Dogs: Winning SEC East is nice, but not enough

UGA linebacker Christian Robinson (45) and cornerback Devin Bowman celebrate with fans after 38-0 win at Auburn clinched SEC East championship Saturday night. (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

UGA linebacker Christian Robinson (45) and cornerback Devin Bowman celebrate with fans after 38-0 win at Auburn clinched SEC East championship Saturday night. (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

AUBURN, Ala. – Georgia’s football team heartily celebrated its SEC East-clinching victory over Auburn late Saturday night, first by rushing to a corner of the end zone to share the moment with a large contingent of joyous UGA fans and then by “going crazy” — quarterback Aaron Murray’s description — in the locker room.

“It’s huge to win the East in back-to-back years,” Murray said. “It’s not an easy thing to do.”

Even so, Georgia players and coaches said their celebration was accompanied, if not subdued, by thoughts of larger goals still within reach: winning the SEC Championship game in Atlanta and, if a lot of things fall their way, playing in the BCS title game in Miami.

“We had fun celebrating the victory, winning the East,” UGA coach Mark Richt said. “But I think there is a little different feeling in everybody’s spirit that Atlanta is not the end of the road, we hope.”

Winning the East “is not as satisfying this time because I feel like last year our destiny was to get to the SEC Championship game. This time, it’s to win it,” Georgia wide receiver Tavarres King said. “We don’t want to just be there. We want to win the whole thing.”

Said safety Bacarri Rambo: “This is just a ticket to the Dome. Now we’ve got to go there and handle business.”

The 38-0 win over Auburn completed Georgia’s SEC schedule with a 7-1 league record, matching Florida for the best mark in the East and earning the division’s berth in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 1 because of a victory over the Gators. Georgia won’t know its opponent for sure until Nov. 24, when previously No. 1-ranked Alabama, which lost to Texas A&M on Saturday, can clinch the SEC West by beating Auburn (2-8, 0-7 SEC).

Georgia annihilated Auburn, which is having its worst season in 60 years just two years after winning the national championship. The Bulldogs scored touchdowns the first four times they had the ball and shut out the Tigers for the first time since 1976.

The win was Georgia’s 19th in its past 22 games, including 19-1 in regular-season games — a run that began after an 0-2 start last season followed a 6-7 record in 2010.

“It’s crazy how far we’ve come as a team over the course of these last three years,” King said.

Beating Auburn to clinch the East put the Bulldogs back where they were at this point a year ago, but they hope the scripts will diverge in the Dome. Last year, Georgia lost to LSU 42-10 in the SEC title game.

That outcome fed into the Bulldogs’ reaction to repeating as division champion. Yes, it’s nice, they said. But not enough, they added.

“We are excited about it, and I don’t want to belittle in any way, shape or form winning the East, because it’s a big deal,” Richt said. “There are six other teams that would love to have done it. I just think we really feel like since we were there last year and didn’t do very well — we played well for a half and didn’t do much the second half — that we want to play better, have a better performance.”

Said linebacker Jarvis Jones:”We’re going to keep working until we get to Atlanta, and hopefully we can play some big-time ball.”

The back-to-back berths in the SEC title game certainly would have seemed unlikely to most observers amid the Richt-on-the-hot-seat chatter of 2010 and early last season.

“There’s going to be some hard days, and you’ve got to be tough enough to battle through it,” Richt said. “We have done a good job of weathering a little bit of a storm. A couple of years ago, and even at the beginning of last season, there were a lot of doubters. And we just kept it together.”

Georgia has two regular-season non-conference opponents remaining — Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, both in Athens. Then the SEC title game and who-knows-what beyond that.

“These next two weeks can put us in position to meet more goals than what we’ve got already,” UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “What we’ve got to do is continue to work and develop and improve and let the chips fall as we move forward.”

– Tim Tucker, AJC

MORE GEORGIA COVERAGE


127 comments Add your comment

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Bwdawg

November 11th, 2012
1:20 pm

All the way to Miami, Go Dawgs!

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Sunbury Ga dawg

November 11th, 2012
1:23 pm

Go you UGLY HAIRY DAWGS, GO ALL THE WAY TO THE DOME and BEAT Bama to remove the curse of the blackout off our souls for good! And if I’m first then somebody loan me five dollars till Friday!

UGA24-7

November 11th, 2012
1:23 pm

NO MENTION OF THAT TEAM FROM GEORGIA………….http://sports.yahoo.com/news/oregon-no-1-ap-top-171910138–ncaaf.html

Chris

November 11th, 2012
1:26 pm

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Orlando Dawg

November 11th, 2012
1:49 pm

wow, love how our guys hang together! what a group. think there is any chance JJ & Tree will return, wishful thinking, Dang! I have a condo in Gulf Shores, AL and I get chatter from Auburn, Alabama, & Florida constantly…but how quite it is here today at the Gulf…peace is bliss! Go Dawgs!

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why

November 11th, 2012
2:03 pm

we really needed alabama to win out and play them undefeated…now unless some of these other teams lose we will not have an SEC team in the national championship.

why

November 11th, 2012
2:03 pm

we really needed alabama to win out and play them undefeated…now unless some of these other teams lose we will not have an SEC team in the national championship.

P-Cola Dog

November 11th, 2012
2:12 pm

Orlando, I am right down the road from you on the Key. Intersting feel here this morning. Florabama and waffle house seem a little gray today

Mike Franklin

November 11th, 2012
2:13 pm

Yup, Bama’s loss was our loss because we needed a #1 team as an opponent in the championship game. Now its up to fate and providence.

AJ

November 11th, 2012
2:14 pm

BCS Champ is about the best TEAM.

UGA, BAMA, K STATE, all have a total great TEAM, offense top 20 in scoring + defense top 20 in scoring.

K State, Oregon, or Notre Dame doesn’t play three top five teams like UGA does.

Notre Dame’s offense is 74th in scoring, and they have won 5 games by a hair, Purdue 20-17, BYU 17-14, Pitt 29-26, Notre Dame isn’t a good TEAM.

Oregon’s defense is 54th in total yards, not good enough to leap ast UGA and Bama.

Bad “half a team”, going undefeated in weak conferences are not better than great whole 1 loss teams in the best conference.

1969 Graduate

November 11th, 2012
2:50 pm

Good points, A.J.

BCS won’t see it that way, of course. Too many people want the SEC out of the picture. Besides, it is really very hard to argue with all wins and no losses.

UGA can win out (maybe), and get lucky (maybe), but we all know where we’d be had we done the job in Columbia. Losing the way we did hurt us badly, as have some of our wins. Hard, too, to give UGA much credit for a victory over the worst team in the SEC.

Win the next three. Play well against whoever the opponent after that is. That’s all we can do.

Of course, winning the next three is far, far from in the bag. Any of the three can, on a great day for two of them, beat us. Alabama is still a very, very good team; maybe better for the loss, maybe not.

Go, Dawgs!

AJ

November 11th, 2012
2:53 pm

Really wierd all the 1-2 loss BCS Champions:
Spurrier, 12-1 in 1996
USC, 12-1 in 2003
Fla, 13-1 in 2006
LSU, 12-2 in 2007
Fla, 13-1 in 2008
Ala, 12-1 in 2011

But somehow, if UGA wins the SEC, finishes 12-1, and doesn’t get invited to the BCS Champship?

AJ

November 11th, 2012
3:00 pm

All those voters didn’t vote in 13-0 Boise St, over 13-1 Florida in 2006

or

13-0 Utah, over 13-1 Florida in 2008

Wierd how it’s ok for Florida and Meyer, but let’s change the criteria for UGA and Richt.

AJ

November 11th, 2012
3:02 pm

All 3 of Saban’s BCS Natl Champ’s were with 1 loss teams.

1 standard for voters for Saban, another for UGA?

AJ

November 11th, 2012
3:06 pm

McGarity better be mounting a campaign right now to get UGA in, if it wins the SEC.

Better be telling the alumni to vote UGA champs in all polls.

Compare past 1 loss teams to UGA.

McGarity better do his job and get UGA fair shot at the title.

merbertmoover

November 11th, 2012
3:15 pm

By the way, all of you who think that Alabama losing will hurt Georgia’s chances to get to the NCG are WRONG. Actually, it will benefit UGA. Why?

1 – UGA was not going to the NCG without 2 of the 3 unbeaten teams losing no matter how highly ranked Bama will be when we play them. Even if we upset #1 Alabama, the biased folks at ESPN will not let the Dawgs leap 2 undefeated teams, no matter what. Get this in your heads. It wasn’t going to happen. We still need 2 out of 3 unbeatens to lose, nothing has changed. Now when we play them, even if they are #4, if there is only one unbeaten team left, then if we beat them we will get to #2 and will make it to the NCG.

2 – NOW that Bama has lost 1 game, the national media are forced to prematurely have the conversation about whether a 1-loss Bama team should leapfrog any unbeatens. Now, some in the media are going to say “yes, they should, if they win the SEC.” Because of this, the media is starting the conversation early, so if many of them for some reason are saying “yes, the SEC is so hard, and a one-loss SEC Champion deserves to play in the NCS (referencing Bama of course, not UGA)” they are setting themselves up for contradiction if and when UGA wins the SEC.

3 – Bama fans are the most obnoxious fans in the SEC. They’re starting to get more annoying than Florida fans and that’s saying something. It’s great to see them put back in their place and great to see them depressed. Now they have to go back to their crappy trailers and broken dreams in one of the most boring, racist, depressing states in the country. My black heart derives so much glee at this prospect.
-merbert

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merbertmoover

November 11th, 2012
3:21 pm

Also, the argument about “now we won’t have an SEC team in the NCG” is garbage! who cares??? would it really make you happy as a Georgia fan to see Bama back in the NCG? Really? NO, IT DOESN’T MATTER UNLESS ITS UGA!!!

Screw SEC pride, I want titles for UGA, not another SEC school we have to recruit against

tom bell

November 11th, 2012
3:23 pm

graduated in 69 daughter in 97. Youngest at A&M. KICK ASS DAWGS AND AGGIES.

derekross

November 11th, 2012
3:36 pm

Georgia hasn’t won the SEC yet, why are you all talking about a 1 loss UGA team getting left out the NCG?

The tide ain't rolling and A&M stopped them

November 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Teriyaki Dawg

November 11th, 2012
3:49 pm

Hooters make me feel overtly sexual.

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DawginNY

November 11th, 2012
4:12 pm

In all of those years with 1-loss national champs, there was not an undefeated team from a major conference.

Realistic fan

November 11th, 2012
4:28 pm

Forget the dome for now. Better now overlook either of the next two games. All 11 games are just warmups for the insects. Lets put a whipping on them in Athens that they won’t forget. Otherwise playing in the SEC championship game is moot.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2012
4:44 pm

Notre Dame (USC), Oregon (Stanford, Oregon St. and either USC again or what would be a 10-2 UCLA) and Kansas State (Baylor and Texas) have some work ahead of them to remain unbeaten.

yearofthedawg

November 11th, 2012
4:45 pm

McGarrity cannot get UGA in the title game over 2 undefeated teams from the Big 12, Pac 12, or Notre Dame. Period. So ESPN doesn’t have to keep us out… and there’s justice to that. 12-0 beats 11-1.

BUT if there’s only one undefeated team then the SEC champ should be playing them. Personally, I wasn’t sure if we’d be ahead of Bama even if we beat them if they went in to SECCG 12-0. So in that sense their loss was good for us.

If we somehow win out and 2 undefeateds lose, we just need to watch out for Florida State jumping us if they beat Florida.

Disgusted Dawg

November 11th, 2012
4:47 pm

Here you foold go again. We whip the worst team in the SEC and we’re gonna win the MNC!!!!!

Shut up already. Wait to see what happes. These Dawgs have proven they could definitely lose to Tech. That would not be a huge upset. This Ga team is jusy scary to wacth…scary in a bad way. Like…who’s going to show up.

hbcuclassics

November 11th, 2012
4:51 pm

HBCU Classic Sports
Week 11

Bethune 49
Savannah State 7

Delaware State 35
Hampton 27

Florida A&M 22
North Carolina Central 21

North Carolina A&T 17
South Carolina State 7

Georgia Southern 69
Howard 26

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

yearofthedawg

November 11th, 2012
4:52 pm

Well, whoever shows up one certainty is that we know you will be here to complain.

Frank

November 11th, 2012
4:55 pm

GEORGIA WILL NOT PLAY IN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BECAUSE OF THERE SOFT SCHEDULE……THEY PLAYED 2 TEAMS THAT ARE RANKED AND GOT BEAT BY ONE OF THEM…………..GEORGIA NEEDS TO THANK THE PEOPLE WHO MAKES THERE SCHEDULE…….

Mike Franklin

November 11th, 2012
5:29 pm

Winning in college ball is NEVER enough anymore. You have to have ESPN style points.

UGA, ranked #4 in the BCS, won’t even get regular coverage against Ga Southern and ESPN 3 will likely black it out in favor of the pay-per-view where it costs no less than $100 to watch.

College football has been ruined by the sports media.

Frank

November 11th, 2012
5:32 pm

VERY TRUE MIKE…….ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY………

Mike Franklin

November 11th, 2012
5:36 pm

Thank you for the reply, Frank… but can you push that little button on your keyboard and NOT type in all caps? It makes your comments mean so much less.

Best :)

Frank

November 11th, 2012
5:56 pm

Sure,,, that better????…Watch … they will try to get ND in the title game because all networks loves them……..

kybodawg

November 11th, 2012
6:06 pm

i guess you could say ala got to no 1 because they didnt have to play ga, fla, or south car. again this year. hey if it works against ga. why not for everybody. other than lsu, which they should have lost and a and m. they have as easy a schedule as ga.

sowegadawg

November 11th, 2012
6:09 pm

Those 1 loss NC’s were vying against other 1 loss teams from BCS conferences not undefeated teams. If we win out and all but 1 team has a loss we will be in the big game, simple.

JUNKYARD DAWG

November 11th, 2012
6:55 pm

TIDE ROLL, suck it loser.

ARdawg

November 11th, 2012
7:05 pm

If any of the three unbeatens remain unbeaten and the SEC doesn’t get represented yeah, maybe a travesty but, that is the way the cookie crumbles. The BCS is a strange bird. It might happen even if they do remain unbeaten. After 6 straight titles and 5 in the top 10, it is difficult to understand how the SEC winner can be left out.

Frank

November 11th, 2012
7:10 pm

Dont forget Auburn was left out a few years ago when they were undefeated…….

Poopdawg

November 11th, 2012
7:17 pm

Sowegadawg, I hope your right. I feel the only way a UGA team gets to the title game is to be undefeated . The same rings true for every SEC team except Bama ,UF, LSU, and maybe UT. Poltics . The only hope is Oregon loses in the PAC 12 championship game, and UGA might get taken if their SEC champs. Kansas state has no championship game but if they lost to texas would they still be conf champs? I could see a one loss Kansas st team going ahead of a one loss UGA SEC champ team. SEC burnout is what they would keep bringing up. Now I don’t agree with that but have witnessed too many teams getting screwed.

Poopdawg

November 11th, 2012
7:22 pm

A 1980 rematch would be sweet.

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Music City Dawg

November 11th, 2012
8:31 pm

It time to beat Bama and win the SEC Championship you BIG DAWGS!!!!!

Tampa Gator

November 11th, 2012
9:09 pm

David Poll-Dawg…on ESPN…..saying on the BCS Countdown Show……..”numbers 4, 5, 7 could beat Notre Dame”……..conveniently skipping over number 6….(Florida)…..the team that beat number 7. Very funny…..David Poll-Dawg………and the team that your team went late into the 4th quarter to beat and needed a last second fumble recovery to possibly not have to go into overtime with…..but Georgia can beat Notre Dame…..but Florida can’t. Very funny……Poll-Dawg…..on ESPN.