Georgia Football Preview: 5 Games the Dawgs Could Lose in 2012
Back in March I wrote an article predicting the Georgia Bulldogs would lose three regular season games in 2012. Though any sort of prediction article is a futile attempt at best, these sorts of things can draw intense debate and are always fun to put together, if nothing else.
Though Georgia shouldn't lose a ton of games this coming season, it's always important for fans to start looking at games that are, for lack of a better term, the most "losable."
Here's a look at those matchups.
At Missouri (Sep. 8)
Missouri fans, players, coaches, and administrators alike will be foaming at the mouth for their very first taste of Southeastern Conference football when the Bulldogs come to town.
Faurot Field will be abuzz with anticipation, and this alone could be enough to create a strange atmosphere for Mark Richt's players to kick off conference play in week two.
The Tigers have a solid and stable coaching staff, along with a good young quarterback in James Franklin, but some shoulder issues might take him out of the equation early on in 2012.
Look for UGA's defensive front to be a factor, win or lose, and keep an eye on the running game as well for the Bulldogs.
Vanderbilt (Sep. 22)
A while back I wrote a piece questioning the legitimacy of Vanderbilt's success last season. In the end, I deemed their success real, and if James Franklin can build upon the apparent new attitude he's brought to Nashville, then the Commodores can continue to be successful.
Last season the Dores gave Georgia all they could handle, and the game was up for grabs until the final minutes. A few postgame handshake fireworks added to the intensity of the game, and those exchanges will certainly be discussed come late September when these teams meet again in Athens.
Franklin has recruited well and has been working hard to replace the "we're Vandy" attitude around the program, but this is still the Bulldogs, and Mark Richt can coach.
That being said, Vandy usually seems to give the Dogs a run for their money, and with a more talented, more confident and better coached squad, anything could happen.
At South Carolina (Oct. 6)
I actually picked the Bulldogs to win this game in 2012, but it's always a tough pick since the South Carolina game has become one of the better nontraditional rivalries in all of college football.
Steve Spurrier seems to have found his quarterback in Connor Shaw, a junior out of Flowery Branch, and with some key injured players like Marcus Lattimore set to return for this season, the Gamecocks should be ready to play.
The Dogs still have the edge at the quarterback position, and two good defenses make this a tough call. Watch for the run game to be a factor.
At Auburn (Nov. 10)
Should Auburn be better than Georgia this season? No. Could the Bulldogs blow a rivalry game on the road in SEC play? Certainly.
Georgia should win this game and could possibly even drop the hammer on the Tigers to make a late season statement, but this age old rivalry game can often be a murky prediction.
Auburn has a new offensive coordinator, a new defensive coordinator and a star running back that's now back home in Arkansas with his former coach. While trying to learn new systems, this program has also been looking for several key play makers to step up and take the lead.
Advantage Georgia, but anything's possible in a classic rivalry game.
Georgia Tech (Nov. 24)
Rivalries can have strange outcomes. The Bulldogs have dominated this series over the past 15 years and if nothing else, the Jackets are due.
Georgia Tech returns an experienced senior quarterback in Tevin Washington, as well as a host of other key starters.
Though the Bulldogs still hold the edge at quarterback, as well as home-field advantage, it wouldn't take much for a similar game to 2008 to play out.
With unproven wide receivers at the other end of Aaron Murray's lethal arm, give the edge to the Jackets in a shootout, but to the Bulldogs in a defensive struggle.