Georgia Football: 2013 Schedule Will Present Challenges, Excitement for Bulldogs

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor IOctober 18, 2012

September 22, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs mascot Uga IX in the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Sanford Stadium. Georgia won 48-3.  Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

There are a few people who think Georgia is going to win 10 games this year because they benefit from an easy schedule, just like last year. That is likely true, because the Bulldogs are facing only one team that is ranked in the Top 25, and that is the Florida Gators.

However, next year will be a different story for the Bulldogs.

The SEC released all 14 SEC teams’ schedules for 2013, and the Bulldogs will be tested in the early stages of their season.

They will kick off the season with a road trip to Death Valley to face Clemson on August 31. After that, they will head back home to face South Carolina. They have a bye week on September 14 and will have two consecutive home games against North Texas and LSU.

The other notable game is Florida, which will be played a few days after Halloween on November 2. There is also a change with the Kentucky game, as they will play on Thanksgiving week instead of mid-October. This also means the Georgia Tech game will be played the week after Thanksgiving, on November 30.

The Bulldogs have six home games, five road games and the Florida game is in Jacksonville, which is probably the farthest the Bulldogs will travel for a game.

This could be one of Georgia’s better schedules in recent memory. Having to face Clemson, South Carolina and LSU in the first month of the season won’t be an easy task, but if they want to take that next step, they have to prove they can beat these teams and show that they really are a legit SEC and BCS title contender.

The schedule does get a little less stressful as the season progresses, and they will have two bye weeks, including one before the Florida game. So the Bulldogs will be well rested going into the meat of the schedule as well as the later stages of the season.

So what does this mean for the Bulldogs in the long run? Will we see more challenging games to start the season moving forward? That remains to be seen, because the one thing Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity wants is consistency in the matchup against Auburn.

With the SEC having only an eight-game conference schedule and seven teams in each division, it’s not an easy thing to do, but it looks like the Georgia-Auburn is not going anywhere.

But what about the non-conference games? Other than Clemson and Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs will play North Texas and Appalachian State. This year, the Bulldogs have played Buffalo and FAU and will face Georgia Southern and Tech next month. For the sake of giving smaller schools an opportunity to make some money, Georgia will continue to have those teams come to Athens. But if the Clemson game goes well for Georgia, don’t be surprised if they start having bigger names agree to play against them. After all, they did have a discussion with Ohio State about having a series in 2020-21.

Right now, the Bulldogs have to focus on the 2012 season, which could be a solid one if they do everything right. But based on next year’s schedule, fans can't help thinking about what’s in store for the Bulldogs in 2013.