Georgia gets chance to make statement

dshirley@macon.comJanuary 2, 2012 

It’s unusual for a college football team to go through a full season and its fans not really have a complete feeling about the team.

Enter the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs carry a 10-3 record into the Outback Bowl on Monday against Michigan State. It looks like a pretty good matchup of two fairly strong teams (both teams are ranked, and both lost in their conference championship games), but some people still not exactly sure what to think of the Bulldogs.

Georgia did win 10 straight games, but it beat 10 teams that just weren’t very good. The Bulldogs certainly have nothing to be ashamed of or to apologize for with their SEC East title, but it can’t be denied that Georgia took advantage of an easier than usual schedule in the conference.

The three times Georgia had a chance to make a statement, it made the wrong one. Boise State in the season opener and LSU in the SEC championship game both manhandled the Bulldogs and made them look pretty bad in doing so. In Georgia’s other key game, it had a chance to beat South Carolina, but it couldn’t get out of its own way with penalties and turnovers as it pretty much handed the Gamecocks a victory.

That leads us to Monday’s game, which is a chance for Georgia and its fans to finally find out what the team has to offer. The Spartans are on about the same level with the Bulldogs, and that offers Georgia an opportunity to get a statement win that it has longed for this season.

The Bulldogs’ best win of the season so far has to be its rout of Auburn, but beating Michigan State would certainly top that. It would be the win that Georgia could point to entering the offseason, in recruiting and for spring practice, as it prepares for the 2012 season.

And it would let the Bulldogs’ fans finally know what kind of team they have this season.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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