Friday, June 7, 2013

BCS era - Dawgs' report card

I've been reminiscing a bit. Yes, always a dangerous proposition. But as we head into the final season for the BCS, it's good to look back and recall just where our team fit into the landscape. After this I'll also look at the specific highs and lows for Georgia as well as what the perfect ending might be.

To semi-objectify this, I am placing all of the pre-expansion SEC teams into tiers.

Tier 1 - Bama  Florida  LSU   Auburn   Tennessee

So to start things off at the top, if FSU was the early winner in the BCS sweepstakes (making the first three title games, winning one), Alabama lead the charge with flying colors at the end (winning the last three of four). Also in the top tier you'd have to put LSU who won two of three title games, Florida who won both the 2006 and 2008 title games, and Auburn and Tennessee who added one each. Although Tennessee winning one in the first year of the BCS seems like ages ago compared to where they are now. Still, they get "top tier" based in the one title, right?

Tier 2 - Georgia  Arkansas

With that out of the way, Georgia leads the way for the second tier teams - ones that participated in the discussion as well as the second tier BCS bowls. Richt's team had a solid argument in 2007 and came within a breath of the championship game last season. The Dawgs went to the Sugar Bowl three times, winning twice. Then there's only one other team to make a BCS Bowl game that didn't make the title game, Arkansas. And they hold the distinction of losing to Ohio State.

Tier 3 - South Carolina    Mississippi State    Kentucky    Vanderbilt    Ole Miss

South Carolina seems as odd a fit here as Tennessee does at the top. But the lines are drawn, and based on my research the Gamecocks did not make a BCS Bowl. But they did make four Outback Bowls and one Capital One Bowl, which clearly elevates them above the rest in this lot. Has Ole Miss even been to bowl game? Ever?

Back to Georgia. Based on this breakdown I'd give Mark Richt and the program a solid B. They did enough at the right time to enter into the discussion and the national arguments in late November/early December. But they didn't do enough at the right time to elevate to the upper crust.

And it's easy to see that grade of B when relating it to most of the other teams. Alabama sets the curve with an A+; Florida and LSU a solid A for their titles as well as their complete body of work; Auburn an A- for their title and a decent body of work to go along with it; I'd give Arkansas and Carolina a B- and the rest C's , D's and complete failures.

But Tennessee man. Their just a square peg. Given my breakdown here you'd give them an A-. But hard to argue that Georgia hasn't done more over the course of the BCS era. Still, you make your own luck I guess.

Would you trade our own streak of bowl games, which spans all the way back to the 1997 Outback Bowl, for the Tennessee's trophy? Before you answer that question, check the next post.