Georgia vs. Florida: Bulldogs Back in BCS Hunt, but 1 Loss Could Haunt Them

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterOctober 27, 2012

It was ugly; it was sloppy; it was one of those parties where you ask yourself why you even bothered.

But for No. 10 Georgia, it was one of the most memorable World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Parties in recent memory.

Luckily for Georgia, style points didn't matter in its 17-9 win over No. 2 Florida in Jacksonville. Aaron Murray threw three picks, the Bulldogs committed 14 penalties and the game was riddled with sloppy play from the moment toe met leather for the opening kick.

But it doesn't matter. It was a win over the Bulldogs' biggest rival in a game that has been a nuisance for more than two decades. 

You take those any time you can get them, even if it is ugly in the process.

In Georgia's previous two games—a road loss to South Carolina and a road win against lowly Kentucky—its running game was missing in action. 

On Saturday against the Gators, Todd Gurley rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown against a Florida defense that ranked third in the SEC in rushing defense coming into the game.

If Georgia can get those two phases of the game to click and play defense like it did in Jacksonville, this is a dangerous team that can make some noise.

How much noise?

If Georgia runs the table—and considering its remaining games are versus Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech left, that certainly seems reasonable—can you hold it out of the BCS National Championship Game? What if it beats Alabama or LSU in the SEC championship game?

It would depend on what teams outside of the SEC do, of course, but it would be difficult for voters to give the Bulldogs the benefit of the doubt with a 35-7 loss on their resume.

Because of that loss, Georgia needs to forget about the BCS, even though the win over Florida will likely vault the Bulldogs up from their No. 10 spot in the standings.

Georgia needs to focus on becoming more consistent and making sure its rushing attack, passing game and defense click at the same time just to ensure that it makes the SEC championship game.

The SEC finale against Auburn is a given at this point, but Ole Miss is coming off a big road win over Arkansas in Little Rock and has the type of offense that can give the Bulldogs fits if defensive coordinator Todd Grantham isn't careful.

The win over Florida will put the Georgia Bulldogs back in BCS title contention on paper, but games aren't played on paper. The one played on the field on October 6 in Columbia, S.C., that the Bulldogs dropped will prevent them from being in the legitimate title hunt. 

Because of that, Georgia shouldn't concern itself with the big picture and just focus on next week against Ole Miss.