ATHENS, Ga. — Louisiana State University and Georgia bring two of the nation’s longest winning streaks into their Southeastern Conference championship game tilt on Saturday.
The top-ranked Tigers (12-0, 8-0) built theirs against a schedule that included three teams currently ranked in the top 10 – Alabama, Arkansas and Oregon – and are 7-0 against ranked teams this season.
Georgia (10-2, 7-1) has turned away all challengers since starting 0-2, but none of those teams are currently in the top 25 and only two Football Bowl Subdivision teams that it beat – Auburn and Georgia Tech – have a winning record. Georgia is 2-2 this season against ranked teams.
“Anytime we step on that field, we’re going to give everything we’ve got; ranked teams, nonranked teams, it doesn’t mean nothing,” Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones said. “Anybody can get beat any given day. Look at last week, all the shakeups in the top 10. Anything can happen.”
Jones was referring to 271/2 point underdog Iowa State upsetting then-No. 2 Oklahoma on the same weekend that then-No. 4 Oregon and then-No. 5 Oklahoma lost.
Georgia, which has the FBS’ third-longest winning streak of 10 games, has what it takes to do something similar at the Georgia Dome, Jones believes.
“Most definitely,” he said. “Why would we not think we could beat them? I think we’re just as good as any team in the nation.”
The No. 12 Bulldogs opened the season losing to then-No. 5 Boise State and then-No. 12 South Carolina.
“We’re a team that certainly improved as the season has gone on,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday. “We’ve done a lot of good things since game two, but until you play a team you really don’t know how you match up against them.”
A win for Georgia means it can play in the Sugar Bowl as SEC champion. A loss could drop Georgia to the Outback or Cotton Bowl, with the Capital One Bowl probably taking Arkansas.
LSU, which is on a national-best 13-game winning streak, is chasing its third BCS title in the past nine years and even a loss isn’t expected to keep it from playing in this year’s national title game.