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Even after a stunning domination in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, it's still too early to call the Bulldogs a great team. But you can go ahead and say they're a really, really good one again.
The Bulldogs and Tigers are primed to meet in the SEC Championship, unless a series of miracle upsets gives South Carolina and Alabama new life.
Georgia moves up one spot this week to No. 14 in the latest BCS Rankings for Week 12. Fresh off of its dominating victory over Auburn, the Bulldogs are just a win over Kentucky away from clinching a spot in the SEC Championship game.
There was a slight shuffling of the rankings this week with Boise State and Stanford suffering losses. LSU remains at the top and is followed again by Oklahoma State and Alabama. Oregon is this week's big mover jumping from No. 7 last week to No. 4 this week. Oklahoma remains at No. 5 in this week's rankings.
Arkansas checks in at No. 6 and is followed by the two likely participants of the upcoming ACC Championship game in No. 7 Clemson and No. 8 Virginia Tech. Stanford falls from No. 4 to No. 9 after losing to Oregon and Boise State drops five spots to No. 10 after its loss to TCU.
After losing to Virginia Tech on Thursday, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fall out of this week's rankings.
Here is a look at the full BCS Rankings for Week 12:
|BCS||Harris Poll||USA Today||Computer Rankings|
Georgia checks in at No. 13 in the latest AP Top 25 poll after its big victory over Auburn. Georgia Tech drops out of the poll after losing to Virginia Tech on Thursday.
The Georgia Bulldogs keep on winning and keep rising up the rankings, now sit at No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll this week.
Georgia is projected to go to the Cotton Bowl and Georgia Tech is expected to go to the Music City Bowl in the latest bowl projectons.
Georgia should move into a top-14, spot which allows teams to be taken as an at-large selection, but with the SEC having three teams ahead of Georgia, the only for the Dawgs to make a BCS bowl game is to win the SEC.
The Georgia Bulldogs still control their own destiny in the SEC East, needing only a win against the Kentucky Wildcats to reach the SEC Championship Game. They did this by beating the Auburn Tigers, 45-7, I should say.
Aaron Murray threw four touchdowns in 18 attempts, while Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas combined to run for 259 yards. The Dawgs outgained Auburn by 333 yards, forced three turnovers, had to punt only once, and more than tripled the Tigers' first down total. #beatemdown
If the Dawgs can get past Kentucky (...) they'll have a chance to make some serious noise on the national stage against LSU, Alabama, or maybe even Arkansas. For a season that began with a coach on the hot seat after a loss in the Dome, a return to the same venue marks an impressive achievement.
The Georgia Bulldogs need to beat the Auburn Tigers to assure themselves of the SEC East championship. This is assuming a win against the Kentucky Wildcats, of course. With a 35-7 halftime lead, the Dawgs are well on their way to their second game in Atlanta this season.
Aaron Murray has four touchdowns on only 16 attempts, while Carlton Thomas has contributed 72 yards on the ground. Malcolm Mitchell, making his return after missed time due to injury, has 85 yards through the air. And other than Emory Blake, Auburn's been able to do nothing on offense. He has 63 of their 89 yards.
And yes, it's time to tune up the band:
The Georgia Bulldogs entered their game against the Auburn Tigers favored by two touchdowns, for some reason. They've scored two touchdowns, but have allowed one. They'll need another, you see. It's 14-0, Dawgs.
Marietta's own Philip Lutzenkirchen scored on a bit of trickery for Auburn. Receiver C.J. Uzomah threw a goal line pass into the future fantasy football stud's waiting arms, but Georgia responded with a fine catch of its own. Michael Bennett, who's emerged as one of UGA's best receiving options, made an outstanding grab in the end zone to give Aaron Murray his second score of the afternoon.
The Georgia Bulldogs took the field against the Auburn Tigers knowing they need a win to remain in the running for the SEC title game. After the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Florida Gators earlier in the day, the Dawgs were in the position of needing two straight SEC wins to take the East.
Not a bad start: Malcolm Mitchell, in his first action after missing three games, caught a 45-yard catch-and-stumble to set up a seven-yard Tavarres King touchdown. It's 7-0, Dawgs, about halfway through the first. Aaron Murray completed three of five to give himself 57 early yards, while Isaiah Crowell has yet to get it going, rushing for 12 yards on five totes.
Auburn has responded with a little drive of its own. Marietta native Philip Lutzenkirchen caught his first pass of the day to near midfield. He's called this game his personal Iron Bowl, by the way.
The Bulldogs will enter Saturday's game against rival Auburn enjoying the heaviest favored spread (-12) in the last decade of this rivalry. So far in their 7-2 season, Georgia has performed well against the spread (6-3), but the history of the South's oldest rivalry has been dead even in the last decade. UGA holds a 4-6 advantage, but both teams are 5-5 against the spread, averaging close to the same number of points scored (26.4 for the Bulldogs, 22.8 for the Tigers) and total yards (367 for UGA, 338 for AU).
Of all the projected matchups, the most lopsided in favor of the Bulldogs is Auburn's shaky passing on the road versus Georgia's ever-improving home defense. In the post Cam Newton era, Tigers are managing only 143 yards passing away from home this season, while the Bulldogs' secondary has been stout in Athens, allowing 177 total yards passing at home (25th nationally).
If you're looking to bet the over/under, Georgia has been tricky: The Dawgs have hit the under in four of their last six games, but have also hit the over in four of their last five at home (likely skewed by New Mexico State and a shootout against South Carolina).
Our favorite two diametrically opposed personalities debate the outcome of yet another season-defining game for the Bulldogs.
Georgia Bulldogs fans have been teased for the first half of the season with the exploits of freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell this season. After excelling early on to the degree of 25 catches, 438 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, the young wideout has missed the last three games due to an injured hamstring suffered against Tennessee Volunteers.
However, word on the street is that Mitchell's on his way back and ready to go against the No. 20 Auburn Tigers this Saturday:
@AnthonyDasher1 Anthony Dasher - Coach Richt said Malcolm Mitchell practiced 100 percent with team today and is ready for Auburn
If Mitchell returns, he'll add another talented cog onto a team that is on a seven-game winning streak, a No. 15 national ranking and now is thinking about a trip to the SEC Championship in Atlanta. Hard to think this was all possible two months ago.
Saturday's game against Auburn is the biggest game of the season to date for the Bulldogs. With a win and a South Carolina loss, Georgia would clinch a spot in the SEC Championship game which seemed improbable following the first two weeks of the season.
The Bulldogs are expecting to get some key pieces back just in time to take on the Tigers. Mark Richt said that running back Isiah Crowell would return from his one game suspension and would take his place in the starting lineup. Georgia is also expecting freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell to return from a hamstring injury that he suffered against Tennessee. Mitchell has missed the Bulldogs' last three games.
Game date, time: Saturday, November 12, 3:30pm ET
Location: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
Radio: WSB AM 750
The Georgia Bulldogs open as surprising 13 point favorite over the visiting Auburn Tigers in a game that will likely define the Bulldogs season. With that high of a spread it is not very surprising that 70 percent of picks are going Auburn's way according to Oddshark.com.
The Bulldogs are 6-3 against the spread this season and 4-1 in their last five games. Georgia is 4-1 against Auburn in the last five meetings between the two schools. Auburn enters Saturday's game with a 6-3 record but is just 4-5 against the spread in 2011. Furthermore Auburn has covered just six times in its last 18 road games. Still 13 points is a lot for a game with so much at stake.
The over/under for the game opens at 52.5. Georgia has gone over the number in four of its last five games while Auburn has gone under in four of its last six. However, if history is any indication, these two times score a lot of points when they get together as the total has gone over in four of the last six meetings between Georgia and Auburn.
While the "Game of the Century" took over the headlines last week, this week's SEC slate might prove to be most vital in determining an SEC conference champion.
The Dawgs have had plenty of experience dealing with adversity the last few years. This week we'll find out if they still remember how to deal with success.
Georgia could get a big offensive weapon back this week as Malcolm Mitchell is finally expected to return from a hamstring injury.
Georgia-Auburn has always been one of the friendlier SEC rivalries on the Dawgs' annual slate, but you wouldn't have gotten that impression toward the end of last year's game on the Plains. A blatant illegal hit by Nick Fairley, a retaliatory gesture by the Georgia offensive line, a near-fistfight in the closing minutes . . . and, of course, it didn't help that Auburn won by 18 and roared to a national title behind a couple of the more controversial players of the 2010 season. Georgia won't be able to exact their revenge against Fairley or Cam Newton this year, as both players parlayed superb junior seasons into first-round selections in the NFL draft. Unfortunately for Auburn, that's only the tip of the iceberg in terms of missing players this year -- between early departures, graduations and offseason dismissals, the Tigers return less starting experience than any other team in the country, and it's not even close. A perfect time, then, for Georgia to get their revenge and earn a critical late-season win.
BETTER KNOW THE TIGERS
Coach: Gene Chizik, 22-5 in two seasons at Auburn; 27-24 overall
Last season: 14-0, 8-0 SEC East (1st); beat South Carolina 56-17 in the SEC Championship Game; beat Oregon 22-19 in the BCS National Championship Game; ranked 1st in the final AP poll
Returning starters for 2011: 6 (three offense, three defense, zero special teams)
Key returners: RB Michael Dyer, RB Onterio McCalebb, DE Nosa Eguae, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen
Key losses: QB Cam Newton, DT Nick Fairley, OT Lee Ziemba, C Ryan Pugh
Best-case scenario: The Dawgs retain vivid memories of the second-half punishment they received from the Tigers last year and rain fire on Auburn's decimated defense, while a front seven that's much bigger and tougher than last year's manhandles the Tigers' inexperienced offensive line and holds Dyer and McCalebb in check. The personnel losses on the Auburn side are really quite astounding -- Eguae, a sophomore, is now the grizzled veteran of the front seven, while the offensive line loses more than 130 career starts with the departures of Ziemba, Pugh and guard Mike Berry and may only have 15 total among their starting five this season. In a season when the SEC East is still very much up in the air and the Dawgs might still be in the running for the division crown in November, this sets up as a great opportunity for a big win.
Worst-case scenario: The more experienced Georgia D still can't keep Gus Malzahn from hanging another fat point total around their necks and the Dawgs go down in an upset. Sure, that might seem far-fetched at a time when Auburn has just lost a once-in-a-generation superstar, but consider that in Malzahn's first year on the Plains, he resurrected an Auburn offense that had gone in the tank under Tommy Tuberville and guided them to a second-place finish in the SEC in total yardage -- with Chris Todd as his quarterback. Granted, he had a much more experienced offensive line to deal with, but the way Auburn has recruited the last couple seasons, he isn't going to lack for raw talent. If the Dawgs can't corral Dyer and McCalebb any more soundly than they did some of the better tailbacks on their schedule last year, this will be a dogfight even with the Tigers limping in undermanned.