Both sides are going to side to downplay the significance of this game, pretend that it's not such a big game that a loss could effectively end the season or cost the coach his job, argue that all hope is not lost if things go wrong for them this afternoon.
And that might be true, to an extent. But it also hides the fact that this is a huge game for both of these teams. For South Carolina, their dream season -- another shot at the SEC Championship Game, maybe even a chance to go to a BCS bowl -- could all come down to this game. Lose at Georgia, and it will be incredibly hard for the Gamecocks to catch up; Georgia's schedule only gets easier from here, and South Carolina's arguably only gets harder.
For Georgia, though, the stakes are about as high as they can be. If Mark Richt loses the game, the calls for his job will only grow louder, even if Georgia has a more plausible chance of coming back from a loss to win the SEC East, and despite how highly ranked the Gamecocks might be. Richt need a big win, if for no other reason than to give his team breathing room to remove him from the hot seat later in the season.
That doesn't mean that Richt will be fired tomorrow if he loses this game -- he won't. And it doesn't mean South Carolina's season is done if they lose -- stranger things have happened, and Georgia still has some tricky games on its schedule as well.
Neither of these teams, though, wants to fall behind. The first game you lose in contention for the SEC East may be your last. Georgia starts out behind the eight ball.
South Carolina 27, Georgia 23