Bulldogs Beat

Pregame blog: What Georgia still has on the line

ATHENS - Much of the air has no doubt been taken out of today's game because of Friday's events. How much that effects the Georgia football team, we shall see.

The larger goals - an SEC title and the national playoff - are off the table now. So what's left for the Bulldogs? Clinching a 10-win season, beating their in-state rival, and getting in better position for a top-tier bowl.

Georgia, which was ranked No. 9 in this week's playoff rankings, is still in very good position for one of the four non-playoff top bowls: Orange, Peach, Cotton and Fiesta. And UCLA's loss on Friday helps, as the Bruins were ranked No. 8.

Of course, Georgia needs to take care of business against Georgia Tech (9-2), which is no sure thing. Conceivably, the Bulldogs could fall to the Citrus or Outback Bowls. Even the Gator and Belk could be on the table, depending on what happens with other SEC teams.

But if the Bulldogs do win, they're in good position for one of those four "other" big bowls. But it wouldn't be automatic.

There is no limit on SEC teams in those top bowls, with as many as six at-large spots. But there are guarantees for other spots, such as the highest-ranked Group of Five team. (A team from the non-Big Five conferences.) So Boise State is now a favorite to be in one of the four major bowls, because of Marshall's loss on Friday.

A Georgia-Boise State rematch in the Georgia Dome? It could happen.

But there's a lot that remains to be resolved on Saturday, and next week.

Pregame feeling

There's not a lot of juice in Sanford Stadium right now, to be frank.

That doesn't mean the Bulldogs aren't fired up, or that the Yellow Jackets are. But it's something to remember in a game that Georgia is heavily favored to win.

Friday's events are obviously a big reason why. But you also have the weather, it's in the high 30s, gradually rising to the low 50s in the afternoon. There's also the noon start, which always sucks a bit out of the pregame atmosphere, at least inside the stadium.

And for all the supposed hate of this opponent, when you've beaten them five straight times, and 12 out of the past 13, that takes out a bit of the antipathy. When Georgia Tech took the field for warmups, you idin't have nearly the kind of boos as Clemson, Auburn and some other teams have drawn here the past couple years.

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