Notebook: Nick Saban believes Georgia deserves to be in BCS Bowl

From all indications, Georgia will end up in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, after losing to Alabama 32-28 in the SEC Championship game on Saturday. But Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the Bulldogs should be heading to a BCS bowl.

Georgia's Mark Richt and Alabama coach Nick Saban embrace after Saturday's dramatic finish in the SEC Championship game. (AP photo)

Georgia's Mark Richt and Alabama coach Nick Saban embrace after Saturday's dramatic finish in the SEC Championship game. (AP photo)From all indications, Georgia will end up in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, after losing to Alabama 32-28 in the SEC Championship game on Saturday. But Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the Bulldogs should be heading to a BCS bowl.

“I’m going to tell you what, I think it’s a crying shame if Georgia doesn’t go to a BCS bowl,” said Saban, who will take Alabama to its third national championship game in four years. “They should get to go to a BCS bowl game. They played a tremendous game out there today … and could have won at the end just as soon as us. It came down to the last play. So, I mean, it’s just ridiculous.”

Official bowl selections do not come out until Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. with the annual selection show on ESPN. But most projections have No. 4-ranked Florida, which finished the season 11-1 but to the Bulldogs, heading to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, one of the five BCS bowls.

But if anything, Saban believes the SEC should have three teams in the BCS mix.

“I watch these teams that are 7-5 that are talking about they might go to a BCS game because they won their championship?,” Saban asked incredulously. “Something’s not right here. I don’t know what people think of the SEC… . I just don’t think it’s fair to the Georgia players, coaches and their institution if they don’t go to a BCS game.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt was interviewed before Saban made his remarks in the main interview area at the Georgia Dome. He agreed, but was less emphatic in his stance.

“Well, it’s up to whoever is deciding and I’m not in charge of that,” he said. “But do I think we are worthy of a BCS Bowl? Yes I do. I do.”

Bowl destinations debated

Where the SEC Championship game loser lands is always a matter of great debate. The league put in safeguards a few years ago to make sure the its runner-up doesn’t drop below Atlanta’s Chick-fil-A Bowl.

In this year’s scenarios, it was coming down to the Cotton Bowl and the Capital One Bowl for the loser. Based on the SEC’s bowl agreements, the Capital One gets first selection among the non-BCS teams. Late word Saturday night was that the Orlando bowl had decided to go with Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy frontrunner Johnny Manziel.

If so, that leaves the Cotton to choose between Georgia and LSU. The Chick-fil-A desperately wants the Tigers to come to Atlanta to face Clemson. That would be a much more favorable matchup for the bowl and for the Bulldogs, who open next season on the road against Clemson.

BCS or bust

Had Georgia punched its ticket for the BCS Championship, a huge contingent of the Bulldog Nation would have gone along for the ride.

According to Tim Cearley, Georgia’s director of ticket of operations, the Bulldogs had already doubled their BCS bowl allotment. Applications for Hartman Club contributors – aka, the Bulldogs’ renewable season tickets – for Georgia’s possible bowl destinations went out shortly after the win over Florida. By Friday’s deadline, more than 35,000 tickets had been requested for the Jan. 7 matchup against Notre Dame, Cearly said. Only 17,000 tickets are available for the respective teams.

Between the demand for BCS tickets and those for the SEC Championship game, Cearley and UGA’s ticket office have been pushed to the brink.

“It’s been pretty crazy, but it’s been a fun week,” Cearly said.

Georgia is expected to have tickets available for both the Cotton and Capital One bowls. Call 706-542-1231 or go to georgiadogs.com for information.

Last game heroics?

It’s considered a foregone conclusion that Saturday was Jarvis Jones’ last shot of winning an SEC championship or playing for a BCS title. Though he’s only a junior, he has been projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL draft by several analysts.

“I don’t, man; it’s not decision time for me,” said Jones, who had six tackles and two sacks Saturday. “Right now I’m going to focus on the rest of our season. We’ve still got a couple more weeks.”

There are a few other underclassmen that will have a decision to make between now and the NFL’s declaration deadline in early January. Chief among them is junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, who led the Bulldogs with 11 tackles on Saturday, and junior quarterback Aaron Murray.

“I’m not thinking about that right now,” Murray said afterward. “That’s too far in the future. I can’t get this game out of my mind right now.”

They said it

“Hindsight’s easy. I definitely would if I had to do it over have him spike it. We work on that a lot where we get in a formation and try to get a play called really quick and try to give us three chances to get the ball in the end zone. It just didn’t work out that way.”

– Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, taking the blame for the decision not to spike the ball after Arthur Lynch’s first-and-goal catch at the Alabama 8 with 15 seconds to play.

Etc… .

Alec Ogletree returned blocked field goal 55 yards for a touchdown to give Georgia a 21-10 lead at 6:31 in the third quarter. Cornelius Washington recorded the block; the second field goal blocked by Georgia this season and first returned for a touchdown against Alabama since Kentucky in 1997. . . . Georgia converted its first successful fake punt since 2005 early in the first quarter. Tight end Arthur Lynch, manning the up-back position, took the snap and threw a 16-yard pass to senior cornerback Sanders Commings for a first down at the Alabama 20-yard line. It was Commings’ first career catch… . Tight end Jay Rome caught his second career TD pass. … Murray moved past Peyton Manning into second on the SEC list for  career TD passes with 90. . . . Former Georgia quarterback David Greene got the biggest ovation during the on-field introduction of “SEC Legends” shortly before kickoff.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

Game story: Alabama delivers BCS knockout of Georgia, 32-28

Bradley column: Five yards short in bitter defeat a winning UGA effort

Schultz column: Georgia earns respect in defeat, but loss not easy to take

The final drive and play: An agonizing ending for Georgia

What they said: post-game comments from players, coaches on both teams

Notebook: Saban believes Georgia deserves a BCS bowl

227 comments Add your comment

Truth

December 1st, 2012
10:37 pm

Guess you GA fans will still hate the man even though he comes to your defense.

Tripp Bowden

December 1st, 2012
10:40 pm

Damn. Great game but damn.

JB

December 1st, 2012
10:50 pm

Truth….save it man. Not a good time. Unlike all the post this week that we couldn’t stay on the field with Bama, Been told Saban had to be taken to hospital to have his rear end reopened.

NORRIS

December 1st, 2012
10:52 pm

why does a team get penalized for not winning their conference championship. Florida gets to play in the sugar bowl and they lost to georgia. the two best teams played in the game tonight. it is not right to punish the loser. It is an extra game. it is not a schedule game. conference championship games define the champion and should not penalize a team that came in second.

Taco Meat

December 1st, 2012
10:54 pm

Gut-wrenching loss. Saban is right- the BCS is a complete joke.

UGA Grad

December 1st, 2012
10:56 pm

Why does the AJC even report this? We lost the game. We are a bunch of losers. Who cares what bowl we go to? We had our shot at a Nat’l Championship and blew it. We have to understand we are just a “middle of the pack” program. Since Richt has been coaching at UGA, Alabama has leapfrogged us. LSU has won 2 Nat’l Championships. Auburn has gone undefeated in 2 different seasons with 1 Nat’l Championship. Florida has leapfrogged us from the Zook years to win 2 Nat’l Championships and will probably win one under Muschamp before we can contend for a Nat’l Championship again. South Carolina has beaten us 3 years in a row. We need to stop worrying about consolation prizes and focus on taking care of business and winning championships.

UAGrad2003

December 1st, 2012
10:58 pm

To all the classy Georgia fans, great game! For all the spoiled brats who continue to talk smack..you know where you can shove it. Yes, we have bad fans, but current and former UGA players like Bucky Belue were talking smack all week. Not one Alabama player had anything nasty to say about UGA or its players. Forget the fan trash talking, especially when you retaliate with more trash and mud slinging

dryden

December 1st, 2012
11:02 pm

hey truth you say that because you won and prick saban is preaching because he won. UGA belongs in a lower tier bowl and I hope they get shutout at this point. There is nothng left to play for this season

Slim

December 1st, 2012
11:11 pm

Can you believe UGA lost??? I can. They were up 21-10 with six minutes to go in the 3rd and couldn’t get it done. Awwwww….Rambo and his big mouth are quite now. 8 NFL players on UGA’s defense and they allowed 350 rushing yards…

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

December 1st, 2012
11:17 pm

500 yards given up with all that NFL talent on defense.

Yep Todd Grantham is awesome.

See, this is why it’s 32 years. Fans who know football wouldn’t have stood for Grantham’s defense last year.

You idiots gave him a raise.

Dig your own grave.

NYC Dawg

December 1st, 2012
11:22 pm

Classy of Saban to say what he did. I appreciate it, and I agree with him.

He knows that it easily could have been his team that dropped out of the BCS, which would have been just as unfair as UGa not getting the BCS bid. The whole idea that Northern Ill, Rutgers, Louisville or even Ga Tech is flirting with a BCS bowl bid simply shows how flawed the system is.

NYC Dawg

December 1st, 2012
11:25 pm

Chris Fowler just said it was one of the best college football games he has ever seen. I agree.

dewnsav

December 1st, 2012
11:26 pm

tide rolling…congrats, you won…you want to trash our D but truth be told 10 more seconds and you wouldn’t be on this blog…Bama didn’t look like world beaters either…not sour grapes, just the truth…go dogs

KBP

December 1st, 2012
11:30 pm

The Tide is Rolling. . . you gave up the most yards you have given up this year also with your number one defensive ranking. Yep Kirby Smart is awesome too. Bama played great! Congrats and beat ND.

Captain

December 1st, 2012
11:31 pm

Tough loss. Hard to believe with all those rushing yds Ala was never assessed a holding penalty. Hard to believe they were only penalized twice. Penalties are part of the game, Dawgs had some untimely ones which hurt including 15 yd unsportsmanship on the kickoff following Ogletree’s TD setting Ala up at the 39 instead of 24. Shortened the field for the Tide.

Saban has surpassed The Bear. He is dominating the game in spite of scholarship reductions which supposedly have spread the talent. Saban is a far more dominating force than Bear. Question is can he do something Bear never could, Bear failed miserably each time when he played Notre Dame in a National Championship. Hard to see Saban failing.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

December 1st, 2012
11:31 pm

Your offense is fine. Yet you want to fire Mike Bobo.

I’m not trashing your team.

I trashing the DUMBEST fans in college football.

Iloveuga

December 1st, 2012
11:32 pm

Chuck Oliver-you’re an idiot and so are most of the people that call your idiot show!
680 is off my radio-war eagle-haha.

Great game UGA!
You make Dawg Nation proud!

Bamafan

December 1st, 2012
11:36 pm

I agree with Saben . One play difference in playing for Championship and dropping out of BSC Bowl..sucks. UGA and Coach Richt deserve to play over Fla in bowl.
The idiot reporter that asked Coach Richt that stupid question after game showed no class.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

December 1st, 2012
11:38 pm

An SEC championship for rushing yards given up…

NYC Dawg

December 1st, 2012
11:41 pm

The latest word is that UGA is going to the Cotton Bowl to play Texas. Seems awfully similar to playing in the Sugar Bowl against OU. Sounds like a reasonable consolation prize to me…much better than chik-fil-a bowl.

NYC Dawg

December 1st, 2012
11:45 pm

Bamafan, congrats. You guys have a great program…we are not quite there, but we will be. The O line is the difference.

I saw Richt at the press conference too. The reporter was a moron. When Richt called him out, the guy folded up like a cheap tent.

EPrivett

December 1st, 2012
11:49 pm

Once again Georgia comes up short, seems to be their destiny.
Just don’t have BMT, the team has great potential but a major handicap in the coaching staff.
Shame…

Blackoutanyone?

December 1st, 2012
11:49 pm

Just a great game. I’m one of the biggest crap talkers on these blogs but I truly feel bad for everyone associated with UGA tonight. Tough loss and Saban is 100% correct… you deserve better.

ROLL TIDE!!!!!

Ken in Alaska

December 1st, 2012
11:50 pm

Dawg fans, great game. I love the Tide but know that you have a great team and a classy coach. Thought you outplayed Bama most of the night, but Bama has a tandem of great backs that took that game on their shoulders. Heck of a game, would have been shouting Go Dawgs if they had won and faced ND. Easy to see why you guys were SEC East champs and good luck the rest of the way, maybe we will see you guys under similar circumstances next year. Go Dawgs and ROLL TIDE!

Frankly

December 1st, 2012
11:53 pm

UAGrad2003

December 1st, 2012
10:58 pm

To all the classy Georgia fans, great game! For all the spoiled brats who continue to talk smack..you know where you can shove it. Yes, we have bad fans, but current and former UGA players like Bucky Belue were talking smack all week. Not one Alabama player had anything nasty to say about UGA or its players. Forget the fan trash talking, especially when you retaliate with more trash and mud slinging

————————————————————

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

December 1st, 2012
11:17 pm

500 yards given up with all that NFL talent on defense.

Yep Todd Grantham is awesome.

See, this is why it’s 32 years. Fans who know football wouldn’t have stood for Grantham’s defense last year.

You idiots gave him a raise.

Dig your own grave.

—————————————————————————

A lefthanded compliment and an idiot. Oh well, great game and I hope you beat ND.

jc_dawgs

December 1st, 2012
11:54 pm

Look at it this way….we were #3 playing the #2 team. The #2 team won by the skin of there skin. Thus…isn’t the #3 team worthy of maintaining the #3 spot in that case? Why should they drop when its an extra game. Oh and btw…the #3 team beat the #4 team head to head.

why not

December 1st, 2012
11:59 pm

680 Needs to get rid of Chuck. Chuck Chuck! I never liked his wiennie voice anyway.
Glad to hear the class statement by Saban. Glad to see MR stand up for his QB and himself.
A great game everyone should agree. Hate to loose it, but no shame loosing by 5 yards to the National Champs.

Ken in Alaska

December 2nd, 2012
12:00 am

Agree JC, I think Nick was being very sincere in his comments and I understand his point. There aren’t two other teams in the nation that could have beaten UGA tonite, and Bama was fortunate to come out on top. UGA has a great team and played their hearts out in what was the greatest SECCG to date. Be proud of the Dawgs and ROLL TIDE!

BMOC

December 2nd, 2012
12:04 am

Disappointed?? Yes. Still love my DAWGS, and we have a heck of a team, coaches included.

GO DAWGS!!!

BMOC

December 2nd, 2012
12:07 am

why not

I AGREE!!

This clown on 680 the fan is a joke.. Needs to have his clock cleaned (if you know what I mean)

Tom in Atl

December 2nd, 2012
12:10 am

It is amazing to me that a Tide Fan has the gall to come on here and trash talk after witnessing one of the best college football games of all time, a game they came within an eyelash of losing. We in the SEC may all hate each other during the season – and life vicariously through the success and dissapointments of the teams we choose to follow – but damn man – at the end of the day that was two great football eams leaving it all out on the field. I couldn’t be prouder of UGA, and I sincerely hope Bama beats ND 50-0 – despite the classless posters on this blog.

why not

December 2nd, 2012
12:11 am

MR has a lot of similarities to coach Bowden. He came close several times before getting over the hump and winning a couple of NC games. I think Coach CR will get his championship sometime in the future. I was hoping this year, but it is coming. Stay hungry and Go Dawgs!

dawggirl

December 2nd, 2012
12:13 am

I was initially very upset, but now after watching the video of the fans greeting the buses back in Athens I’m just proud. Proud of this team and the way they fought. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out the way you want it. I’m glad we gave Bama, the gold standard of college football, all they could handle. I usually root against teams we lose to, but Roll Tide and shut up ND.

When you have a health crisis going on as I do, you learn to appreciate life and realize that things could always be worse.

Go Dawgs, always.

Fair n Balanced

December 2nd, 2012
12:14 am

Some people on these blogs will never be happy. I’m not happy to lose this game and I think in some ways we blew it and some ways we got beat. In truth, we just didn’t manage the time well at the very end. Bama is a great team, but we aren’t far behind. Richt is a good coach. Thankful we have him at GA.

why not

December 2nd, 2012
12:15 am

680 Chuck Chuck!

G8R8U2

December 2nd, 2012
12:19 am

Truth be told, Florida deserves better than just the Sugar Bowl themselves; they played more Top 15 teams than Bama, UGA, and ND COMBINED… so if anybody has a complaint, it’s Florida.

And Nick can give it a rest with the conference or division champions argument; only a hypocrite would say those things just 1 year after getting to play for and win a NC even though his own team didn’t win the SEC or Western division themselves.

why not

December 2nd, 2012
12:20 am

Dawggirl,
God Bless you in your struggles.

Glad to hear about a lot of fans greeting the team back home. Proud of our Dawgs and coaches.

flo-ri-duh

December 2nd, 2012
12:28 am

UGA gave up a lot of yards and so did Bama…….. the refs “no calls” was the difference in the game. Saw one blatant helmet to helmet cheap shot on Murray with the ref standing right there watching. Tide player Dial should have been kicked out of the game and Bama should have been moved back 15 yards. Instead the ref ignored the obvious and Bama ended up with a field goal.. Saw at least 6 blatant holding penalties by the Bama OL that were not called and several times pass interference that should have been called against Bama. Hopefully the cheap shot on Murray will be sent in to the SEC office and Dial will be suspended for the BCS champ game. The ref should be reassigned to high school games.

flo-ri-duh

December 2nd, 2012
12:34 am

Florida got out played and out coached by UGA and they ranked behind them and should still be ranked behind them next week. Florida doesn’t have the offense to stay with Bama. Georgia should not be penalized for losing a close game to #2. Florida is #4 and should still be #4 after this game. You lost to Georgia – you aren’t better than Georgia – and Florida should not be playing in the BCS game.

Iloveuga

December 2nd, 2012
12:37 am

Why Not-Amen!

Also glad to hear about real fans greeting the Dawgs!
They make me so proud and our future is great!

Thinking of you, Dawggirl.

Jimmy

December 2nd, 2012
1:00 am

Chip,

Who was that idiot reporter who asked Richt how he felt about him and Murray “not being able to win the big one??”LOL. While I agree w/ the media scribe (1-11 versus Top 10 comp says it all), it was definitely the WRONG time to ask it. And then the media guy has to hide behind “well I heard it was others who had been saying that..” What a tool. Richt even said to the guy, “if that’s what you’re saying I’ll answer the question, but if it’s what you hear ‘others’ are saying then I don’t care about that…” That was awesome. Richt finally showing some emotion out there. Even coming back after his presser was over and saying, “..if you guys think our guys weren’t playing their tails off out there, then you’re just crazy..” or something to that affect. Maybe if he showed that kind of fire during games they would be better than 1-11 over the past few years against top 10 comp and would have won todday. Of course he could have had Murray spike the darn ball and received at least two more chances to score. Unbelievable.

Russa

December 2nd, 2012
1:08 am

“Nick Saban believes Georgia deserves to be in BCS Bowl”

Saban is wrong. They had their chance at a BCS Bowl and they blew it

why not

December 2nd, 2012
1:09 am

Jimmy,
The tool is Chuck on 680 the fan radio in Atlanta.
What an idiot. The station should run him out of town.

It was a great game and someone had to loose. I hate it was the Dawgs. Every game has what ifs. No shame it going for it and playing hard. No use in all of that, just tip your hat and say good game and move on.
Go Dawgs!

ALABAMAFOOTBALL

December 2nd, 2012
1:18 am

Great Game. Still worn out. Hope the Dawgs go to New Orleans.

Jimmy

December 2nd, 2012
1:24 am

‘why not,’ are you serious?? That was Chuck that said that?? Wow. I would have thought he had better sense than that. I actually agree w/ his question, but like I said – you can’t ask that question then. You just know you’re not going to get an honest answer. Things are too emotional. Of course he should have stood behind the question and not hid behind “..that’s what I’ve heard others say…” I love his show w/ Chernoff. You know Matt is going to grill him on Monday’s show. haha

Dawg Tired

December 2nd, 2012
1:27 am

Russa thinks he knows more about college football than Nick Saban. What does that make Russa?

Eat Mor Chikin

December 2nd, 2012
1:39 am

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[...] in the Fiesta Bowl as the conference champ and Oklahoma as an at-large selection in the Sugar. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that, as projected earlier, Texas will play its postseason football in Arlington [...]

dawgfan

December 2nd, 2012
1:54 am

I understand that it was a poor time to ask richt about coming up short on big games but a 1-11 record against top ten teams pretty much speaks for itself!!! I guess we just do not have any luck when it comes to those big games. I am just so tired of seeing bama, lsu, or Florida playing for national championships and are left looking from the outside in!!!! What needs to be done??????

Eric C.

December 2nd, 2012
1:55 am

What did Chuck say???