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Starting 11: Georgia Flexes Its Dominance Edition

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Happy Halloween!

Yesterday I started off my day in Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, got home just in time for our Halloween party and now feel like I already need a long nap to get ready for the day’s sports to come. We’ve got 13 NFL games, World Series game 5 between the Astros and the Braves, and Halloween.

We’ve all got to pace ourselves here.

How about the state of Georgia’s sports day? Your number one ranked Bulldogs put a whipping on the Florida Gators in the cocktail party and then the Braves took a 3-1 World Series lead at night. We’re talking about one of the greatest days in Georgia sports fan history.

I know, I know, all of you expect for a collapse to occur at some point based on Atlanta and Georgia’s recent sports history, but can you imagine if the Braves and the Bulldogs both won titles in the same year? Talk about blowing up a narrative.

That would be incredible to see.

As would, by the way, the Braves closing out the Astros in five games and Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, who pulled the All Star Game out of the city of Atlanta, having to present the World Series trophy to the Braves at Truist Park tonight.

Can you imagine the fan reaction? I get giddy just thinking about it.

I also love that the Braves have more fervently adopted the tomahawk chop now that the woke losers are attacking them for doing it. It’s way past time for reasonable fans to fight back against sports cancel culture.

Speaking of which, here’s President Trump doing the tomahawk chop last night.

1. We aren’t talking enough about this Georgia defense.

The Bulldogs have given up 53 total points all season long.

53!

That’s an average of less than a touchdown a game so far. This kind of defensive performance would be extraordinary in any era of college football, but to be doing it in this era of high octane offenses is even more remarkable. Georgia isn’t just dominating defensively, they are dominating defensively when no one else out there is doing this at all.

Putting the 53 points into even further context, the second best defense in the SEC, Alabama, has given up 165 points so far on the season. Georgia is over 100 points better than the second best defense in the SEC! I bet that has never happened in SEC history before.

Given that the Bulldogs have Missouri, at Tennessee, Charleston Southern and at Georgia Tech left on the schedule, it’s hard to believe Georgia won’t be 12-0 in Atlanta with a playoff spot locked up no matter what happens against, theoretically, Alabama in the SEC title game. (But watch out because Auburn is still alive in the SEC West too and the Iron Bowl can always be wacky, particularly when the game is on the Plains).

2. Is Florida having a one year decline which will be corrected next season or is there more to worry about here?

I asked you guys the question yesterday and most of you thought there was more to worry about than just one year’s decline.

I tend to disagree with the majority here and think that if Florida can keep Anthony Richardson at the school that he’s an incredible talent Dan Mullen can get rolling next year. But given that Florida is now 2-8 in their last ten FBS games against power five opponents, I can see why Gator fans are nervous. (The two wins, by the way, are Tennessee and Vanderbilt.)

And if Dan Mullen lost a couple of early games next season, he could find himself on the hot seat in a real hurry.

3. Michigan State dealt Jim Harbaugh yet another big game loss.

Then didn’t even storm the field after their comeback win because they expected to beat the Wolverines, which felt like even more salt in the wounds.

Harbaugh is now 2-13 against top ten opponents and just 3-9 against his two biggest rivals Ohio State and Michigan State.

The Wolverines still have a decent shot to be playing Ohio State in Ann Arbor for the Big Ten East title, but it’s understandable that Michigan fans would have zero faith in winning that game. Put simply, just about every time Harbaugh has had a chance to win a big game, his team has choked.

On the other sideline, how about Kenneth Walker? Five touchdowns?! He’s likely to be a Heisman finalist. Plus, what an incredible job by Mel Tucker this season. I don’t see any way Tucker isn’t the national coach of the year. The Spartans are 8-0 and their preseason win total projection was 5.5. Now the big question is this: how long will Tucker be in East Lansing?

4. Ohio State outlasted Penn State to remain the Big Ten title favorite.

If Ohio State finishes 12-1, the only way I don’t see them in the playoff is if the following happens: Alabama and Georgia both finish 12-1, which would mean the Crimson Tide beats Georgia in the SEC title game. Oklahoma goes 13-0. And Oregon goes 12-1 to win the Pac 12 title.

That’s the only scenario where I see the 12-1 Buckeyes not in the playoff.

And I don’t think that is very likely at all.

But to get to 12-1 Ohio State will have to win at Nebraska — sidenote, what a mess the Cornhuskers are — beat Purdue, and then beat Michigan State, win at Michigan, and probably beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game all in consecutive weeks.

That’s still a pretty tall order to pull off for the Buckeyes.

5. Oregon, Oklahoma, and Cincinnati all held serve in the playoff race.

Essentially there are eight real playoff contenders at this point: Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Oregon. I know there are a couple of additional Big 12 teams that would argue they have a shot, but the playoff race in the final month feels like it’s essentially going to be these eight teams.

The most interesting resume here might be Alabama. If Georgia can beat them in the SEC title game the 11-2 Tide, who Vegas would say is the second best team in college football, would (barring true chaos) probably be out of the playoff mix.

Which means that Texas A&M game just looms so large right now. If the Tide hadn’t lost that one, we’d be rolling towards an SEC title game and national title rematch.

6. FanDuel’s national title odds now have Georgia -110 to win the title.

That makes the Bulldogs a pretty big favorite, especially with all of November and the SEC title game still to go.

Here are the rest of the top title contenders.

Alabama 3-1
Ohio State 4-1
Oklahoma 20-1
Cincinnati 40-1
Oregon 50-1
Baylor 80-1
Michigan State 80-1
Michigan 100-1

As you can see oddsmakers are effectively making this a three horse race for the national title: Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State are head and shoulders above everyone else.

I still feel like there’s some value on Oregon and if you had any faith at all in Michigan to ever beat Ohio State, you could put some money on the Wolverines.

The name that might surprise some fans here is Baylor, which no one is talking about at all.

But I continue to believe your most likely playoff is Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State.

7. Just a couple of weeks after being number two in the country, Iowa doesn’t look like a top 25 team.

This offense is downright embarrassing and Wisconsin, left for dead after a third loss on the season against Michigan, now has the inside track to the Big 10 title game after whipping the Hawkeyes.

Wisconsin winning the Big Ten title game to knock the Big Ten east champ out of the playoff would be brutal for Ohio State, Michigan State, or Michigan, but it would be an incredible comeback for the Badgers.

And it looks downright possible right now.

8. This is the worst beat of the college football season on both FSU +9.5 and the under.

If you had FSU and the under here, you’re cursed. Conversely if you had Clemson and the over you got the greatest gift from the gambling gods in years.

9. A Let’s Go Brandon airplane banner flew over Florida-Georgia yesterday.

And this Gator fan decked out her entire boat in the Jacksonville marina in a “Let’s Go Brandon” theme.

Needless to say, I’m just in love with the entire viral sensation that is “Let’s Go Brandon.”

You can get your Outkick “Let’s Go Brandon” shirts here.

10. Outkick’s National Top Ten

1. Georgia
2. Alabama
3. Michigan State
4. Ohio State
5. Oklahoma
6. Oregon
7. Cincinnati
8. Michigan
9. Wake Forest
10. Baylor

11. SEC power rankings 1-14

1. Georgia
2. Alabama
3. Auburn
4. Ole Miss
5. Texas A&M
6. Mississippi State
7. Kentucky
8. Arkansas
9. LSU
10. Florida
11. Tennessee
12. Missouri
13. South Carolina
14. Vanderbilt

Hope all of you have a great Halloween!

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

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