COLUMBIA, Mo. - Dear Missouri, Welcome to the Southeastern Conference. Sincerely, Georgia.
Literally. As the Georgia players meandered off the field into the locker room following their 41-20 statement win over Missouri on Saturday night at Faurot Field, Bulldog defensive back Damian Swann held up a small dryerase board that simply read, "Welcome to the SEC."
Georgia's message was loud and clear - this is big-boy football.
"It is what it is, they understand now," said Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, who set up two fourth-quarter Bulldog scores with an interception and a forced fumble. "We don't have to send no message. Not to take away from them, they're a good ball club. ... This is SEC football."
Georgia coach Mark Richt was quick to dismiss that talk.
"We're not trying to send a message," he said. "We're just trying to win SEC games, win games in the East and hopefully be in a position to get back to Atlanta (site of the SEC championship game) when the time comes."
The main difference came in the area the SEC claims as its calling card - defense. Namely, Georgia got stops in the red zone and Missouri didn't.