You can argue that Georgia is responsible for two of the most impressive performances by an SEC team this season. No team has looked better than the Bulldogs did on Oct. 11, when they shut out Missouri 34–0 in Columbia. Or last Saturday, when they rolled to a surprisingly easy 34–7 victory over Auburn.
That’s what makes this team’s overall record of 8–2 so maddening. The same team that held Missouri and Auburn to a combined seven points — and also beat Clemson (at full strength) by 24 points and scored 63 points at Kentucky — lost head-scratching games to South Carolina and Florida.
Georgia is clearly good enough to beat any team in the nation but has been unable to play with a sense of urgency on a week-in and week-out basis. There are a lot of teams with the talent to play well against the elite teams on their schedule, but it takes a certain type of mental toughness to handle the weekly grind of an SEC schedule. And it’s not like the Bulldogs are in the SEC West, where you might play three or four top-10 teams in a span of four or five weeks. Georgia’s schedule has been relatively kind — yet Mark Richt’s team still has managed to stub its toe on more than one occasion.
Despite these puzzling setbacks, Georgia is not completely out of the CFB picture. The win over Auburn could vault the Bulldogs — ranked No. 15 last week — back into the top-10. A win over surging Georgia Tech (which has won the ACC Coastal) would add another quality win to the Bulldogs’ résumé. If Missouri loses one of its final two games — at Tennessee and vs. Arkansas — Georgia will find itself back in the SEC Championship Game for the third time in four years. And SEC Champion, even with two losses, will be an attractive candidate for the selection committee.
That all sounds good, but Georgia has yet to show enough consistency to give us reason to believe it can string together two more wins against quality opponents.