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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Upset Specials

A lot of talk at the start of the season has surrounded Georgia's grueling schedule, and for good reason. Cross-country non-conference games, brutal SEC West matchups, a four-game road trip (sorta)... there aren't exactly a lot of easy weeks for the Bulldogs.

I think most people have Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and LSU circled as the toughest games on the schedule -- particularly since all four teams begin the year in the preseason top 25. But what about those other contests?

This was the subject of a recent debate I had with a friend: Of those other games, which one is most crucial (i.e., which is the most likely upset) for Georgia?

I ruled out Arizona State, since I find it hard to believe the Bulldogs won't be up for this game. Plus, I'm not exactly president of the Rudy Carpenter fan club.

Vandy beat Georgia the last time it played at Sanford Stadium, but what are the chances of that happening again? Same is true for the road game at Kentucky.

Without Reggie Ball or Chan Gailey, you might think Tech would have a better shot this year, but I think the Jackets might still be a year away.

Georiga Southern? Um, no. Same, likely (though certainly not definitely) for Central Michigan.

So, that leaves us with South Carolina and Alabama.

My friend thinks Alabama could be the upset this year. The Crimson Tide should be improved, have young talent that will have had more than a month to gel, are in Year 2 of the Saban administration, and have a battle-tested QB.

I said South Carolina was the game to watch. It's Georgia's first road test of the year in a very hostile environment. The Gamecocks always play Georgia tough, including a win at Sanford Stadium last season. And the South Carolina D might be one of the few the Bulldogs will play this year that can contend with Stafford and Moreno. With the trip to Arizona State the following week, it might not be out of the question that South Carolina gets overlooked a bit.

So, what do you think? Beyond the Big Four, which game are you most worried about?


William H said...

Gotta be South Carolina, those insanely, huge linebackers will create turnovers and a Knowshon fumble or two would really derail the dawgs O. Spurrier's slight last year ("It's not like Georgia's some big, powerful team" something like that) combined with the bulldogs' lackadaisical play should be enough for Richt to get the dawgs up for a W.

the anonymous suckup said...

I'm with you, David. I think South Carolina is the biggest upset special, although I might not exactly agree with your reasoning. Even with ASU the following week, I can't see the Dawgs overlooking SC.

But the fact remains that SC nearly always plays the Dawgs tough. I think that is because the Dawgs are SC's biggest rival behind Clemson. But SC is nowhere near UGA's biggest rival. They are firmly behind Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, and Tech. In other words, UGA is more important to SC than SC is to UGA. They get tremendously geeked up to play UGA. The Dawgs have to make sure they can match their intensity.

Dawgfan1307 said...

I could't disagree more. If you can't remember back to last year, we lost to S. Carolina at home which over the course of the season ended up costing us a shot at the Nat'l Championship. It will be our first real game of the season and it will be our first game where we will have a full squad fresh off suspension (personal belief that watching their teammates play the last 2 games will put some extra spark into them). Richt has an unbelievable record on the road and S. Carolina is having problems settling on a QB, as well. I can't necessarily see UGA losing to either, but I would say at home in a game scheduled between ASU and Tenn would be the type of trap game UGA has to watch out for.

Anonymous said...

Die Gamecock scum

Just kidding but lose.

The key this year is the defense and getting to their quarterback. Mix the offense up so they can not stop us.