This is the kind of post you get in mid-June.

Barrett Sallee looks at Georgia’s schedule and posits an optimistic, pessimistic and realistic scenario set as follows:

Optimistic: 10-2 (6-2 SEC) with losses to Ole Miss and Florida.

Pessimistic: 7-5 (4-4 SEC) with losses to North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and Auburn.

Realistic: 9-3 (5-3 SEC) with losses to Ole Miss, Florida and Auburn.

I can’t quibble with his overall record possibilities, but Auburn being a more likely loss than Tennessee?  Not seeing it from here.  What do you guys think?

70 Comments

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70 responses to “This is the kind of post you get in mid-June.

  1. Ole Miss has Bama the week before us. Tennessee has the gators the week before us. Auburn just sucks.

    I think we have a shot at all 3 of them.

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  2. tbia

    Ahhhhh yes, the annual summertime love affair with Auburn regardless of evidence presented has begun.

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    • DC Weez

      I think there should be a term for the annual overrating of Auburn. Maybe “Auburngrade.”

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    • 81Dog

      eliminate “regardless” and replace it with “in spite.” Beats me why the media slobbers all over Gus every year. Save for the luckiest two game win streak in SEC history, AU never gets a whiff of anything better than maybe some second or third tier bowl game in the year they instead went to the NC game. I’d say Gus used up his lifetime allotment of lucky breaks on that run.

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  3. Otto

    Florida and Auburn both depend on who they find at QB and they have most of the season to find it before us. Auburn also has some major Questions as to how the DC change will impact them. I do agree with the Senator’s take with Tenn being more likely than Auburn, given the turnover all of the coaching staffs.

    I do however like UT have having UF the week before us. I’d like to see UT come in off a big last minute emotionally draining win over the Crocs, for the 1st time in a decade, and then play their big let down game against UGA.

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    • As I have heard a myriad of times already this summer, Auburn’s offense is going to be a whole lot better because Gus Malzahn has seen the light. He realizes that he made a mistake going with a passing QB last season and now has a running QB.

      What often is not mentioned unless you are listening to Andy Staples, John Franklin III is about a 175 lbs while Nick Marshall went about 215 to 220. Staples believes Auburn will be slightly better on offense because they will go back to basics of their offense but Staples doesn’t believe Franklin has nearly enough size or the athleticism that Marshall had and it will be a tall order for the Tigers to rebound.

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    • Joe

      Right! The reverse of 2004 Dawgs over Saban’s defending champion LSU, lose the home winning streak to Tennessee.
      Although that was not a “last minute emotionally draining win” but a incredibly dominating win.

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    • PTC DAWG

      I hope UT comes into Athens winless.

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  4. Uglydawg

    Given the unsettled QB situation I’d have NC on the list of possible losses before I’d mention Auburn or Florida. He must have spent 15 seconds doing research and thought before he wrote that.
    I respect almost every poster on GTP as being able to top that list of probabilities…and unless the Senator is paying them more than he does me they’re uncompensated.

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    • stoopnagle

      I’m with you on UNC. I’ve long thought we start the year 2-2, beat UT, then find ourselves for the rest of the year. I still think that’s likely, but I’ve looked a bit more closely at what Ole Miss is up against to start the year (FSU, Wofford, Bama) and feel a bit better about our chances.

      Still, I’ll take Ls v UNC and at Ole Miss if we win @ Mizzou and beat UT. In that case, I think we’re probably the team in the east.

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      • Otto

        I can see that, as much as I would usually hate losing to UNC. I hate losing OOC games more than SEC games, especially to ACC basketball schools. UNC’s up tempo 1st game out with a new DC, and uncertainty at QB will be tough one. I can see Chubb being even more critical than normal, as I think UGA could limit possessions and have success against the UNC front 7. UGA’s offense needs to slow the game down, to give the D a chance.

        Ole Miss has had success against Smart’s D, granted they have had some flat out dumb luck. But, Ole Miss has lost play makers on both sides of the ball as well. I see it very much as a 50/50 game.

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      • tbia

        Wofford is a bad game to schedule there. WIth their freaky offense you cant use it as a bye week like you honestly can with some teams

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  5. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Logic says we probably won’t go undefeated. Just doesn’t happen. But I honestly don’t think that any of these teams are better on paper than we are. Ole Miss to me is the toughest, because it’s away and early in the season. But they have lost a lot of folks since last year and there should be a little turmoil in Oxford with recent events. UNC lost a season opener last year to the Lamecocks on a field that is technically neutral, but which should have been more like a home game for them. Yes, we have to play UT after Ole Miss, but they are coming off a game against UF and they are coming to us. We seem to have a mental problem with the gayturds, but we shouldn’t. I dunno, some where there will be a loss or two, but I just can’t pick one and say that’s the one.

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  6. RugbyDawg79

    Kirby knows he has to beat florida

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    • Jared S.

      No one will care if he loses to Florida if he makes it to the SECCG.

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      • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

        You’re wrong – I will care, and so will others. Partly the Florida game is a big deal to me personally. But aside from my personal preference we don’t need to be psychologically owned by any team, and right now the Gators are in our head. No way last year’s team should’ve lost to them. We got to get past that to move forward in general. What has been reported so far is that Kirbs is aware of that. One game at a time, but when the time comes…..be ready.

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  7. Juan

    LOLAUBURN

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  8. Lose to Auburn….that’s a big fat no.

    One thing for sure, this season is going to be fun.

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  9. Jared S.

    Repeating myself from weeks past here but….

    I won’t be surprised to see Georgia drop three of their five toughest games:

    UNC
    Ole Miss
    UT
    Florida
    Auburn

    The crazy thing is I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop one of their remaining games, a la Mizzou, GaTech, Kentucky (shudder).

    So I wouldn’t be surprised if we finish 8-4 is what I’m saying. Do I hope for a much, much better finish than that? Yeah. But the fact is I’d be THRILLED with a 10 win season. And I think that might be a little optimistic, as Barrett puts it. But the facts are it’s a tough league…. and we’re opening our season against a non-conference opponent with a great coach riding a huge wave of fan enthusiasm the likes of which their program has never seen….. I don’t know…. I’m not getting the warm fuzzies about it all.

    And the fact that some fans see 10 or 11 wins as a gimme is very puzzling to me.

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    • Otto

      UGA should get 10+ wins 4 out of 5 years especially when UT, and UF are struggling. However, a 1st year coach, likely 1st yr QB, depth Questions at OL, and young DL do not make it a given. I think Smart can bring in the depth, but it takes time. Honestly, 9 wins and signing a class that brings in OL talent will thrill me.

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    • lakedawg

      It would take a nightmare coaching job for this team with the weakest schedule in SEC to go 8-4. Heads should roll if that were to happen starting with McGoofy

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    • Chopdawg

      Agree with Jared. I just don’t see the basis for any of the rosy predictions, even though I’ll luvit muchly if we win more than 8 games.

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  10. stoopnagle

    How did I miss that UT hasn’t beaten Florida since 2004? That’s just… whoa. I knew it had been awhile. Man, if they beat the Gators they’re going to be so high… I’ll actually be rooting for them in that game just to be in a position to crush their dreams the very next week.

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    • Otto

      Yup thus my comment about want to catch them on an emotional high. I don’t see them being focused if they beat UF.

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  11. Cojones

    I think the writers’ arms are getting tired throwing shit against the wall to see what passes for sticking. There is no logic to any of the predictions and each of ours is better than these dildos pretending at analysis. I don’t see any team on our schedule that we can’t beat and, being one of you saps, my guessing game is assured from better info about players, coaches and our team than any of the twinkie-dinks guessing under the guise of “an expert”(and everyone here knows that definition).

    We can go undefeated and the only thing in the way is building a suffocating O-line. The rest of it is covered.

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  12. Vince Dooley’s final season 9-3
    Ray Goff’s first season 6-6
    Ray Goff’s final season 6-6
    Jim Donnan’s first season 5-6
    Jim Donnan’s final season 8-4
    Mark Richt’s first season 8-4
    Mark Richt’s final season 9-3

    I would guess we will probably be within 1 game either side of 9-3. A lot of the issues that we faced under the final season of CMR are still present and will probably not be fixed before the games start. If we get a break or two, maybe UGA wins 10 games this regular season. If we get middling production from the passing game again then we might be winning 8.

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    • 81Dog

      Did you leave out the bowl games because they don’t fit with your theory?

      Vince won a Gator, Goff lost in the Peach the next year.

      Donnan won his last bowl in Hawaii, CMR lost his in Nashville.

      CMR wasn’t there for last year’s bowl game, but the players seemed to manage pretty well under less than optimal conditions.

      Kirby isn’t inheriting a train wreck, he’s just not inheriting a “would have been national champs last year but for self inflicted wounds.” There is a lot of talent at UGA, as we were reminded weekly the last few years. Not as much as there is at Alabama, but Alabama isn’t on the regular season schedule. And, as we’ve all been reminded multiple times, Kirby’s attention to detail, preparation, etc etc etc is all far superior to what we had.

      It’s interesting to see so many of the people who wanted a change because of “wasted talent” and “poor coaching”, and who were initially so ecstatic because of the “improved attention to detail” and “championship mentality” our new coach brings to the table (and I’m not saying you are in either group) now backpeddling like Deion Sanders.

      We won 10 games this year. I am sure there will be “growing pains” that will cost us a game or two (even Nick lost a game here and there, right?), but I will not be impressed with an 8 or 9 win regular season. Our schedule isn’t that overwhelming on paper. I’m more than willing to wait and see how it plays out on the field before making any judgments on the new staff, and admit I am hopeful they’re as good as advertised. Who knows what will actually happen, but I see no reason at this point to assume we’re going to do worse this year than we did the past couple of years.

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      • 81Dog

        won 10 LAST year. I hate the lack of editing features.😉

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        • Don’t really understand your vitriol and/or your lack of comprehension of football and UGA football history. Just to make sure you are on the same page as me, you do know that the college football regular season had only 11 games before 2006. A few simple Google clicks would reveal that I included the Gator Bowl in Dooley’s final record and the Peach Bowl in Goff’s first record. I included all the games coached by Jim Donnan his last year and Mark Richt in his first season. I didn’t include the 10th win last year because CMR didn’t coach in the bowl game.

          The point is that outside of the transition to Goff, the first season record of our last two head coaches are basically the same the final season of the previous HC. Why? Because a lot of the issues that led us to fire Ray Goff were still there when Jim Donnan took over.

          Goff’s last team and Donnan’s first team faced 8 common opponents. UGA’s record in those 16 games was 7-9. Goff won 4 of the 7 (South Carolina, Vandy, Kentucky, and Ga Tech.) Donnan beat Vandy, Auburn, and Ga Tech. Goff and Donnan were a combined 0-2 against UT, UF and Ole Miss.

          The issues that contributed to Donnan’s demise were basically still there for Richt in his first year. Donnan finished 8-4 ( 4 regular season losses and bowl win) while Richt won one more regular season game and lost the bowl game to finish 8-4. Donnan and Richt had 9 common opponents in 2000 and 2001. UGA went 11-7 in those games. Donnan beat Arkansas, UT, Vandy, UK, and Ole Miss. Richt beat Arkansas, Vandy, UT, UK, Ole Miss, and Ga Tech. Both coaches lost to USCe, UF, Auburn. Donnan lost to Tech. That was pretty much the big difference between Richt’s first year and Donnan’s last.

          Since I perceive that we have basically the same issues as last year, I expect that our record will be pretty close to the same as last year. We have 8 common opponents from the 2015 schedule. Richt went 6-2 against those opponents. If we want to improve the 2016 record from last year, we had better hold serve against those schedule holdovers from 2015 that we beat and figure out how to beat UT and/or UF. We went 3-1 against ULM, Southern, Ga Southern, and Alabama. Those teams are gone. Replaced with UNC, Nicholls, ULM, and Ole Miss. Going 3-1 against those team will be a slightly bigger endeavor but still possible. I think it is possible that we could see us lose to Ole Miss but beat UT. Record stays at 9-3.

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          • 81Dog

            Vitriol? Is that what you think that was? My abject apologies for forgetting about the 12 game schedules. I guess I should spend hours researching on CFB warehouse before asking a question, which I appreciate you answering.

            As for the rest of your analysis, I admit I am somewhat baffled by your pronouncement that we have “basically the same issues as last year.” How is that possible, given our importation of The Process? Same players, better coaching, same result? I understand it make take a whole year before Kirby has us up and running like Alabama (even Nick needed two years to win a national title, ditto Urban Meyer), but my question was simply “How are we going to be worse when we already have pretty good players and now we have a much upgraded coach/system/support from BM?

            Sorry if you find that vitriolic. Or maybe you are just a little sensitive. Dawg forbid anyone question your opinion. Maybe we get lots of injuries and go 9-3 with walkons. Maybe the new staff gacks up some close games and goes 9-3. Maybe we look good against the average teams and get housed by, say, Florida, Auburn and Tech (we haven’t gotten housed by Tech since the Donnan administration. I looked that one up. We got a little housed by AU with Cam. I’d consider losing to both in the same year a step back. Sorry if that offends you)

            Given the hue and outcry the last few years about beating UT closely and last year’s gacking up a lead, I admit I have a problem seeing how losing to them wouldn’t be a step back, either. But, maybe you can explain it to me.

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            • dawgman3000

              Butthurt much?

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              • 81Dog

                Is English not your first language? I’m sorry, I can’t quite grasp whatever point you’re trying to make, but I’m sure it’s witty and insightful.

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            • Cojones

              Are you using “housed” in the place of “hosed”? If not, what does “housed” mean?

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              • 81Dog

                “Housed” as in “thrashed, clobbered, badly beaten.” It’s a slang term I hear around where I live. Just another descriptive way of saying “getting your butt kicked,” I guess.

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            • 81Dog – I took the position that you were questioning what I was talking about, plus sarcasm and inflection is hard to glean from typed posts on a message board. I read it as a argumentative and I don’t like being told that I am wrong despite the fact that I am wrong all the time.

              Do you think that the on-field issues that manifested last season have suddenly been rectified for 2016? I don’t and that is the point that I made. Hopefully I will be wrong and all of this melt away like a January snowstorm in Atlanta.

              But unless we catch fire in a bottle with a freshman QB, I think we are still challenged in the passing game with the current roster of QB’s. We still have issues at receiver and stretching the field for a vertical passing game. The running back situation is worse this year than the beginning last year – hopefully it will be better as Chubb gets healthy.

              We are very young and inexperienced in the defensive line again in 2016. We have to replace a lot of starting LB’s which actually a worse situation than 2015. Special teams are about the same as last year.

              I made no claims about the process in my original post. All I said was that in the past two coaching transitions at UGA the final season record of the previous HC and the first season record of the new NC were about the same. Why? Because the issues that got the coaches replaced still remained for the new staff.

              Given that we have similar on the field questions that we faced last year for 2016, I expect this season’s record to be about the same as 9-3.

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              • 81Dog

                The actual question about bowl records was just a question (and not a smart one, given the 12 game thing I missed). Sorry if it seemed antagonistic, it really wasn’t meant to be.

                As for the rest of it, I certainly think reasonable people can vary wildly about what UGA’s record will be, and why. It’s certainly fair to point out we lost some guys at some positions, or don’t have the depth at some positions, etc. While that’s a feature of college teams, it’s always hard to know in the summer who steps up, who pans out, for anyone, much less us.

                My question, which I guess includes to you but not specifically based on your analysis, is why should we be worse than last year? We certainly had some problems last year/the last few years, but we had plenty of talent (perhaps not enough to overcome all other deficiencies, but not so little as to have to rely on perfect execution, opponent mistakes, and prayer). I have no idea how you feel about the new staff, and it may have nothing to do with how YOU see the year to come. Fair enough. Kirby isn’t Harry Potter, at any rate, but if he’s all he was cracked up to be, given the resources and talent available, I see no reason at the moment for backsliding.

                Now, could calamities occur that Kirby, or Saban, or Bill Belichik, couldn’t anticipate or outcoach? Sure. People get hurt. Fluky bounces occur. Some guy plays way over his head, or a whole team does, and then odd things happen (like when UGA lost it’s whole running game a few years ago. Or the Prayer in Jordan Hare. Or the 2008 Tech game). Stuff like that happens, but I don’t really see why I should EXPECT it to happen. I’m more than willing to wait to see how the “new and improved” staff handles all the issues that were said to be holding UGA from winning titles, but I don’t expect, today, based on what we can see on paper, that all this offseason improvement is suddenly going to result in 7 or 8 wins against a schedule filled with solid but equally or greater flawed teams with equal or lesser talent and mostly lesser coaching. If we have calamitous injuries, or a rash of ridiculous calls, or we play a streak of games in monsoons that hamper our usual game plan, so be it. Maybe that would result in fewer wins, and maybe that would be acceptable under those circumstances. But I’m not prepared to say “all things equal, we probably lose 4 games, maybe more” and think that’s acceptable today.

                If that’s snark, so be it. If that doesn’t match your opinion, so be it. You may be right in the end. That’s why they play the games.

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                • I don’t really think we will be worse next year and I didn’t say it. I did say that first year coaching transition might cost us one more game.

                  t think our regular season will be 9-3 – which was my point from the outset. Obviously some of our losses in 2016 will come to different teams since Bama is not on our schedule.

                  I also happen to think that the UT victory in Knoxville was flub on our part and we should beat them at home this year. I don’t see us losing to Auburn this season. I think AU will be lucky to rebound to 8 wins in 2016 and really think they are a 44-0 blowout to Bama away from going looking for a new coach.

                  However, I think we will find away to lose to UF again. I think we are up against it in Oxford unless the weight of NCAA rule-breaking ruins their season. The UNC opener is the one that confuses me the most. I think we will lose (I have a bad Boise St 2011 feeling about it.) On paper we are more talented and they did lose to USCe to open last season. On the other hand, opening games under new coaches don’t always go smoothly and I can see us losing them in frustrating fashion.

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      • Otto

        UGA did not have the QB play to be “would have been national champs last year but for self inflicted wounds.”

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      • PTC DAWG

        Bowl games, unless you were the champion of something don’t carry much water in my book. Your mileage may vary. A BCS type game or whatever they are calling them now might make me think differently.

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  13. Greg

    Thinks if can’t improve on Richt’s performance, ADGM should be shown the door. Three to five years should be enough time.

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  14. Tommy

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/barrettsallee
    Barrett Sallee
    Bleacher Report CFB Analyst
    Greater Atlanta AreaSports
    Current
    VSporto, Sirius XM Radio Inc., Bleacher Report
    Previous
    Comcast Sports Southeast, SCOUT (Media) and CollegeFootballNews.com, Niles Bolton Associates
    Education
    Auburn University

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  15. rchris

    Another reason the Vols will be tougher than the Eagle Plainsmen Tigers is that Tennessee is much earlier in the season. UGA definitely should get better as the season progresses. Chubb will be healthier (hopefully), Eason will be more experienced, Catalina will know the offense better, and the front seven on defense will know their roles better. Regardless of what our final regular season record will be, the ‘Dogs will be the team you don’t want to face in a bowl.

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  16. Hobnail_Boot

    I think that Sallee (famously) attended Auburn and that his football opinions nicely compliment the rolled arboreal adornments at Tooner’s corner.

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    • Hogbody Spradlin

      You could also call them “rolled scatological hygiene products.”

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    • Cojones

      Hiney wipe? Sorry, I’m getting this confused with Hiney Wine that was so popular during the LA Olympics. (DJ: “Girls, let’s welcome the Olympians to LA and give them a little Hiney.”)

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  17. Go Dawgs!

    A loss to Ole Miss? It’s not gonna happen.

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  18. With our backfield, an experienced line and a “game manager”at QB this is a winning team . Take Alabama off anyone’s schedule and you’ve got an extra win, get another loss transferred from an away to a home game and the only lose I anticipate is Florida. 11-1 . Why are all the smart people thinking 10-2 is optimistic? O yea ,it was the smart ones who got CMR fired and now they’re covering their ass. Never mind forgot there for a second. Why is a new and clearly better Coach not good for at least one additional win if not two. If Richt was still the head coach I get that this is a 10-2 team, optimistically , but we got this new Coach because he is driven ,knows the system, will do what it takes to win and will keep the Dawgs from ever ,what’s the term? “shitting the bed”, again. I will be disappointed with anything less than 10 wins, I expect 11 and optimistically this is a team with an undefeated regular season.

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  19. No way we lose to Malzahn’s Barn-eagles at home. And Butch’s bunch haven’t proven they can dominate anyone on their conference schedule. I think the hype blows up in their face and their over-inflated heads along with it. Both AU and Tennessee at our house? I like our chances against both. Ole Mi$$ is a coin-flip, in my humble opinion. Go Dawgs!

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