Sep 30, 2009

Why LSU could be our most important game

It's funny, or sad I guess, how there's such a lack of hype about our upcoming test this weekend versus LSU. It's to be expected that national media (ESPN) would focus more on Oklahoma at Miami and Cal at USC, considering those games are appearing on their networks, but still, there's a strange silence surrounding our huge SEC matchup.

Even in the online world where words are flung like textual bullets, the smack talk has been at a minimum. Georgia fans seem cautious, yet slightly confident. We know that our team has potential to be great and to win any game, but our constant turnovers and occasional lack of defense has tempered our expectations. LSU fans, although ranked #4 in the country, seem equally as worried after similar lackluster performances from their team. And fans of other teams, or those whom I've seen, agree that LSU is overrated, but Georgia is nothing special either.

However, this could be the most important game of the season for UGA. Our contest against LSU is considered by most to be our 2nd most difficult game (behind Florida), but that really remains to be seen. And the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville will likely determine whether it's Georgia or Florida that will win the SEC East. But this weekend at home versus the LSU Tigers? It could be the proving game for the entire season.

Last year that game was Alabama. Georgia failed the test, and followed with similar disappointments. Is it possible that, had UGA won that blackout game a year ago, they would have won other important games (Florida and Tech) and carried on with their momentum?

And this year it's LSU. If this Georgia Bulldogs team can beat the #4 ranked team this Saturday, things will be in place for a spectacular season. With this victory, games against Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Auburn, and Georgia Tech all seem very manageable. The Florida game would still remain as important and difficult, but Georgia would have momentum and perhaps newfound expectations. The Florida at LSU game is already being talked about as UF's toughest game of the season (of course ignoring Georgia's importance still). So if Georgia beats LSU, it would only be reasonable that the media would find Georgia to be Florida's most important opponent (as they should be), and maybe Dawg fans would start to believe that we can beat the Gators in Jacksonville.

But if Georgia loses against LSU? The season would be far from over, and the SEC Championship would still be within reach, but it would seem like a much more difficult (and unlikely) goal.

It could be the crossroads for the entire season. And it's coming this Saturday to Athens, Between the Hedges.

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