The vast majority of the college football world already knew that the Georgia Bulldogs were the team to beat. However, week 10 performances by both the Dawgs and others solidified such a standpoint.
A good chunk of the nation’s top teams failed to wow anyone this last weekend. Oklahoma even looked better than a good deal of them (and the Sooners were on a bye).
Of the nine schools that did participate in week 10, seven won while two lost. Of the seven victories, four of them were decided by margins of 10 points or less. The only three participants that looked at least halfway-decent were Georgia, Michigan, and Notre Dame, respectively.
How Did the Georgia Bulldogs Look?
The Dawgs did exactly what was expected of them against Missouri. The defense held them to nothing, while the offense ran up and down the field. In the end, UGA had the Tigers entirely out of their element on the way to a 43-6 beatdown.
Statistically, the game was as lopsided as the final score. Bulldogs quarterback J.T. Daniels came in late to finish off Mizzou, throwing for 82 yards on just seven completions. Meanwhile, Brady Cook (Missouri’s leading passer in the affair) threw for only 78 yards on twice as many completions.
In total, UGA had 505 total yards on offense to 273 for the Tigers. Also the former racked up five touchdowns while the latter failed to even score one. All of that makes for quite a mismatch on the gridiron.
With the win, Georgia moved up to 9-0 on the season, with a 7-0 record in league play. Was the win in itself particularly “impressive?” No, not really (remember, this was Missouri; the Dawgs were expected to roll over them). However, at least the performance lived up to what the CFB community thought should have happened. The same cannot be said for most of the other names being thrown around in the playoff discussion.
How About the Rest of the Top Five?
Similar to UGA, the rest of the top 10 powers faced off against noticeably-inferior opponents. But that’s just about where the similarities end. Working our way down the College Football Playoff committee’s rankings (before Tuesday, November 9th), let’s take quick looks at how everyone else held up.
For starters, we have number-2 Alabama. The Tide faced off against the 4-4 LSU Tigers in Tuscaloosa, which should have been an easy win for the former. The game came down to the final seconds, though, as a failed shot to the end zone left the Tigers defeated by a final tally of 20-14. Tide fans are angry at the dormant offense most namely, as it scored only 20 (with the help of turnovers); they have even gone as far as declaring that they do not look playoff-worthy. Yikes.
Third place Michigan State was one of the two who actually lost this last Saturday, falling to Purdue on the road by a score of 40-29. The Boilermakers are now 6-3 with a pair of top-5 wins, so they are clearly strong this year. But nonetheless, that Spartans performance was inexcusable.
As for the Second Half of the Top 10?
The bottom scene doesn’t exactly make things any prettier. To tie a bow on the nail-biting victories, Group of 5 hopeful Cincinnati threw some more gas on the fire of their playoff argument. How did they do so this time, you ask? By Tulsa having to lay an egg at the goal line to secure their loss. With a final score of 28-20, the Bearcats are just not doing enough with the little bit that they have.
Number seven Michigan beat up on Indiana, 29-7 following a slow start. Not bad, but not great either. Ninth place Wake Forest fell in what was expected to be their biggest challenge yet, losing in a shootout to UNC in Chapel Hill, 58-55. Lastly, Notre Dame crushed Navy 34-6. But even that only means so much when the Midshipmen have just two wins today.
The Takeaway for the Georgia Bulldogs
As we established from the start, it’s the Georgia Bulldogs world, and everybody else is merely surviving in it.
Between now and selection Day, the Alabama Crimson Tide were supposed to meet the Dawgs in the SEC title game and be by far their biggest obstacle in securing a spot in the bracket. However, Alabama doesn’t look better than any other top-tier team. Their mortality is so evident that, if UGA were to face them today, the Dawgs would put the game away with little-to-no struggling involved. And if Bama can’t touch them, who can?
Georgia’s defense is booming (having not allowed more than 13 points in a game so far this season), and they’ve broken 30 points in all but one of their matchups. Until further notice, there’s not only a new king in the Southeastern Conference but also a new king in college football as a whole.