ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia moved up to 10th in this week’s BCS standings, using its 29-24 win at Kentucky and a decisive loss by South Carolina to jump one spot when the standings were released Sunday night.
Now the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) get a shot at the team that caused South Carolina to tumble out of the top 10, No. 2 Florida (7-0, 6-0), in a game that could decide the SEC East race. Florida hammered South Carolina 44-11 on Saturday, two weeks after the Gamecocks defeated Georgia 35-7.
Florida will claim its first division title since 2009 if it defeats the Bulldogs on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla. Georgia would not clinch the division championship with a win, but the defending SEC East champion Bulldogs would control their own destiny with league games against Ole Miss (4-3, 1-2) and Auburn (1-6, 0-5) still to play.
Georgia’s BCS average rating (0.5379) sits comfortably between No. 9 USC (0.5767) and No. 11 Mississippi State (0.5265). Mark Richt’s Bulldogs ranked 11th in this week’s Harris Poll, 11th in the coaches’ poll and 13th in the computer rankings -- the various entities that comprise the BCS ranking formula.
Expect the Bulldogs to make a move one way or the other in the BCS standings following the Florida game. Four games this weekend will pit top-15 teams -- the schedule also includes No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 11 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama and No. 14 Texas Tech at No. 3 Kansas State -- so the outcomes of those games will reshuffle the standings.
And the Bulldogs certainly understand what will be at stake in Jacksonville without needing a lecture from Richt’s coaching staff.
“I think the guys understand how important this thing is. It’s pretty obvious,” Richt said on his Sunday teleconference. “So I don’t think we’re going to have to sit here and try to figure out a way to motivate anybody. Our job’s going to be, we’re doing the right things schematically and fundamentally to get our guys in position to make the plays.”