen, it seems only fair to offer a corresponding best-case-scenario. Here goes:

The Bulldogs could win the SEC East.

I know, I know. They haven’t yet won a conference game, and they surely won’t be favored to beat either Florida or Auburn. (And Kentucky looks like a toss-up.) But it’s conceivable Georgia could finish 5-3 in the SEC, and that might — might, I said — enable them to take the division. Here’s how it would work:

Step 1: Georgia wins out. (Duh.)

Step 2: South Carolina, which has already beaten Georgia and lost to Auburn, loses to Alabama on Saturday, to Arkansas on Nov. 6 and to Florida the week after.

Step 3: Florida, which has lost to Alabama, loses to LSU on Saturday and to Georgia on Oct. 30.

That would leave Georgia and Florida at 5-3 in league play, with Georgia holding the tiebreaker because of its head-to-head victory, and South Carolina at 4-4. (At this early date there seems no sense in discussing how a three-way tie might be broken. Nor does there seem a need to assume any of the above will lose to Vanderbilt.)

Among the things Georgia had going for it this season was this basic bit of logistics: It wasn’t scheduled to play Alabama, and both Florida and South Carolina were. That still holds. And Georgia does get the three Eastern lesser lights — Tennessee, Vandy and Kentucky — in a row. (So does South Carolina, but two of those games are on the road. The Bulldogs get both the Vols and Commodores in Athens.)

There’s a chance Georgia could go to Jacksonville at 3-3 in league play, and if you get to 3-3 there’s at least a mathematical possibility of finishing 5-3. And 5-3 might just win the division, provided South Carolina finishes 4-4. Which could yet happen.

Understand: I didn’t pick Georgia to win the East — I picked UGA third, behind Florida and being shaded for second by South Carolina — and I’m not picking it now. But if I’m going to imagine the horror that might be unleashed if the Bulldogs lose to Derek Dooley’s team, I might as well be even-handed. As lousy as this season has been, there’s still a chance something really good could come of it.

A chance, I said. A chance.

(Oh, and if Georgia loses Saturday, forget I mentioned this.)

647 comments Add your comment

George G.

October 7th, 2010
7:16 am

If Georgia wins the SEC East, they should just have Auburn and Alabama play each other again in the Georgia Dome.

82Dawg

October 7th, 2010
7:18 am

That would be a MIRACLE!!!

SanDiegoJacket

October 7th, 2010
7:18 am

In keeping with the “glass half full”………Ugag is ranked number 5 Dawg fans…
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?page=bottom10101006

Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people!!
THWG everyday in everyway!!

Mark Bradley

October 7th, 2010
7:21 am

Again, let me stipulate that this would be a stretch on the order of Mr. Fantastic.

Tech Sucks

October 7th, 2010
7:23 am

Hey Nerd in San Diego…

Your team sucks just as bad and you will lose to UGA just like always. And you will still
be a Warcraft playing loser.

Let's Go

October 7th, 2010
7:24 am

Mark
Have you been drinking something stronger than coffee this morning?

Dog Island Gator

October 7th, 2010
7:26 am

Mark, Do you and Tony B dream up this stuff? Jeeezzzz

Mark Bradley

October 7th, 2010
7:27 am

I don’t drink coffee, Let’s Go.

Beast from the East

October 7th, 2010
7:29 am

Come on, Mark. Don’t you think you’re reaching a bit? Why not make a case for Vandy, UK or UT? They’ve got about the same chance as UGA does at this point. Crunch the numbers anyway you want. It ain’t gonna happen. If anyone wants to place a wager, I’ll be happy to take that action.

45-19

October 7th, 2010
7:30 am

Mark, the highlight of this sci-fi blog is that your, “Eastern lesser lights,” didn’t include UGA.

I can’t wait for your next entry “Glass-half-full dept.: How the Dream might win the NBA Finals.”
Hey, they aren’t as soft as UGA….it could happen.

Sweat Socks

October 7th, 2010
7:30 am

This is an incredible example of optimism.

Phil

October 7th, 2010
7:31 am

There’s also always a chance Bobby Cox might not blow it again in the playoffs.

A chance, I said. A chance

Sweat Socks

October 7th, 2010
7:31 am

You could probably make a case for Tech winning the SEC this year.

Simon Bar Sinister

October 7th, 2010
7:33 am

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

I want to go to there

October 7th, 2010
7:34 am

Ahhhh… I do this every year and have done it after every loss this year too. Hey, it could happen. Don’t think we can get many MORE bad breaks…. Crap, did I just say that?!?!

Martin the Calvinist

October 7th, 2010
7:35 am

1. I’d love it to happen
2. It won’t happen at all if the Dawgs continue to play the way they have been.
3. Though it’s a possibility, Even if UGA finishes 5-3, it’s more likely they finish tied for 2nd or 3rd.
4. Just for fun and just telling the truth, Georgia Tech Sucks! THWGT!

Beast from the East

October 7th, 2010
7:36 am

Mark,
How can the glass be half-full when it’s already been shattered? Write about what UGA can look forward to in the future. As for this season and the SEC race, that ship has sailed.

Beast from the East

October 7th, 2010
7:37 am

Simon Bar Sinister,
You’re a real history buff aren’t you? LOL!

Dooley Family

October 7th, 2010
7:38 am

Easiest schedule we have had in years and look at the results! We do not play Bama or LSU plus had two FBS teams and the weakest Big XII team in Colorado. Result so far 1-4. Doubt we can win versus Georgia State much less Auburn or Florida! We will be favored against UT because they have nothing talent wise!!! We’ll be favored against Vandy and Kentucky because our talent is so far beyond anything they can even imagine. Both of those would be more huge upsets in reverse. We will be +10 point favorites in each even if we continue our losing ways. Simply put we need a need staff from top to bottom to reinvigorate the program, excite the fan base, and give us HOPE for the future. Richt is simply not the answer but the problem.

GT-Hammer

October 7th, 2010
7:39 am

All that hope will be over after this Sat. when Georgia gets drilled by Tennessee.

The odds makers have their heads up their butts to favor UGA.

I BELIEVE

October 7th, 2010
7:41 am

Mark, great article. It can be done! GET THERE!!!!!!! Lets go dawgs!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, BulldogBrock. BulldogBrock said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Glass-half-full time: How #UGA might — MIGHT, I say — still win the #SEC East. http://bit.ly/bwZ2z7 // I like it. [...]

superDawg

October 7th, 2010
7:41 am

Where is my glass? It must be here some where.

GT-Hammer

October 7th, 2010
7:43 am

Tenn 31 UGA 17

Phil

October 7th, 2010
7:45 am

Obama’s new plan to cut the deficit in half:

Lay 6.5 Trillion on Tennessee and take the 13 points.

Simon Bar Sinister

October 7th, 2010
7:45 am

GT-Hammer, the odds makers aren’t interested in predicting how the game will go; they want to predict how people will bet. They want to choose a point spread that will get equal bets for both teams. They are, in effect, predicting what the betting public thinks the point spread is.

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

October 7th, 2010
7:48 am

The Reporter: Mr. McGarity, how will you win the East ?

Greg: By getting the players on their toes and shaking up the team.

The Reporter: How will you do that ?

Greg: By raising the urinals two inches, and playing this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWFQKxx449o

Dawg Trainer

October 7th, 2010
7:49 am

Many thanks for the belly laugh this article gave me, Mark!

Mike

October 7th, 2010
7:51 am

It would be interesting to see a beat up team win the SEC East. But does it really matter who wins the East?

Another good article by Mr. Bradley. The other sports writers at AJC smell.

J Clay

October 7th, 2010
7:53 am

Phil – that was quite funny

Gen Neyland

October 7th, 2010
7:53 am

To win the SEC East with 3 losses (tie breakers included) in the conference would be a statement to the state of pitiful of the SEC East…As CPF would have said, “We worked like heck not to lose that 4th ‘un”.

Buckeye

October 7th, 2010
7:54 am

If that is the case, there’s hope for Vandy to also win the East and they’re already a game up!

J Clay

October 7th, 2010
7:54 am

Mark – not that it matters since the Dawgs stink this year….but playing 11 weeks in a row would be a big story if we were competing for anything other than the cellar…Believe it would make more sense to get the off week mid-season as opposed to late November

Mike

October 7th, 2010
7:55 am

Beast from the East… Simon Bar Sinister was quoting a line from Animal House you dumb a$$.

I’m not drinking the Kool Aid but I still think the Dawgs are close to being there. It’s not X’s and O’s at this point… it is execution (or lack there of). CMR needs to start benching some folks in order to get their minds right. We can loose with the 2nd teamers.

GovClintonTyree

October 7th, 2010
7:56 am

Didn’t read past the headline. Hahahahahaaha

#1 BAMA FAN

October 7th, 2010
7:58 am

That reminds me of the Dr.Pepper commercial with Santa, Tooth Fairy, etc….”good luck with that”. I do hope the DAWGS get off the ground and finish strong.I cannot believe that College Game Day is in Columbia Saturday and it’s a 3:30 CBS game. RTR

Not Don Waddell

October 7th, 2010
7:58 am

This is is, literally, the most ridiculous drivel I have ever seen in my life. I am not even reading the article, because the premise is the stupidest thing that I have ever heard.

Mark, remember when you used to take pride in being a journalist? How does it feel to be a glorified amateur blogger, a schill to web hits? This is pathetic. You know the Hawks and Thrashers are about to start, right?

Boise Dawg

October 7th, 2010
8:00 am

I was thinking along similar lines the other day…. not that Georgia has any shot to still win the east, but how do you get the players out of this funk. I agree with Dooley Sr. that a lot of this right now is probably mental. The coaches need to convince the team there is still a lot to play for this season. I think that would show the fans a lot and restore some confidence in our coaching staff if they can get this thing turned around this year.

MURPHY( not to be confused with poster under MURPH)

October 7th, 2010
8:00 am

Mark,

Thanks for the optimism in your article. As bad as we are this year I keep hope we will rebound. UT is a lot better team than most will say and are very well coached.They play with a no quit attitude something UGA has yet to find. Im at my wits end with this program and need the Dawgs to show me they want to salvage this season. I was speaking with a coach from UVA last night and he was drilling me on what was going on with UGA.I told him I wish I could put my finger on it but I believed it to be alot of major issues that are going to take a long time to correct. Hope you are right-Thanks again.

ATL is TigerTown

October 7th, 2010
8:00 am

Your most profound remark in this piece is “duh”. War Eagle!

UGASlobberknocker

October 7th, 2010
8:01 am

And I thought I was the only person who was delusional enough to even think out this scenario, much less think it might happen. But it could.

I remember going through the same process in 2007 to decide how many things had to happen for the Dawgs to make the BCS championship game. It was about 15 steps..and they almost made it. If Tenn had lost either of their last three games, all of which UT was behind in the second half, it would have happened. I still cant believe they blocked that punt vs. Vandy.

But, that year we had a Stafford and Moreno..

GAtor

October 7th, 2010
8:01 am

There is optimism and then there are delusions of grandeur. File this where you may, but I believe someone is a bit punch drunk.

While you’re at it, can you spin a yarn about how UGA is a lock for the NCG? I believe the Nobel committee for Literature is meeting to announce the winner soon. Maybe you could get that fantastic work of fiction in before the winner is announced.

JB

October 7th, 2010
8:02 am

I looked at my online Bank Account this morning, and somehow a million dollars showed up…
That being said, will the light bulb go off for this team starting this week? Can they block,run the ball,score, Bobo become a real OC tackle, cover someone, stop the run, find a heart……………….After 5 weeks, not from what I’ve seen.

hotbobby

October 7th, 2010
8:02 am

Drink the coolaid!

some sense

October 7th, 2010
8:04 am

How can a journalist NOT drink coffee???

JB

October 7th, 2010
8:05 am

I’m sure the Tennessee position coach’s are telling their players this week to punch them in the mouth early, they won’t punch back, then the game is ours….

GeezusDawg

October 7th, 2010
8:08 am

I think you’ve wrung all you can out of the UGA debacle – time to move on to the Bravos.

MURPHY( not to be confused with poster under MURPH)

October 7th, 2010
8:09 am

Mark,

I sure do want to drink the Kool-aid but Im not sold on the fact these UGA players are going to put forth the effort to win. It would be great to see them win out. Speaking to a Gaytor fan last night and his remark was: Watch UGA come to Jax with 2 wins and beat us. Man that would for sure make me smile-at least for a couple weeks.

reebok

October 7th, 2010
8:09 am

whoa…the April Fool’s prank column published in October…clever!

Smart like a Fox

October 7th, 2010
8:10 am

tune for Marks next big attention grabbing article….”how to Get your Gal to do anything you want at any time with out her Complaining ever again”