Our Heat Check arrives just in time to warm what promises to be a chilly week. Face facts, folks: There’s not much happening in local sports.
GEORGIA: Will play for the BCS title — some guy I know predicted they would — with a victory over Alabama on Saturday. Barometric reading: Three weeks ago, people were saying the Bulldogs would have no chance against the mighty Tide. A lot of those same people seem to have changed their minds, and I’m not just talking about Georgia fans. I’m talking about neutrals who see the Dogs as no less talented as Bama. Just as Bacarri Rambo said.
GEORGIA TECH: Paul Johnson now believes his Jackets didn’t give much of an effort in Athens. (Who knew, huh?) But if Tech can rouse itself to topple Florida State — maybe the nation’s most overrated team — in Charlotte on Saturday, the Jackets will be headed for what Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports calls potentially the worst BCS bowl matchup ever: Tech against Kent State. Seriously. Barometric reading: Then again, if Tech loses to the Seminoles, it might not grace any bowl. Tech insiders insist they’ll land in a bowl even at 6-7, but there now appears no guarantee their request for a waiver would be favorably met
FALCONS: Everyone around the team was heartened by the one-point escape from Tampa Bay, for good reason. It was a big-time win over a tough opponent, and the Falcons haven’t beaten many tough opponents … well, all season. Barometric reading: They can clinch the NFC South with a month to spare by beating hated New Orleans on Thursday and then watching the Buccaneers lose at Denver on Sunday.
HAWKS: Remember when it was suggested this team was about to embark on a nice little run? This team has embarked on a nice little run. Having won five in a row, the Hawks hold the fourth-best record in the NBA East. Barometric reading: Check the schedule. They might not lose again anytime soon.
BRAVES: Waiting for B.J. Upton to decide where he wants to play. The good news is that Upton has long been hailed as one of the game’s biggest talents. Barometric reading: The sabermetric reality is that Upton was half the player Michael Bourn was in 2012. According to FanGraphs, Bourn’s WAR (wins above replacement) rating was 6.5; Upton’s was 3.3.
By Mark Bradley