Oct 21, 2011

2011 UGA compared to 2007 UGA at this point

Remember the UGA team that after playing 7 games (5-2) and struggling to beat Vandy in Nashville, went on to become one of the best teams in the country to end the season?

That was the 2007 Georgia Bulldogs, but could it also be the 2011 UGA team?

The past couple of years have made Georgia fans much more pessimistic about our team and program.  A 5-game win streak right now should be a big deal, but most of us instead say, "Well we've beaten no good teams" or "we have an easy schedule."  So let's take a look at 2007's UGA at this same point, one of the best teams of the past decade.

The 2007 team started the season with an overhyped Oklahoma State who was supposed to be great.  We won that game and thought we were great, but no one knew that OSU would end up going 7-6.  That win was probably about as good as our win at home this year against Mississippi State.  But perspective at the time made it seem much bigger.

Then the 2007 team then lost a horrible, boring game at home to South Carolina.  But South Carolina was horrible that year and went 6-6.  It was a bad loss, to a bad team.  The South Carolina team we should have beaten this year was much better, and even with losing Garcia and Lattimore they'll still probably end up at least 8-4.  It was a much worse loss in 2007.

Then the 2007 team destroyed Western Carolina 45-16, but not as impressively as we beat Coastal Carolina this year 59-0.

Once again, another huge game at Alabama.  Georgia won a thriller in overtime.  We were great again!  But guess what?  Alabama finished the season 7-6 and lost to Louisiana Monroe that year.  It wasn't as great of a win as it looked.

We then easily handled Mississippi (just like we did this year), followed by a horrible, blowout loss to Tennessee in Knoxville.  Tennessee was a good, but not great, team in 2007 that finished 10-4.

And then finally, in mid-October, we went to Nashville to play the lowly Commodes, and snuck out of the game on a last second field goal from Brandon Coutu to win 20-17.  We thought this year's game was bad, even though we were winning easily most of the game and almost let them come back.  In 2007, it was a struggle through the whole game.

So comparing the 2 seasons: Our 2 losses in 2007 were much worse than the ones in 2011.  We lost at home to a 6-6 South Carolina and in Knoxville to a good Tennessee.  In 2011, we lost to a top 5 Boise State team and a good (before injuries) South Carolina team.

Our wins so far in 2011 are pretty much comparable to 2007, except we've more easily handled opponents, despite playing too conservatively late in the game and letting teams come back.  In 2007, though, we still look at those wins as good ones, just because at the time they were played, our opponents were overhyped (see Oklahoma State and Alabama).

So going into the Florida game this year, our team actually has a BETTER resume than in 2007.  Could we get a repeat of that year, but this time with our East competition actually losing when they should?