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Georgia's Schedule is a Rorschach Test // SEC 2012: The New SEC

Many of Georgia's most important games won't be played here at home.
Many of Georgia's most important games won't be played here at home.

This is an overview. Predictions come later. Home games in CAPS.



9/8: at Missouri

9/15: FAU



After many years straight of ensuring the team had more than one notable non-conference game (with more to come in the future), Georgia is listening to the groovy hits of Georgia Tech and the Cupcakes this year. It's the first time the team hasn't had a second big out-of-conference game since either 2004 or 2005, depending on where you think Boise State was in 2005. The game at Missouri is going to be by far the toughest of the opening month. It will be on the road in a packed house that will be rocking about as hard as it ever had rocked. It will also be without key secondary members who are suspended and before any running back has much of a chance to prove himself on the field as the replacement for Isaiah Crowell. The Vandy and Tennessee games won't be cakewalks, but they do come between the hedges. You'll note that the Bulldogs have only one road game here. That has consequences later.


10/6: at South Carolina

10/13: BYE

10/20: at Kentucky

10/27: Florida (Jacksonville)

Specifically, the consequences are the team having no true home games in the whole month of October. The team is the designated home team for the Cocktail Party this year, but that certainly doesn't count. The month opens with a game against fellow division contender South Carolina in Columbia, a place UGA hasn't won comfortably in since 2006. A nicely timed bye week sets up a tune up in Lexington before taking on the Gators. I have a hunch that this game will knock one of the two of them out of division contention, but I can't say who at this point. A win would give Georgia its first set of consecutive wins over UF since it won three straight across 1987-89.


11/3: OLE MISS

11/10: at Auburn



This is the other half of the Great SEC East Scheduling Controversy of 2012, which frankly is unavoidable despite its banality in a piece like this one. South Carolina gets Arkansas and LSU out of the West, while Georgia gets Ole Miss and Auburn. Typically (like last year) these things can be dismissed by saying it's all the luck of the draw with the rotations, but this year's schedule was hand-crafted and doesn't conform to either the previous or future rotations. Setting it was an unenviable task, and someone, somewhere was going to get an advantage. The two factors that narrow the gap are A) Auburn is a very heated rivalry game on the road, and B) new Auburn DC Brian VanGorder knows all of Mark Richt's secrets. The season closes out with a pair of flexbone teams in Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson won his first game against UGA at Tech, but he's not pulled off a win in the series since.

It's true that there are no truly manageable schedules in the SEC, and this one is no different. You could focus on the fact that UGA lucked out by getting Ole Miss as its non-designated rival out of the West and doesn't have to play the SEC East favorite. However every game against other potential SEC East contenders (plus arch rival Auburn) will be played away from home. With this schedule, you'll see what you want to see out of it.