Saturday's South Carolina-Georgia game was like an epidemic...missed kicks, mistakes, and poor coaching decisions permeated both sidelines in what became a relatively rare mistake-prone game from the SEC.
South Carolina eventually emerged from the wreckage with a 20-17 win in double overtime, brought upon by a missed Bulldog field goal from 42 yards out. Like any infectious disease, this game's aftermath went far beyond Sanford Stadium. College football's postseason could well be taken over by this seismic wave,
Things obviously didn't end the way they wanted it to, but there's no denying that the Fighting Irish earned their way into the College Football Playoff last year. The Irish beat six teams that were ranked in either the AP or CFP polls en route to a tough loss against the eventual champions from Clemson. This year, the Irish aren't as lucky. There's a prime opportunity for Notre Dame to finish 11-1, but their quality of opponents leaves much to be desired (a visit to Ann Arbor in two weeks is perhaps the biggest challenge). They fell to the Bulldogs in their biggest challenge this year, but the narrow defeat (23-17) boded well for the Irish's CFP chances, provided they could win out with Georgia. Georgia's loss to an SEC also-ran, however, dents not only the Bulldogs' resume, but Notre Dame's strength of schedule as well.
One of the big questions in the aftermath is if South Carolina (3-3, 2-2 SEC) can keep this wave of momentum going as they look to continue an active three-year bowl streak. Ranked visitors from Florida will visit next week in Columbia. For the Gators, set to battle fellow SEC unbeaten LSU on Saturday night, the visit to South Carolina was supposed to be a reprieve from a brutal stretch on their slate. They handled Auburn last week and will partake in their annual Jacksonville date with Georgia on November 2. If they're able to win against the Tigers in this week's marquee matchup, a potential win over the Gamecocks would only further strengthen their growing CFP case.
A season-opening loss to Wyoming probably eliminated all hope of a surprising CFP run for the Tigers. They've since recovered, however to win their last four games, including a 34-14 victory over the Gamecocks. With Georgia's loss, Mizzou stands with Florida as the only undefeated teams in the SEC's East division. The Tigers will take on Ole Miss at home on Saturday night before visits to Vanderbilt and Kentucky precede one last trip to Georgia. Who knows what the Tigers' next few weeks could bring, but Georgia's loss opened up a big opportunity for them in pursuit of the SEC East's top spot. They recently enjoyed some good news earlier this week, as quarterback Kelly Bryant's knee injury will not prevent him from partaking in Saturday's game against the Rebels.