3. What does conference title game losses do for each team’s mindset?
A big question that is mainly coming the way of Georgia since the end of the SEC Championship Game is how motivated the team will be in the Sugar Bowl. Landing Texas football in the Sugar Bowl can’t be what the Dawgs had in mind entering the SEC Title Game. Even with the loss in that conference title game, the Dawgs were just on the outside looking in for the College Football Playoff field.
The Horns were going to land in the Sugar Bowl for its best case scenario whether it won or lost the Big 12 Championship Game. Just winning the Big 12 this year would’ve given the Texas football program some accomplishments that would be special to boast. Beating the Oklahoma Sooners twice in one season and winning the Big 12 Title would be massive markers to measure the success for 2018.
Now, the winners of the Big 12 Championship Game and the SEC Championship Game are set to matchup in one of the College Football Playoff Semifinal games on Dec. 29. Georgia was hoping it would be the team to either take the place of the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Sooners in the College Football Playoff field. It was one drive away from winning its second straight SEC Title and getting into the Playoff field easily.
However, the response for losing a game the magnitude of a Power Five conference title game is something that matters for the Horns and Dawgs. The way Georgia lost to Alabama was much more difficult to swallow than for the Horns against the Sooners. Yet, if Texas has a stronger response early in the Sugar Bowl than Georgia, it’ll enjoy an early edge that could play a role in the outcome of the entire game.