It’s not that I’m pessimistic about the Dawgs’ play, as I like their chances to make a third straight trip to the SECCG. But as Pat Forde points out, the skids sure are greased for a number of top ten teams. Take these three tidbits as examples:
The only time Alabama plays 2012 bowl teams on consecutive Saturdays is Nov. 9-16, when its home game against LSU is followed by a trip to Mississippi State.
If Ohio State isn’t 12-0 headed to the Big Ten championship game, something went wrong. The Buckeyes play just five FBS teams that had winning records last year, avoid Nebraska and Michigan State in inter-divisional play, and draw Wisconsin and Penn State in Columbus.
The only team more likely to go 12-0 than Ohio State is Louisville. The Cardinals, who flash back to their any-night-of-the-week scheduling of a decade ago with five non-Saturday games, don’t play a road game against a team with a 2012 winning record until Dec. 5, at Cincinnati. The toughest test at home could be Oct. 18 against Central Florida.
Even if Georgia avenges last year’s defeat with a win over the Tide, it’s still going to be difficult to overcome twin undefeated teams if there’s a loss on the Dawgs’ slate. You can bet a 13-0 Ohio State squad will play for the title; the question will be if Louisville’s strength of schedule does it in. Under those circumstances, I wouldn’t underestimate the power of SEC fatigue. (I can hear the ESPN “if only there was a playoff this season” speculation now.)
And that’s assuming no other top ten school jumps into the picture with a stellar year. Unless Georgia plows through with its own 13-0, it looks like a very tough row to hoe from my perspective.