The history behind surviving a blowout and winning a division 

Posted: 12:06 pm Thursday, September 29th, 2016

By Jay Black

The last time Georgia won the SEC in 2005, the Dawgs also recovered from a 31-point loss.

Is there really a silver-lining to taking the beating that Ole Miss delivered to Georgia?

“I wouldn’t say that,” said UGA head coach Kirby Smart during his pre-Tennessee press conference.

But there is one word that kept popping up in Smart’s answer that stood out. Opportunity.

“The silver-lining is you get another opportunity to play another really good team this week,” said Smart. “The opportunity that we have looking forward is what we are fired up about.”

Clearly there’s a lot of coach-speak in there. But a lot of what Kirby said is true.

Many in Bulldog Nation are fearing the worst, because well, that’s what we are good at.

Kirby Smart has a lot of teaching to do before Tennessee, but he should have his players attention.

I’ve heard more people tell me that Georgia is going to get blown off the map by Tennessee than those that are excited about a big game at home that means a heck of a lot.

In life, what’s the best way to get over a bad situation? Getting another shot at it as soon as you can. Same thing in football.

Georgia doesn’t have time to sit and sulk and wonder if they aren’t any good. They only have to wait one week to prove – if they can – that last week was a learning week. A chance to see exactly what the problems are and correct them.

The good news is, a blowout loss does not end a season and doesn’t keep a team out of the Georgia Dome. In fact, getting your tail kicked is actually a rite of passage to the SEC East crown. At least lately.

Since 2004, six of the 12 teams that won this division suffered a loss of 20 points or more in an SEC game and still made it to Atlanta. Even last year’s champion Florida got beat by 25, but it was in the last game to Florida State.

Georgia has been there before.

UGA recovered from a 35-7 loss to South Carolina in 2012 to win the SEC East, only to fall to Alabama in the Dome.

Remember 2012? Remember the night game in Columbia? The Dawgs got drilled by South Carolina 35-7 in a game that looked an awful lot like what went on last week. UGA recovered and nearly won it all.

Georgia was also responsible for one of those beat downs, hammering 2014 division champion Missouri 34-0.

In 2010, the Gamecocks lost three times before making it to Atlanta. The worst was a 41-20 defeat to Arkansas.

Florida only went down once in 2008 and 2009 and that was by one to point Ole Miss, so those teams don’t count. But the year before the Gators made history, Tennessee made it to Atlanta and they got their doors blown off twice. The first was at Florida 59-20 and the second was a 41-17 thrashing at the hands of Alabama.

In 2004, The Volunteers also overcame a 34-10 loss to Auburn and still made where they wanted to be.

Now only one team in this group actually survived a blowout and won the SEC. And that was Georgia in 2005.

But be honest, did you really think UGA had a chance to win the league this year anyway? With a first year coach and a freshman quarterback, just getting to shot to win the SEC should be reward enough.

I don’t know if the Dawgs are good enough to beat Tennessee, but there’s a pretty good chance they will put up a much better fight. It can’t get any worse right?

Smart has been warning folks all season that this team isn’t where he wants it to be. Everyone believes him now and if the players don’t, he should have their attention.

Maybe it’s too much to ask to fix all of that in one week, but the good news for Georgia fans is there’s no time to pout. Maybe there’s history on their side.