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Saturday, October 8, 2011
Swing game for Dawgs and Vols

By Chris Low



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Georgia and Tennessee have played every year in football since the SEC expansion and division split in 1992.

But their matchup later Saturday night in Neyland Stadium is one of their most anticipated ones in a long time.

There’s genuine hope in both camps that this could be a swing game of sorts.

Georgia, after opening the season with back-to-back losses to Boise State and South Carolina, could really position itself nicely in the Eastern Division race with a win over the Vols. In fact, the Bulldogs might be the favorite in the East if they can win tonight when you consider they don’t have to play Alabama, Arkansas or LSU the rest of the way.

The Vols, meanwhile, are still looking for that first signature win under Derek Dooley and feel like they’ve got a real shot against the Bulldogs.

This game is a big measuring stick for how much Tennessee has improved in Year 2 under Dooley. The Vols were blown out 41-14 last season in Athens.

Georgia, on the other hand, hasn’t won in Neyland Stadium since 2005. The Bulldogs’ last two losses here were by a combined 47 points.

The other thing that makes this game so big is that four of the six teams in the East are likely to have two losses or more by the end of the night.

Florida is losing to LSU, and Vanderbilt has to play at Alabama.

A two-loss team is almost certainly going to win this division, which probably makes tonight’s game an elimination contest.