Maybe for the first time since trouncing Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl last January, the Georgia Bulldogs’ express has slowed down and lost some momentum.
In a little bit of a stunning vote, the Florida Gators, not the Bulldogs, were the media’s pick to win the Eastern Division and the SEC championship.
Georgia has been the consensus pick to win the conference (and maybe even the national championship) throughout the preseason. It all stemmed from the incredible momentum the Bulldogs generated with the way they closed out the 2007 season. This all got started with the huge win in Jacksonville over the Gators back on Oct. 27. Sparked by the planned team celebration following their first touchdown, the Bulldogs have been a different team ever since.
A much more emotional and confident team.
They followed that win with victories over Troy, Auburn (in a blowout in Athens), Kentucky, Georgia Tech and then Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. Rotating players in and out of the lineup throughout the game, the Bulldogs looked pretty invincible in the 41-10 victory over undefeated Hawaii. And with most of those players coming back, including tailback Knowshon Moreno (who killed the Gators) and quarterback Matthew Stafford (who killed the Gators), the ‘Dogs have been labeled a serious (and leading) national championship contender.
The only weakness Georgia has ” and probably the only reason the ‘Dogs
are not the media’s pick to win the SEC ” is that brutal schedule that includes South Carolina, Arizona State, LSU and Auburn on the road and home dates with Alabama and Tennessee. Looking down the 12-game gauntlet, there really are no easy games, and that includes the opener against a tough Georgia Southern team with a great history of success.
So, it’s going to be a tough road for the ‘Dogs.
Actually, instead of looking at the media’s vote in Hoover, Ala., as a momentum-killer, the ‘Dogs probably should be thanking those who cover the league for picking someone else. With all the expectations weighing down on this Georgia team, maybe this will be kind of a welcome relief.
It also means the Gators are no longer flying a little under the radar in the division. They’ve also got a target on their back now.