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Georgia Vs. Missouri Preview: Starters Could Swing the Division

July 17, 2012; Hoover, AL, USA;  Missouri Tigers coach Gary Pinkel speaks during a press conference at the 2012 SEC media days event at the Wynfrey Hotel.   Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE
July 17, 2012; Hoover, AL, USA; Missouri Tigers coach Gary Pinkel speaks during a press conference at the 2012 SEC media days event at the Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Missouri Tigers, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2

It's possible to overstate the significance of the scheduling edge that Georgia has in the race for the SEC East. (See: Spurrier, Steve.) But if there's a game that could offset that balance and give another SEC team the slightest edge, it's that Georgia has to travel to Missouri for the Tigers' first SEC games while South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida all get the new team at home and after the adrenaline has worn off a bit.

So the fact that Georgia will reportedly be missing four defensive starters against what could be one of the more dynamic offenses in the SEC is no small matter. That's not just a decision that could swing a football game; it's the kind of thing that could decide the entire division.

Of course, we don't know exactly how good Missouri is right now. The only game they've played so far was against Southeastern Louisiana. But given how much trouble the Bulldogs had against Buffalo last week, the initial returns are not promising.

Missouri 34, Georgia 31