Live from UGA’s clincher: Could Sugar be falling from the sky?

Georgia's last taste of Sugar. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia's last taste of Sugar. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Athens – Overheard a fascinating conversation in the McDonald’s on Prince Avenue this morning, and I found it so fascinating I rushed to Ye Olde Stadium and started asking my colleagues if the gist of the conversation could in fact be true.

My fellow patron — didn’t catch his name, but he was wearing a Georgia cap, which I believe differentiates him from everyone else in town today — was speaking of Oklahoma State’s loss to Iowa State and saying it could clear the way for the Bulldogs to lose in the SEC championship game and still play in the Sugar Bowl. His reasoning: LSU and Alabama appear bound for the BCS title game, leaving the tied-to-the-SEC Sugar without a conference representative.

And this old eavesdropper put down his Sausage McMuffin and said, “Hmmmmm.”

Upon entering the press box, the first person I saw was esteemed colleague Tim Tucker, who’s the best person to see when you have a question about procedure. (Because Tim, I’ve learned over these past 27 1/2 years, knows everything.) He said he was pretty sure BCS rules precluded three teams from a conference being selected to the five BCS games, but he looked it up to be sure. I did the lazy thing and e-mailed Charles Bloom, the SEC’s director of communications. And here’s what we found:

There is a way for a conference to have a third team play in a BCS game, but there’s almost no way that waiver could apply to Georgia this year. From Bloom’s e-mail:

A third team from a conference can get into a BCS bowl if the top two teams from the conference are ranked 1 and 2 and participate in the national championship game and are not the conference champion.  The conference champion would thus give a conference a third team in the BCS.  Hope that helps.

It does. As odd as the final BCS standings figure to be, it’s impossible to imagine that LSU and Alabama could finish No. 1 and 2 with neither being SEC champ. For that to happen, LSU — assuming it beats Arkansas on Nov. 25 and wins the West — would have to lose to Georgia in the Dome but drop only one spot in the rankings. And if LSU loses to Georgia, then the Bulldogs’ destination is already moot: They’d be in the Sugar Bowl as SEC champs.

Ah, well. It sounded pretty good 45 minutes ago.

As for today’s game: Georgia needs to beat Kentucky to win the SEC East. Georgia will beat Kentucky by four touchdowns. Most years, the softest SEC scenario would be to be playing at home with Vanderbilit as the opponent. Let the record reflect that Vandy beat Kentucky by 30 points last Saturday. I say no more.

And with that, the floor is again open for questions, comments and bowl projections. I welcome your company. And if anyone happens to know the identity of that gentleman in McDonald’s — he had a beard; I know that narrows the field even further — give me a heads-up. I owe him a hearty tip of the MB cap.

By Mark Bradley

1,508 comments Add your comment

J.J.M.

November 19th, 2011
11:47 am

fisrt! lets go ugaA

J.J.M.

November 19th, 2011
11:47 am

Is the game even on tv?

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
11:48 am

Yes. On the SEC affiliate.

Kane337

November 19th, 2011
11:51 am

Tater Tot

November 19th, 2011
11:51 am

Heath

November 19th, 2011
11:54 am

If we win the SEC I bet we give Houston the 2008 Sugar Bowl treatment.

Kane337

November 19th, 2011
11:55 am

Funniest EVER would be if Kentucky pulls off the upset.

Kane337

November 19th, 2011
11:56 am

No worries, UGA will not will the SEC. It’s a dream for you all.

mark

November 19th, 2011
11:57 am

So basically UGA needs to GATA of KY, Tech and LSU. I love the taste of Sugar in the mornings….

Heath

November 19th, 2011
11:57 am

Did anyone bring some dog food to feed the trolls?

OkieDawg

November 19th, 2011
11:58 am

Let’s Go Bulldawgs….Let’s Go Bulldawgs…….

Since Vince

November 19th, 2011
11:59 am

Who said this season is OVA ?

[...] minutes ago. As for today's game: Georgia needs to beat Kentucky to win the SEC East. … read full news Published: Sat, 19 Nov 2011 17:00 Tags: Live from UGA's clincher: Could Sugar be falling [...]

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
11:59 am

This will, however, be the least-watched televised Kentucky football game in history — in Kentucky. The basketball Wildcats are playing Penn State. Tipoff is at noon.

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:00 pm

Basically UGA needs to win the East, which it will, and then win in Atlanta, which it could, to get to New Orleans.

1eyedJack

November 19th, 2011
12:01 pm

Gonna beat these hillbillies like the proverbial rented mule. :) ;)

jack bull

November 19th, 2011
12:01 pm

peachtree TV

Kane337

November 19th, 2011
12:02 pm

Bama will not be playing LSU for the title. One of them will have not even played in their conference title game and not won their conference.

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:03 pm

And if you’ve ever had an urge to see a Georgia game, come on over. Plenty of empty seats. I’m talking thousands.

1eyedJack

November 19th, 2011
12:04 pm

48-7 Georgia

jack bull

November 19th, 2011
12:04 pm

Don’t turn the ball over. We all know how that turns out.

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:04 pm

Just talked to a member of the Kentucky inner circle. He said this is a 30-point game at best.

1eyedJack

November 19th, 2011
12:06 pm

How many thousands are still outside Mark?

J.J.M.

November 19th, 2011
12:09 pm

ok yea its on peachtree tv…

jack bull

November 19th, 2011
12:10 pm

watching a few minutes of the Yale/Harvard game..something just seems different?!?

Steve

November 19th, 2011
12:11 pm

Mark, who do you think deserves to go to the big dance if LSU, Bama, and Arky all end up with one loss?

Heath

November 19th, 2011
12:13 pm

Wasn’t tTee MArtin working for UK trying to recruit in UGA? Is he still on their staff?

Hillbilly D

November 19th, 2011
12:13 pm

Could Sugar be falling from the sky?

It could be Tigers waiting to drop out of the trees, a few weeks down the road.

Been there and Done That

November 19th, 2011
12:14 pm

The game is also on espn3.com
Best way to watch the game if you are not local

The Lapinsky Files

November 19th, 2011
12:15 pm

Hillbilly D: Just like in 2005?

1eyedJack

November 19th, 2011
12:15 pm

Got to go focus on the game. Hope it’s only a half-a-pack game. ;)

jack bull

November 19th, 2011
12:16 pm

i had a guy at work trying to get rid of 4 tickets, he couldn’t give them away.

jack bull

November 19th, 2011
12:19 pm

UGA-48 UK-17(with a late score against the 3rd string)

another 'must win' for UGA

November 19th, 2011
12:20 pm

the ‘evil genius’ in Columbia has his fingers crossed.

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:20 pm

Steve, I wrote earlier in the week that Alabama has a better chance of winning the BCS title than it does the SEC — even if Arkansas beats LSU. Right now I’m thinking Alabama would be better off NOT playing in the SEC title game. That’s one chance to lose the tide won’t have.

Since Vince

November 19th, 2011
12:20 pm

Why is our stadium not full? Pathetic!

oldbird

November 19th, 2011
12:22 pm

We win today, and beat LSU in two weeks and it will be us who ruins the SEC’s stranglehold on the BCS championship. Why did we hand that game to Carolina?

The Lapinsky Files

November 19th, 2011
12:23 pm

Looks pretty full to me….Maybe the rafters are empty, but let’s be honest, it’s Kentucky.

jack bull

November 19th, 2011
12:23 pm

I’m thinking the Cats score on this first drive….

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:23 pm

Fire Grantham! UK gets 16 on first play.

And now Georgia calls timeout!

just a fan

November 19th, 2011
12:23 pm

stupid to have to use a timeout on second play of the game for substitution

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:24 pm

Student section is filling up.

OkieDawg

November 19th, 2011
12:25 pm

Any rumors on Thomas?

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:25 pm

Upset alert! UK in the red zone!

J.J.M.

November 19th, 2011
12:26 pm

lol strugglin against kentucky….

jack bull

November 19th, 2011
12:27 pm

What if..

USC beats Oregon
Baylor beats OK- who in turn beats Ok State
Auburn beats Ala
Notre Dame beats Stanford
LSU beats Ark
We beat LSU….

just saying..not probable, but possible…

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:27 pm

Esteemed colleague Chip Towers said Carlton Thomas isn’t here due to personal matters. But he is not suspended.

Heath

November 19th, 2011
12:28 pm

Citadel ties SC 7-7

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2011
12:28 pm

Is Kentucky going for it on fourth and 10? Does the football team not know how to shoot the three-pointer?

Heath

November 19th, 2011
12:29 pm

Good thing UK stinks, anybody else would have had 7 on that fake against us.