Tennessee Volunteers vs. Georgia Bulldogs, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
On paper, this is an easy game to call. Both teams have pretty powerful offenses, though Tennessee's flopped in the latter part of its SEC debut against Florida, so the edge probably goes to the team with the better defense. And if you're going by the numbers, that's unquestionably Georgia.
But games aren't just played on paper, and this situation in this series has some uncanny echoes for Georgia fans. In 2006, the Dawgs were 5-0 and ranked in the Top 10 when Tennessee came into Georgia and blew the doors off, a 51-33 walloping that dropped Georgia clear out of the AP Top 15. (They were No. 14 in the coaches poll.) That loss was so bad that the AJC headline -- "Dogs get put in their place" -- sparked a reader outcry that included Gov. Sonny Perdue leaping to Georgia's defense. Really.
In 2007, Georgia was 5-1 and ranked No. 11 by the coaches and No. 12 in the AP poll when it went to Knoxville and lost in a 35-14 shellacking that wasn't even that close. (The AJC, presumably after long deliberations, managed to come up with a headline that did not provoke the governor's ire.) Tennessee was 2-2 at the time and just two weeks removed from a 59-20 demolition in Gainesville. That loss would help cost Georgia the SEC East, and a chance at the national title.
The Mark Richt swoon was just starting to take hold in 2009 when Georgia, 3-2 after losses to Oklahoma State and LSU, got blown out 45-19 by a Lane Kiffin-"led" Tennessee team that was not supposed to be that good. The Vols were 2-3 and would not score more than 31 against another SEC team that season.
All of that is to say that this might not be as easy a game for Georgia as it looks. They have the advantage of being in Athens -- where only one of the recent upsets happened -- and past upsets are not indicative of future stunners. But if Georgia fans seem a little nervous between now and the end of the game today, that's why. They've been here before and just want to make sure that the outcome is not the same.
Georgia 34, Tennessee 20