Originally created 11/20/02

Georgia sneaks peak at the BCS



ATHENS, Ga. -- With an off week to relax and a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game safely tucked away, Georgia can afford to sneak a glance at the BCS standings.

Yes, the Bulldogs are still in the running for the national championship.

"We're looking at it," coach Mark Richt admitted Tuesday. "As you know, a lot of things have to happen for us to make it. But, as you also know, they've happened before."

While Georgia is ranked sixth in both the media and coaches polls, the Bulldogs are No. 5 in the all-important BCS standings.

They must win out, of course, and hope that at least three of the teams ahead of them - Miami, Ohio State, Washington State and Oklahoma - lose before the final BCS rankings come out.

"We can only concern ourselves with what Georgia does," offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb said. "Of course, we're definitely keeping up with it. But a lot of what has to happen is out of our control."

The key game is Saturday. Ohio State (12-0) will try to complete a perfect season against 12th-ranked Michigan (9-2). If the Buckeyes win, that would shut out Georgia's most likely route to the title game.

"We're hoping they'll lose, obviously," Georgia quarterback David Greene said. "I'll be watching the game. Let's just put it this way: I won't be crying when Michigan scores."

Top-ranked Miami (9-0) still has difficult games against No. 17 Pittsburgh and No. 13 Virginia Tech. However, both those games are at the Orange Bowl.

Oklahoma (9-1) has a home game against No. 24 Texas Tech on Saturday. If the Sooners win the Big 12 South, they'll face No. 16 Colorado in the conference championship game.

Washington State (9-1) plays host to rival Washington on Saturday, then finishes at No. 25 UCLA on Dec. 7.

"I know who they're playing," Richt said with a sly grin. "A lot of people have big games left."

Obviously, every team has a potential loss or two on its schedule, including the Bulldogs. They'll face Georgia Tech (7-4) on Nov. 30, then play either LSU, Arkansas or Auburn in the SEC championship game.

"There's still some hope," Greene said. "But it's a tough road to get to that (national championship) game. You've got to be perfect just about every week."

If nothing else, Georgia's bowl possibilities have likely narrowed to three.

With a first- or second-place finish in the BCS standings, the Bulldogs would go to the Fiesta Bowl.

If they win the SEC championship but finish out of the top two, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans would be their destination.

If Georgia loses the SEC title game, expect an invitation from the Capital One Bowl, formerly the Citrus Bowl.

While most players and coaches will be pulling against the teams ahead of them this weekend, defensive end David Pollack can't bring himself to do it.

"I'm paying attention to it, but I don't wish losing on anyone," he said. "I know how hard these teams work. I can't pull against anyone."