0-3... What If?

ATHENS – What happens if Georgia starts the season 0-3?

First of all, that's not something I am expecting to see happen, but it is certainly a possibility. The Dawgs are already 6-point underdogs to Oklahoma State, which means they are "supposed" to lose that game. South Carolina beat Georgia the last time the two faced one another in Athens, and have more of a knack for winning in Athens (twice since 2001) than in Columbia (zero since 2001). Then comes the trip to Arkansas – no one knows what to expect of the trip to the Ozarks, but more than likely – particularly if Georgia is 0-2 – the road team is rarely the favorite in the SEC.

So what happens if the world ends so to speak – what happens if the Dawgs start the season 0-3? Certainly the pressure to fire Willie Martinez will be beyond anything we have already seen – even if the defense does it's part he will still get the blame because he's in that situation now.

Would Joe Cox get replaced at quarterback? If Georgia is 0-3 under a fifth-year senior they could be 0-3 with a redshirt sophomore or true freshman – right? Mark Richt pulled the rug out from under fifth-year quarterback Joe Tereshinski in 2006 as soon as the Dawgs lost to Vanderbilt, but there is no clear-cut go-to signal caller like Matthew Stafford to take the reigns now.

At 0-3 – more importantly 0-2 in the SEC – when is the right time to start panicking? Georgia will not catch mighty Florida if they have two SEC losses by the time the Gators score their 1,000 on the Vols in Gainesville, so you may as well break in the newcomers all over the place… right?

Hypothetical situations are never ideal, but something somewhat close to this situation happened – and it wasn't that long ago. In 1996 Georgia, after switching head coaches, started the year with a home loss to Southern Mississippi and one on the road to South Carolina. Turnovers were a real problem in both losses. The Dawgs nearly went 0-3, but Hines Ward's heroics to saved the day against Texas Tech in a monsoon. They ended the year 5-6 with an overtime win over Auburn and a season-ending win against Georgia Tech.

Even in 2006, with stunning back-to-back losses to Tennessee and Vanderbilt, the Dawgs had to fight off Mississippi State to stop from a mid-season 0-3. That team rallied like crazy to end the season 9-4 with a stunning win over Auburn and wins over ranked Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

Again, I think 0-3 is unlikely. But I have to stop and ask the question: "What if?" If the Bulldogs have anything to say about it we may never know the answer.


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