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Georgia's First Month is Brutal. Then, Things Calm Down a Bit | SEC 2013

The Bulldogs face what could be three Top 10 teams in the month of September alone. There's probably one left on schedule after that


This is an overview. Predictions come later.

8.31.13 | at CLEMSON
9.21.13 | NORTH TEXAS
9.28.13 | LSU

All three of the SEC East contenders this year have brutal opening months, and the only reason Georgia's isn't a slam dunk for the hardest is because the other two slates (particularly South Carolina's) arguably just as hard. Still, this isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. First up is the revival of the historic rivalry with Clemson, which could very well be a Top 10 team. So could South Carolina. So could LSU. The only thing that's going for Georgia is that the North Texas game is a nice break between the Gamecocks and the Tigers, and the final three games of September are at home. Normally, you would say that coming out of this kind of a month with a 3-1 record is a success, but that might not be enough in the SEC East this year, particularly if the loss isn't at Clemson.

10.5.13 | at TENNESSEE
10.12.13 | MISSOURI
10.19.13 | at VANDERBILT

The schedule eases up considerably in October. Two of the games are on the road, and the Tennessee game could be particularly tricky after the September gauntlet. In fact, Georgia beat Missouri and Vanderbilt by a combined 89-23; the Vols, on the other hand, pushed the Dawgs to the brink in a 51-44 game in Athens. But Vanderbilt is about the only team that should have a chance at beating Georgia on the merits, and even that's a stretch.

11.2.13 | vs. FLORIDA
11.16.13 | at AUBURN
11.23.13 | KENTUCKY
11.30.13 | at GEORGIA TECH

November kicks off with the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and ends with the annual matchup with what could be a middling ACC team. And there's not a whole bunch in between. Appalachian State might still be a bit of a darling for taking down Michigan several years ago, but they're not going to get the second road upset of a Top 5 team in this game. A trip to Auburn could be more difficult than it looks initially, particularly if Gus Malzahn manages to put a working offense together at some point in the season. Outside of Florida, the Tigers could actually end up being the most dangerous opponent in November. Kentucky is, as always, Kentucky.

But the most important game, perhaps in the division standings and certainly in the bad blood department, is the first one. Mark Richt finally seems to have solved the Florida riddle, or at least solved Will Muschamp's Florida. After winning just three of the previous 21 meetings -- with Richt claiming two of those victories -- the Dawgs have now come out on top in two straight editions of the rivalry and will look to extend their winning streak, and just maybe their reign over the SEC East.