2008 Georgia Preview: Channeling Larry Munson

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2008 Georgia Preview: Channeling Larry Munson
Both ESPN and Sports Illustrated have put out polls for an early top-25 of next season placing the University of Georgia at the top. I am a huge University of Georgia fan, but I am going to pull a Larry Munson on this one. I don't like it. It doesn't smell right. I think the team will be great and have a strong chance to be among the best teams next season.

I also think that there will be a couple of undefeated teams at the end of next season and the University of Georgia will probably not be one of those. The schedule that team faces is ridiculous. 

Let's take a look.

08/30/08     Georgia Southern Eagles

09/06/08     Central Michigan Chippewas

09/13/08     at South Carolina Gamecocks

09/20/08     at Arizona State Sun Devils

09/27/08     Alabama Crimson Tide

10/04/08     Bye Week

10/11/08     Tennessee Volunteers

10/18/08     Vanderbilt Commodores

10/25/08     at LSU Tigers

11/01/08     Florida Gators (neutral site)

11/08/08     at Kentucky Wildcats

11/15/08     at Auburn Tigers

11/22/08     Bye Week

11/29/08     Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

12/06/08     SEC Championship Game

The University of Georgia faces eight, count them, eight coaches who was the head coach of a team that won a national championship on some level of college football. That is 66% of the schedule for the University of Georgia, and does not include the multiple championships by coaches Dennis Erickson and Paul Johnson.

In case you are wondering, here is a run-down:

Head coach of Georgia Southern -- a division I-AA power, which actually means something after Appalachian State this year -- Chris Hatcher went 76-12 at Valdosta State University, before leading them to the National Championship for Division II in 2004.

The next game is against Central Michigan -- the back-to-back MAC champions -- who also have a quarterback named LeFevour, the only quarterback in the history of the NCAA Division I not named Tebow to throw for 20 TD's and run for 20 TD's in one season.

Then the schedule gets hard.

Georgia goes to South Carolina to face perennial Bulldog killer, Steve Spurrier, who, by the way, has won a National Championship.

Next is a trip to Arizona State to face one of the best coaches of the past thirty years and a probable top-15 team, Dennis Erickson. Oh yeah, he has a couple of National Championships to his name.

The next week involves a home game against what will surely be an improved Alabama team. By the way, there is this guy with a National Championship ring coaching at that school named Nick Saban.

Let's take a breath, because then there is an off-week for the University of Georgia.

Coming back from the off-week is another home game, against yet another National Championship coach, Philip Fulmer, and a Tennessee team that has clobbered Georgia two years in a row.

The next week is another home game against Vanderbilt. No championships there, but coach Bobby Johnson did take Furman University to the I-AA National Championship game in 2001.

Then comes murderer's row.

Away at LSU. In case you haven't heard, this guy named Les Miles just took LSU to the 2008 National Championship.

Then it is mostly away against Florida. Although this is a "neutral site" game, it should be noted it is over a six hour drive from the University of Georgia and close to an hour from Gainesville. Also, there is the returning Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, and new Fox Analyst/National Championship coach, Urban Meyer.

Georgia then goes away to Kentucky against Rich Brooks. Once again, no national championships there, but he was once named National Coach of the Year at the University of Oregon and also was the interim coach for the Atlanta Falcons at the end of the best season in Falcons history, the season in which the team went to the Super Bowl.

Then, for what is the fourth weekend in a row, Georgia plays away from Athens, away from the hedges on the Plains at Auburn. Tommy Tuberville has never won a National Championship. Or has he? Some may argue that 2004 Auburn team was robbed. Certainly, they were robbed more than any other team in the history of the BCS can claim has been robbed. That team finished undefeated and ranked second.

Finally, Georgia has an off week to prepare for what may be the biggest game of the 2008 season for the team.

It is no secret that Georgia Tech has been the red-headed stepchild to the University of Georgia in recent years. It cost Chan Gailey his job, despite a winning record and bowl appearances in every season he was coach.

Georgia Tech has hired a new coach, Paul Johnson, who has won National Championships at Georgia Southern in both 1999 and 2000, and took Navy to heights it had not seen in decades -- during a time of war! Make no mistake, Paul Johnson was hired to beat Georgia, and you can guarantee that this game has already been marked on his calendar.

After all of that, the University of Georgia, if it plays well enough and is lucky enough, will get the chance to play in the SEC Championship Game, against an undoubtedly stacked SEC team.

Georgia may very well be among the best teams in the nation in 2008, but, channeling Larry Munson, I find it hard to believe the team will make it through unscathed.

I can’t believe we have to wait eight months for football. It’s going to be a long summer.

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