Time to Focus on Georgia Tech

ATHENS - One more week of mind-numbing calculations and twisted allegiances, and Georgia's football team can relax.

The Bulldogs, who whipped Kentucky 30-10 on Saturday, will know after this week's 1 p.m. game against Georgia Tech whether they will play in the SEC Championship game or be finished until bowl season.

The first thing Georgia has to do is beat the Yellow Jackets, which it has done nine of the last 12 years. Saturday's game in Grant Field will mark the first time since Georgia Tech left the Southeastern Conference in 1963 that the Georgia-Georgia Tech game has helped decide the SEC Championship.

"We'd be excited anyway because we're playing Georgia Tech, but we'll treat it about like an SEC game now because of the way the tiebreaker works," quarterback David Greene said.

The Bulldogs (9-2, 6-2 SEC) moved to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll on Sunday, further strengthening their BCS position.

"It's strange to think you'd have to beat an ACC team to possibly play in the SEC Championship game," Richt said. "That's definitely strange."

Not only that, but Georgia has to root for Tennessee to beat Kentucky. Otherwise, Florida will go to the SEC title game thanks to its head-to-head victory over the Bulldogs. If the Vols win and create a three-way tie in the SEC East, then the tie will be decided by a combination of BCS ranking and head-to-head matchups.

That formula favors the Bulldogs, who need only to stay within five spots of Tennessee and five spots ahead of Florida to earn their second straight trip to the league title game.

The official BCS rankings will be announced today. The Bulldogs were sixth last week, one spot ahead of Tennessee and seven spots ahead of Florida. The Gators could earn a trip to the SEC title game if they beat Florida State on Saturday and jump Tennessee in the BCS rankings and are within five spots of Georgia.

"In a perfect world, I think all Bulldog fans would want Tennessee and Georgia to win ... and Florida State," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think we would have enough incentive to play Tech without this on top of it, but because we have so much riding on it, it shouldn't be hard to get anybody motivated."

Richt said he has plenty of respect for the Yellow Jackets despite their helter skelter season and Saturday's loss to Virginia.

"I think they've done really very well," he said. "I've not really seen lots of film. I watched some of the Florida State and Auburn games. Those are the impressions I have of Tech. I know Florida State and Auburn are very good football teams, and I know (Georgia Tech) went toe-to-toe with both of them and probably should have won both of them."

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