During the first two games of the Georgia Bulldogs' season, things went so poorly that some fans began to call for the head of Mark Richt. Based on the team's play against Boise State and South Carolina, his departure at the end of the season seemed like a mere formality if he couldn't quickly right the ship and get the Dawgs to a January bowl. He's done exactly that, and they will play for an SEC Championship against the LSU Tigers this weekend.
They're underdogs against the No. 1 team in the country, but their run has been extremely impressive and an LSU win isn't as obvious as one might think. As SEC blog Team Speed Kills explains, Georgia are legitimately one of the best teams in the country at present and they deserve to be here.
The issues turned around. Todd Grantham's defense cranked out numbers that would even impress Nick Saban: Top ten rankings in rushing defense, passing efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense. Aaron Murray began to reach his potential, ending up among the Top 15 quarterbacks in the nation in terms of passing efficiency. The rushing offense, plagued by injuries and other forms of attrition, still managed to finish the regular season in the top third of the league.
So Georgia went on to do something that no other team in the conference did, except LSU: Win its last 10 games.
Very few expect the Dawgs to win on Saturday, but they're a lot better than mere "Tigah bait".
For more on this game, keep up with our 2011 SEC Championship StoryStream and SB Nation Atlanta's LSU Vs. Georgia StoryStream. Also, be sure to check out our Georgia blog Dawg Sports and LSU blog And The Valley Shook. Head over to SB Nation NCAA Football and the 2011 Conference Championship Games section for more on Championship Weekend.