Crazy weekend leaves Georgia 1/2 game out of first place in SEC East

Georgia’s football team awoke to new possibilities Sunday — and not just because a 43-0 victory tends to brighten one’s outlook.

Two surprising results elsewhere in the SEC on Saturday night -– South Carolina’s 31-28 loss to Kentucky and Florida’s 10-7 loss to Mississippi State -– scrambled the Eastern Division standings to the point that Georgia suddenly is within ½ game of first place.

Yes, Georgia.

Yes, the team that seemed destined to spend the season in oblivion after losing its first three SEC games.

After a crazy weekend, South Carolina leads the SEC East with a 2-2 league record, while Florida and Georgia are tied for second place with 2-3 league records. Vanderbilt is 1-2, Kentucky 1-3 and Tennessee 0-3 within the conference.

“People always say year in and year out that anybody can win on any given weekend, and that’s about what’s happening right now,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday. “It’s an exciting SEC year, no doubt.”

Georgia’s chances of winning the Eastern Division remain improbable, partly because the Bulldogs would lose a two-way tiebreaker to South Carolina on the basis of the Gamecocks’ 17-6 victory on Sept. 11.

And more significantly, Georgia has three tough SEC games remaining: Saturday at Kentucky, which beat South Carolina one week after the Gamecocks upset then-No. 1 Alabama; Oct. 30 in Jacksonville vs. Florida, which has beaten the Bulldogs in 17 of the past 20 meetings; and Nov. 13 at Auburn, which is undefeated and ranked No. 5 in this week’s Associated Press poll behind the play of Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Cam Newton.

South Carolina and Florida remain in position to clinch the East’s berth in the SEC Championship Game if either team wins all of its remaining league games. (The Gamecocks and Gators meet on Nov. 13 at Florida.) Georgia would win the division if it wins its three remaining SEC games and if South Carolina loses two of its four remaining league games.

Georgia’s 43-0 victory over Vanderbilt and 41-14 victory over Tennessee the past two weeks make the Bulldogs the only SEC East team on a two-game winning streak at the moment. Florida, by contrast, is on a three-game losing streak.

Richt said he assumes his players are “keeping an eye on” the standings, but he wants the larger focus to remain where it has been for the past two weeks.

“The one thing we had to do to win these last couple of games was just focus on the process of becoming a better football team, rather than where we were in league play,” Richt said. “That was the big motivation for everybody –- to do the things we have to do to block better, tackle better, play more physical, play more disciplined.

“We’ve got some momentum, certainly, because of how we’ve played the last couple of weeks. But I don’t want to forget what got us into this mode; I want to keep focusing on that.”

Georgia’s immediate challenge is a Kentucky team that rallied from a 28-10 halftime deficit to beat South Carolina. Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline completed 32 of 42 passes for a career-high 349 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Chris Matthews caught 12 passes for 177 yards, and Randall Cobb caught eight for 63.

Kentucky’s offense could get another key player back this week. Tailback Derrick Locke, the SEC’s third leading rusher at 95.7 yards per game, didn’t play against South Carolina because of injuries to both shoulders. On Sunday, Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said Locke remains doubtful for the Georgia game but expressed hope he “might have a chance” to play if his shoulders continue to improve.

THE MUDDLED SEC EAST

Teams’ current conference records and remaining games:

South Carolina (2-2): at Vanderbilt Oct. 23; vs. Tennessee Oct. 30; vs. Arkansas Nov. 6; at Florida Nov. 13.

Florida (2-3): vs. Georgia in Jacksonville Oct. 30; at Vanderbilt Nov. 6; vs. South Carolina Nov. 13.

Georgia (2-3): at Kentucky Oct. 23; vs. Florida in Jacksonville Oct. 30; at Auburn Nov. 13.

Vanderbilt (1-2): vs. South Carolina Oct. 23; at Arkansas Oct. 30; vs. Florida Nov. 6; at Kentucky Nov. 13; vs. Tennessee Nov. 20.

Kentucky (1-3): vs. Georgia Oct. 23; at Mississippi State Oct. 30; vs. Vanderbilt Nov. 13; at Tennessee Nov. 27.

Tennessee (0-3): vs. Alabama Oct. 23; at South Carolina Oct. 30; vs. Mississippi Nov. 13; at Vanderbilt Nov. 20; vs. Kentucky Nov. 27.

151 comments Add your comment

dylan

October 17th, 2010
6:27 pm

Dylan

October 17th, 2010
6:27 pm

Jacques Strap

October 17th, 2010
6:30 pm

chilidawg

October 17th, 2010
6:30 pm

Running for president of The Optimist Club?

ChiliDawg

October 17th, 2010
6:44 pm

now that was funny, I don’t care who you R

Reality Dawg

October 17th, 2010
6:47 pm

Are we out of our minds? We have beaten two of the worst teams in the conference and all of a sudden we are world beaters. Our fans are a joke! We don’t have what it takes to make a run. We are not going to stack up against Auburn. Look at our schedule… we have lost to every team that is even decent this year. Whoopie… we stopped impotent Vandy. It really doesn’t matter anyway… if we win the SEC East this year that will be like winning a midget wrestling tournament. The SEC East is way downt this year. Get a grip DAWGS and have some pride!

BDAWG

October 17th, 2010
6:48 pm

Right now, there only focus should be on Kentucky. We have to play tougher and faster on both sides of the ball next week. The safeties have to do a better job in the passing game and in run support. When the defense blitz, we have to make sure that we don’t miss the tackle and give up the big play. We still have a lot of football remaining and anything is possible. I do still believe that we need Malcome to play. At this point of the season, we don’t need to redshirt a RB when we have so little depth at that position. We need all hands on deck. Go Dawgs!!!! FOCUS ON KENTUCKY!!!

Kramer

October 17th, 2010
6:48 pm

You do care…and it wasn’t.

Bill

October 17th, 2010
6:49 pm

How can both Florida and South Carolina win out, since they play each other on November 13?

C'mon Dawgs

October 17th, 2010
6:49 pm

I am so stressed now… if we lose to Florida it will crash all my dreams.

Bill

October 17th, 2010
6:51 pm

Misread that. If USC wins out, it wins SEC east. If Florida wins out, it wins SEC east.

C'mon Dawgs

October 17th, 2010
6:53 pm

We don’t specialize in reading at UGA, Bill.

Reality Dawg

October 17th, 2010
6:57 pm

What do we specialize in then C’mon? Student-athlete convictions?

Army Vet

October 17th, 2010
6:57 pm

Congratulations Dylan on your major accomplishment….what a dousche!

C'mon Dawgs

October 17th, 2010
7:02 pm

We are #1 in arrests, #1 in partying, and we are remarkably high on the homo rock bank scale as well (REM and the B-52’s).

Can UGA win the east?

October 17th, 2010
7:03 pm

Reality Dawg

October 17th, 2010
7:03 pm

So we got that going for us… which is nice!

GT Fan

October 17th, 2010
7:07 pm

All you Dawg fans are hilarious. Your team sux. GT sux this year, too, but at least we know it. There is some real truth to the comment above… Dawg fans don’t know how to read!

Limp Wristed Bulldog

October 17th, 2010
7:09 pm

What do you have against people who are different than you C’mon? Is that who we are at UGA.

extrapoint

October 17th, 2010
7:14 pm

Offensive line was great. Pushing five plus yards down the field on running plays is what an offensive line is all about. Keep up the great work.

Right On Time

October 17th, 2010
7:21 pm

C’mon and Reality prove that the only people more obsessed with the Bulldogs than UGA fans are the tech geeks. GT Fan also, but at least he does not use a “secret” identity.

Of course UGA does not win the SEC east. They do, however, beat the north ave nerds.

SEC is the BEST

October 17th, 2010
7:21 pm

I repeat; UGA has some talent. Sure those two teams that UGA beat are not strong teams. But they beat them soundly. They seem to be getting their act together. The gators are licking their wounds. UFA can be HAD,The dogs are overdue for a win with the gators. Auburn is the team to beat in the SEC. UGA better be careful with Kentucky. Tech doesn’t impress me at all.

CHDawg

October 17th, 2010
7:23 pm

Question here: do the standings equally weight SEC east games with SEC west games? For instance, let’s say we were tied with SC on overall SEC record. We have lost one East game to them, and SC has lost two East games, but beaten us. Who would win it? i.e.–does head to head take priority over the East record.

Dawgnation

October 17th, 2010
7:26 pm

We don’t have to beat Auburn. If we beat Kentucky and Florida, and SC loses to Arkansas and Florida the SEC east will have a three-way tie at the top. Ga wins the tie-breaker with the best SEC East record.

Jethro Bodeen

October 17th, 2010
7:29 pm

Georgia will win out!

Rick

October 17th, 2010
7:29 pm

Hahaha. Dream on the Dawgs have no shot.

Calhoundawg

October 17th, 2010
7:34 pm

CHDawg, as I understand it, there is no differentiation between SEC East and West wins or losses. In other words, an SEC team’s win/loss record within the conference is just what it is. That is why that third loss for Georgia was so critical. SC would have to lose four conference games to fall behind us in the East. However, as CMR wisely states in the preceding article, the standings are all but irrelevant to Georgia right now. We’re trying to put [back] together a football team. Evidently, so are a lot of our conference bretheren. Believe it or not, a win in Lexington this weekend would be huge for Georgia. We can go to .500 in the SEC, take the next step towards a bowl game (and another 8-win season?), and exact revenge for last year’s humiliating loss in Athens. All I have to say is, God bless our beloved Coach Richt, and ……………………..Go Dawgs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Danny

October 17th, 2010
7:40 pm

It is God’s will.

jumbeauxtiger

October 17th, 2010
7:43 pm

To my knowledge no team has ever played in the SECCG with a 4-4 record. That is not out of the question this season in the SEC East.

adawgfan

October 17th, 2010
7:43 pm

No GT fan you’re wrong we definitely know we suck, but will still kick Tech butts at the end of the year. Let’s call it the GA bowl since neither team is likely to play another one this year.

JD

October 17th, 2010
7:47 pm

Too bad Ga can’t play Florida next weekend. Need to get them on their downward spiral before they can right their team. Bet Raines will start playing soon.

Tim Tucker

October 17th, 2010
7:51 pm

CHDawg: Head-to-head result takes priority over divisional records in the case of two-team ties. If three or more teams are tied, first tiebreaker is combined head-to-head record among the tied teams and second tiebreaker is divisional record.

Stupid Dawg

October 17th, 2010
7:53 pm

We are going to winn the wrest of our games and thee SEC East. Then everone will no that UGA is the best team in the kountry and even at 9-4 we will play an beet Oklahioma in the NC game and be the National champz.

UGAKEV

October 17th, 2010
7:53 pm

It can happen. South Carolina still has Arkansas and Florida

FLA DAWG

October 17th, 2010
7:55 pm

How bad does The SEC look this year!

Delbert D.

October 17th, 2010
7:57 pm

“Tech doesn’t impress me at all.”

They won’t figure into the SEC East standings, you know. Plus, that game comes after the SEC East has been decided.

(Most regular posters know those two things.)

Billy Jack...is a dreamer

October 17th, 2010
7:57 pm

Call me crazy…Dawgs win out…then beat Bama…..if I’m Richt that’s what I’m PREACHING…..

kevindawg

October 17th, 2010
7:57 pm

reality dawg why dont you just find another team so you can throw out all your negative points on someone else. i bet your the definition of a bandwagon fan a face.

Billy Jack...@ FLA DAWG

October 17th, 2010
8:00 pm

true…..that’s why I can dream…as a dawg fan I’d love to beat or tie an undefeated Auburn team….(Ray Goff’s team did it against Terry Bowden) I know a tie aint happening..I’m old school

harold

October 17th, 2010
8:02 pm

GEORGIA BEATS THE WORST COACH IN THE SEC ( DOOLEY),AND A WEAK TENNESSEE TEAM. THEN HE BEATS VANDY. NOW GEORGIA FANS ARE TALKING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AGAINS. AND WHATEVER BECAME OF “THE DREAM TEAM????”

Ocala Miss

October 17th, 2010
8:07 pm

Kentucky 31, Georgia 24.

That should end the absurd dreaming.

Reality P. Bull Terrier

October 17th, 2010
8:07 pm

We like to say we when we criticize the Dawgs so everyone thinks we are a UGA fan. We think we are being so sneaky and creative that we will make all the UGA fans start to hate the Bulldogs as much as we do. Don’t tell anyone, but we think our plan is working.

Mirk Racht

October 17th, 2010
8:10 pm

Ha ha ha, now you’re stuck with Richt for another year!

Peach Fuzz

October 17th, 2010
8:11 pm

If dawgs win out , using past SEC logic, Colorado will be SEC champs.

Delbert D.

October 17th, 2010
8:12 pm

The players won’t be thinking about this game yet (hopefully), but Auburn has already beaten the 3 SEC teams that Georgia lost to, plus Kentucky.

Gen Neyland

October 17th, 2010
8:13 pm

At this point, the SEC East teams look like the double cheeseburger on McDonald’s dollar menu and the best of the West look like medium rare Porterhouse’s from Bones. Whoever makes it to the Dome from the East, add fries and go get ‘em…

Incredible

October 17th, 2010
8:13 pm

It was Vanderbilt. It was only Vanderbilt. Some of these dawgtards act like they just beat Boise State.

Gen Neyland

October 17th, 2010
8:14 pm

…Now, down to the bunker to watch the Colts–Redskins

bitter GAY"tired AKA of loosing HAHA

October 17th, 2010
8:14 pm

RETARDS FLa suxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxssssssssssssssssssssssssshahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa loosersssssssssssssssssssssssssss

WAR DAMN EAGLE!

October 17th, 2010
8:18 pm

Doesn’t matter who wins the SEC East. The SEC West will destroy whoever you send to the SEC Championship game.