clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What If Series: Can Georgia Southern handle the SEC East?

New, 6 comments

We're back with a popular request: Sun Belt newbies Georgia Southern are going to become SEC newbies.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This What-If Series has led to some interesting results.  When I started this series, someone asked if I could run Southern in Georgia's schedule.  I'm happy to say this has finally been done, with some interesting results!

In case you forgot the rules:

1. Each team had to be simmed to their in-state companions as close as possible.

2. All sims were conducted using What If Sports' Sim-Matchup.

3. You can only use the first sim as the official sim, no matter how silly it may seem.

Let's roll.

If Georgia Southern had Georgia's schedule...

GSU-Clemson

GATA IS IN FULL FORCE! Southern starts with a huge win over Clemson and people probably start over-hyping the Eagles.

GSUUSC

This game is a little bit of a disappointment, however since the game is on the road, South Carolina gets the edge. (Note: I ran one simulation with GSU at home and the Eagles pulled out a 10-point victory).

GSUTroy

GSUTenn

Smokey beats Southern on the road, and the Eagles start 0-2 in SEC play.

GSUVandy

Oh Lord, Vandy...YOU'RE SO BAD!

GSUMizzou

Southern earns a HUGE win on the road versus the SEC East Champs.  At 4-2, can the Eagles position themselves to win the SEC East in their first year?

GSUArky

Probably not...

OR CAN THEY? Southern beats Florida for a second year in a row and are nearly bowl eligible at 5-3 (3-3 in the SEC, 3-2 in the East).

I'm not entirely sure if this is a WTF loss, but I do know that this game pretty much eliminates them from contention in the SEC East.

Oh well, at least a bowl game is still possible.

FCS Charleston Southern - Autowin

With that win, the Eagles become bowl eligible at 6-5 with just one game remaining on the schedule...

The Eagles shock Tech in a triple-overtime thriller to finish the season at 7-5 (3-5 in the SEC).  That's a pretty good record for a Sun Belt team who "shouldn't be able to compete with the big boys."  With another year or two in the SEC, you could probably see Southern win the SEC East with few problems.

If Georgia had Georgia Southern's schedule...

If Southern had a winning record with an SEC schedule, Georgia should go undefeated, right?

That's a very narrow win, but then again, Southern lost by one point to the same team.  NC State is the ultimate wildcard...

FCS Savannah State - Autowin

Ramblin' Wreck has no chance in Clean, Old Fashioned Hate, as the game somehow gets moved to mid-September.  Georgia rolls!

I have a bad feeling there will be a lot of blood spilled in this conference schedule.

At this point, Georgia has done exactly what they're supposed to do in a weaker schedule.  Maybe Navy will present a challenge?

SO CLOSE! Georgia lets their guard down on the road and has to score 10-points on the road to escape Annapolis with a win.

So there you have it, Georgia runs through Southern's schedule undefeated and really, unmatched as well.  Can the Eagles defeat the Bulldogs in this simulated run?

I played this sim in a neutral field, but the results didn't matter much.  Southern gets rolled over by the Bulldogs with very little mercy shown.

What do you think? Was Georgia Southern successful in their first year of the SEC? Is there no possible way the simulation could be right, SEC fans? Let us know in the comments!