The Georgia Bulldogs catch a break this year, avoiding the top three teams out of the SEC West. No one is ever going to dispute that.
Still, is it necessary for every sports media outlet, fan-trolling comment threads and anyone I talk to about football this year to harp on that fact every time Georgia is mentioned?
Admittedly, perhaps the title of this article is a tad too strongly worded. After all, the Dawgs are preseason number 6. But still, there’s no shortage of people that will argue that it is only a result of their “weak” schedule.
So, please, indulge me for a moment and give a few questions some thought.
So what if Georgia has a favorable conference schedule this season? Georgia didn’t pick their opponents; the SEC did.
Does avoiding Alabama, Arkansas and LSU change the fact that the Dawgs are a top 10 team coming into the season? No.
Comments are open, by the way, for anyone who wants to dispute the legitimacy of Georgia’s preseason ranking, but that’s not what this article is about.
Does UGA have to play a very good Missouri team in their house in front 70,000+ hostile, emotionally charged fans enjoying their inaugural SEC game? Yes.
Does Georgia have to go through No. 9 South Carolina—another away game—to even get to the SEC Championship game? Well, probably. But if they do lose to the Gamecocks, even with an SEC Championship, Georgia’s not likely to get a bid to the National Championship game, assuming there's at least one other one-loss, BCS conference team.
Is Georgia going to have to go through the eventual SEC West Champ for a shot at a National Championship? Absolutely.
Will UGA fans be satisfied backing into the SEC Championship, only to be embarrassed again? Absolutely not.
Again, comments are open for all those out there who need to get it off their chest—those who believe that that’s exactly what would happen if UGA makes it back to Atlanta in December.
But that’s not what this article is about either.
What this article is about is UGA’s goal this season being nothing short of a National Championship Game berth. To accomplish that, the Dawgs WILL have to run the table of their “weak” schedule.
So what does that entail?
Beating improved Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn squads. Taking down what looks to be the strongest South Carolina team Spurrier has fielded in his tenure at SC, who, by the way, will be gunning for revenge after last season. And finally, taking down one of those West juggernauts Georgia is so blessed to avoid in the regular season.
Dare I say, gasp, USC, Oregon, Florida State and Oklahoma all have an easier path to the National Championship Game than Georgia does. But no one wants to talk about that.