Bradley’s Buzz: TCU’s a great story; Georgia’s a great team

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Since Nov. 8, 2020, Georgia is 32-1. Since Dec. 3, 2022, TCU is 1-1. The Horned Frogs’ loss was to Kansas State, which lost to Alabama by 25 points in the Sugar Bowl.

Georgia has trailed in the second half twice this season. TCU has trailed in the second half in six of its past 11 games. Georgia ranks ahead of TCU in total offense and total defense. Georgia opened as a 13.5-point favorite. Nine days later, the line has shrunk by a point.

Lots of folks think TCU can cover the spread. Fewer folks envision Georgia losing. The Bulldogs won the national championship last January. The Horned Frogs were 5-7 in 2021, having shed longtime coach Gary Patterson after eight games. TCU is among the great stories in 21st Century college football. Georgia is among the greatest teams of the 21st Century.

In sports, strange things can and do happen. A Horned Frogs title would qualify as one of the strangest. They were outgained by Michigan in that careening semifinal. They returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Michigan twice failed to score – not even a field goal – in goal-to-go situations. TCU led by 18 points in each half. It won 51-45.

The Bulldogs trailed by 14 points in each half against Ohio State. They outgained the Buckeyes. Jack Podlesny, who had missed three field goal tries over the first 13 games, missed twice in the semi. Stetson Bennett, who’d thrown six interceptions over 13 games, threw a big one versus OSU. Georgia messed up just enough to give the nation’s second-best team a chance. Georgia won 42-41.

Over the past six seasons, Georgia has lost four times to Alabama, twice to LSU and once each to Auburn, Texas, Florida and South Carolina. Of the 10 losses, only one – South Carolina in 2019 – came against a clearly inferior opponent, and that required Jake Fromm throwing his first three interceptions of the season and Rodrigo Blankenship missing his first two FG tries of the year.

The Bulldogs have off-peak games, but not many. Given the vagaries of sports, they’re remarkable at tending to business. Their head coach has much to do with that.

Georgia losing to Ohio State would have been a surprise but not a shock. Georgia losing to TCU would be a shock of historic dimensions. In my worst-case scenario, the Bulldogs win by 10 – but I think they’ll win by more. Georgia 37, TCU 20.

The above is part of a regular exercise, written and curated by yours truly, available to all who register on AJC.com for our free Sports Daily newsletter. The full Buzz, which includes more opinions and extras like a weekly poll and pithy quotes, arrives via email around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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