ATHENS - Mark Richt was asked by a national writer on Sunday night whether he's spoken to his Georgia football team about the chance it has at making a national title run.
“Quite frankly we’re not doing that right now," Richt answered. "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.”
So that appears to be the mantra over the next couple weeks, at least publicly: Worry about getting better, and not the BCS standings. The rest of us can worry about that.
When the BCS standings were released on Sunday night, Georgia was fifth, right behind Alabama. But in all likelihood, the Bulldogs' situations comes down to this:
- Win the next three games, including the SEC championship against Alabama. (Or LSU or Texas A&M, in the unlikely event Alabama loses to Auburn.)
- Two of the three remaining unbeaten teams must lose. Every BCS analyst believes that a one-loss Georgia would not leapfrog Oregon, Kansas State or Notre Dame.
So what are the chances of Georgia getting the help it needs?
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 anymore.
No. 3 Notre Dame’s best chance to lose comes on 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.”
A few other notes:
- 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."
- Georgia freshman tailback Todd Gurley is 27 yards away from 1,000, and would be the first true freshman to run for that many at Georgia since Herschel Walker. Gurley also ranks second in the SEC in rushing this season, and is first among tailbacks. (Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel leads.)
- Jarvis Jones now leads the nation in tackles-for-loss per game (seven) and is second in sacks per game (1.31). Overall his 10.5 sacks is second in the SEC, behind Damontre Moore of Texas A&M, who has 12.5.
- Aaron Murray has moved into the SEC lead in passing efficiency, and ranks third nationally.
- 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.””