It has to be tough to think about.
Georgia entered last Saturday’s game against Tennessee knowing it couldn’t afford another loss when it came to the SEC East race. Of course, mathematically there’s still a great chance Georgia can get the job done. It’s as simple as winning out with Florida and Tennessee both losing SEC games.
If those things happen, Georgia will represent the East in Atlanta.
But still, that’s easier said than done. The Bulldogs are not in a favorable position. They no longer are in control of their goals. That alone makes things difficult for head coach Mark Richt, who said Saturday night that it’s not a position he enjoys being in.
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“It’s no fun, it’s hard to sleep on a night like tonight,” Richt said shortly after Saturday’s 38-31 loss. “It’s going to be hard to wake up and know that it happened. “
But that’s the reality of Georgia’s situation. Once again, it’s playing a season from behind. Florida is still undefeated and Tennessee now holds a divisional tiebreaker over the Bulldogs. Even in 2012, when Georgia’s lone regular-season loss was to South Carolina, there was some doubt in place because the Gamecocks needed to then lose two conference games for Georgia to be back in control of the East.
Fortunately for Georgia, that occurred and the Bulldogs reached the SEC Championship.
Losing once is something a college football team can get over, especially now that four teams reach the College Football Playoff. Losing twice? That’s tough to overcome unless a lot of fortunate breaks come your way.
Leading into the Tennessee game, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was asked about how different the week-to-week approach to the college game is for him compared to the NFL. When he was calling plays for the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams, Schottenheimer’s teams could lose a game, regroup and know it’s not necessarily the end of the road.
In college? That second loss is usually a deciding factor in a championship team or not.
“In the NFL you can lose a couple of games and you’re like, ‘Yeah, we’ll be all right, we have 14 more,’” Schottenheimer said last week.
The Bulldogs are now unranked for the first time since 2013 after this second loss. They’ve given up 38 points in two consecutive games for the first time since 2008 – when Georgia had this happen three times in a row (a win over LSU 52-38, a loss to Florida 49-10 and a win over Kentucky 42-38).
Georgia’s in dangerous territory now with its season on the brink. Win out and get some luck, and maybe Georgia’s back in the mix.
However, the body language of Georgia’s players said it all post-game Saturday night. They know how difficult it will be to accomplish the goals they set out this preseason.
But as senior Malcolm Mitchell said, this team can’t afford to hang up the cleats at any time this year.
“The most dishonorable thing to the 'G' is to give up,” Mitchell said.
Hitting the links
Nick Chubb's 2015 season is over after tearing multiple ligaments in his knee.
Jordan Jenkins is "day-to-day" with a hip flexor strain.
What we now know following Georgia's loss to Tennessee.
Georgia once again received some poor grades following its game against Tennessee.
The Telegraph's Daniel Shirley put together the biggest story lines in the SEC heading into this week.
The AJC's Bill King writes that Georgia is an average team at best this season.
Dawgs247's Jake Rowe writes that Georgia needs more of Malcolm Mitchell on offense the rest of this season.
The Senator writes about how the Brian Schottenheimer-Greyson Lambert working relationship could still be a work in progress.
My top 25
1. Ohio State (6-0) (Last week: No. 1)
2. Baylor (5-0) (Last week: No. 2)
3. Clemson (5-0) (Last week: No. 3)
4. LSU (5-0) (Last week: No. 4)
5. Utah (5-0) (Last week: No. 5)
6. Texas A&M (5-0) (Last week: No. 7)
7. Alabama (5-1) (Last week: No. 8)
8. Florida (6-0) (Last week: No. 9)
9. Florida State (5-0) (Last week: No. 10)
10. Michigan State (6-0) (Last week: No. 6)
11. Michigan (5-1) (Last week: No. 16)
12. Mississippi (5-1) (Last week: No. 14)
13. Notre Dame (5-1) (Last week: No. 15)
14. TCU (6-0) (Last week: No. 12)
15. Stanford (4-1) (Last week: No. 18)
16. Iowa (6-0) (Last week: No. 20)
17. Oklahoma State (6-0) (Last week: No. 21)
18. Oklahoma (4-1) (Last week: No. 11)
19. Northwestern (5-1) (Last week: No. 13)
20. Toledo (5-0) (Last week: No. 22)
21. UCLA (4-1) (Last week: No. 24)
22. Duke (5-1) (Last week: No. 25)
23. Houston (5-0) (Last week: NR)
24. California (5-1) (Last week: No. 23)
25. Boise State (5-1) (Last week: NR)
Dropped out: Georgia (3-2), USC (3-2)
Richt on if his team will be able to "get back off the mat" this week against Missouri: "I think these guys are pretty resilient. I think they like football. I think they understand it’s gonna be a great challenge and a great opportunity and a great atmosphere that our fans are going to provide this weekend, in a night game under the lights. And still an awful lot to play for. So I think they’ll be fine.”
Song of the day
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones