Georgia not readying for Alabama yet

semerson@macon.comNovember 11, 2012 

ATHENS -- Mike Bobo only tried a little to hide his bemusement. The Georgia offensive coordinator was being asked Saturday to break down Alabama’s defense in anticipation of the SEC championship game.

Bobo smiled and kept his answer short.

“I just told you what I’m looking to do, and that’s getting ready to play Georgia Southern,” he said.

It might indeed turn out to be that Georgia plays Alabama on Dec. 1 in Atlanta; actually it is likely, unless Alabama somehow loses to Auburn, a woeful team Georgia routed Saturday to punch its ticket.

But the theme around the Georgia football program for the next two weeks is going to be about the next two games: Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. And even though winning those games is part of any hopes for a national title game appearance, head coach Mark Richt said the focus was elsewhere.

“Quite frankly we’re not doing that right now,” Richt said, when asked if he was talking to the team about the BCS title chances. “We know we’re playing in Atlanta. We know that’s settled now. But we know there’s a lot of work in the meantime, which is the job of getting better on a daily basis.”

The Bulldogs are kind of in suspended animation the next two weeks -- especially on defense.

The next two games are against option teams, meaning Todd Grantham’s unit has to concentrate on an entirely different kind of offense before the assumed matchup with Alabama.

When he was asked about how to approach that dilemma, Grantham alluded to the national title picture -- perhaps breaking a bit from Richt’s claim about not focusing on it.

“These two games are critical, because you never could know what could happen,” Grantham said. “The only thing we control is the SEC. After that we don’t control anything. But we can put ourselves in position that it could mean something even bigger as we move to Atlanta. So we understand that.”

Georgia was fifth in the updated BCS standings, which were released Sunday, and is one spot behind Alabama. But if the Bulldogs are to have a shot at the BCS championship the path seems clear:

• They must win the next three games.

• Two of the three remaining unbeatens (Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame) must lose. BCS analysts agree that right now Georgia is unlikely to finish ahead of any unbeaten team.

So what are the chances of Georgia getting some help?

No. 1 Oregon has games against two, possibly three, ranked teams remaining: Saturday against Stanford, Nov. 24 at Oregon State and Dec. 1 in the Pac-12 championship game.

No. 2 Kansas State has two remaining games at Baylor on Saturday and home against Texas on Dec. 1. The Big 12 doesn’t have a championship game.

No. 3 Notre Dame’s best chance to lose comes Nov. 24, when it visits Southern California. The Fighting Irish host Wake Forest on Saturday.

As for Georgia, it will be a heavy favorite in its next two games, both at home against in-state competition. First up is Georgia Southern, an FCS team which is 8-2 and coming off a 69-26 win over Howard.

“I look at Georgia Southern as a winning program,” Richt said. “I don’t really look at what league they’re in. I know a team that’s used to winning is much more difficult to beat than a team that’s not used to winning. … It’s just like Appalachian State goes to Michigan and beats them. Michigan may have been better off playing a Division I team or whatever you wanna call it that wasn’t used to winning.”

Burnette questionable

Right guard Chris Burnette (shoulder injury) is making progress, but Richt still wasn’t sure if Burnette would be able to play against Georgia Southern.

“We almost took him on the trip to act as an emergency guy. Earlier in the week we thought he was coming on the trip,” Richt said. “But then as we got closer he wasn’t even able to play in an emergency situation. So we let him stay (home) and work on the rehab.”

The turnaround

Aaron Murray posted this tweet on Sunday afternoon, “Woke up a month ago and our house was egged. Woke up this morning as SEC East champs.””

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service