clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

SEC Football Preview 2014: Georgia Schedule Proves You Can't Always Go Home

The Bulldogs face a rough road trip in the middle of the schedule that could open the door for an upset or two

Mike Zarrilli

Georgia fans who want to follow your team this season, a suggestion: Pack a toothbrush. The Dawgs will embark on a five-week, four-game road trip in the middle of the season. And these aren't short trips either: It's a 733-mile drive from Athens to Columbia, Mo.; 590 miles to Little Rock; and a short 400-mile jaunt to Lexington. (In fairness, Georgia will likely fly to most of these locations.) Throw in the annual trip to Jacksonville, and UGA is looking at around 2,000 miles of traveling over the five-week time frame. If the Dawgs face the real prospect of an upset, it's probably somewhere in that draining stretch.

A history lesson. Some people who are not familiar with Georgia football (or haven't read Kyle King's Fighting Like Cats and Dogs) might not realize that the Georgia-Clemson rivalry is one of the more underrated SEC-ACC clashes. The Dawgs have faced the Tigers 63 times, including last year's loss at Death Valley, stretching back to 1897. That's only two fewer games and three fewer years than the South Carolina-Georgia series. The winner of the Gamecocks-Dawgs clash has actually failed to win the SEC East for three straight years, despite the huge (and correct) touting of the game as a critical match-up in the division race. Less storied is the Troy series, which so far has consisted of one game -- a 10-point Georgia win in Athens in 2007, a season that featured one of the best Georgia teams of recent vintage. As for the Tennessee game: despite the programs' differing trajectories, four straight Georgia wins and the Dawgs' 10-4 record since the turn of the century, Georgia still needs a win this season to get back to .500 against the Vols.

Precedents. Georgia hasn't lost two in a row to Vanderbilt since 1957-58, the game is in Athens this year and the Dawgs will be eager for revenge, so expecting a win by the Commodores to open the month is probably not the wisest idea. The road team is perfect so far in the Georgia-Mizzou game -- fun with small sample sizes! Georgia is perfect at Razorback Stadium -- but the game against Arkansas is being played in War Memorial Stadium, the first time the Dawgs have ever traveled to Little Rock.

Mismatches. Georgia has the chance to do something against Florida that it's done only once since the 1948 -- beat the Gators in four straight seasons. And yet, in a mirror image of the series against Tennessee, Georgia still holds a relatively comfortable lead against Florida all-time. (Please don't ask how many games the Dawgs lead by, because that will start a war in the comments the likes of which you've never seen.) But Florida's deficit has nothing on Kentucky's; the Wildcats would have to win every game through 2054 to tie things up. And the 'Cats probably aren't winning this year, so UK fans will likely have to wait until at least 2055. Then it's a home game against Auburn -- pssst, KNOCK THE BALL DOWN. And then there's the game against a helplessly overmatched team. Oh, I'm sorry, got that backwards. Charleston Southern is next, then it's the annual rivalry game against Georgia Tech.