So, Barrett Sallee has a post up about potential snagging points in Georgia’s path to Atlanta. As far as it goes, it’s not a crazy list. But there are a couple of items on there that he, along with others, have raised that I question, at least a little bit.
First, there’s this.
Of all of the teams in the SEC East, Georgia got perhaps the worst draw of any team.
The Bulldogs draw Alabama out of the SEC West in addition to the traditional cross-division rivalry with Auburn. Those two teams were picked to finish first and second in the SEC West by the members of the media at media days, respectively, with the Tigers pegged as the overall conference champion.
‘Bama is ‘Bama. I get that. But when does Richt get credit for handling Auburn the way he has over the past few seasons? Auburn’s got two wins in the modern “Mark Richt sux” era, neither of which was exactly dominating. Meanwhile, Georgia can claim more than one rout in its set of victories over that period. None of which is to dismiss Auburn’s chances, obviously. But I think Georgia’s entitled to go into that game not wetting its pants.
But speaking of ‘Bama and pants wetting, read this and despair.
On top of that, the Bulldogs have to travel to Knoxville to play Tennessee—which was picked second in the SEC East—the week after facing the Crimson Tide in Athens. SEC teams are 10-13 the week after playing Nick Saban’s squad over the last four years, with three of those wins coming against out-of-conference competition.
Ooh, automatic trap game!
Not to say that the close way the Vols have played Georgia the last two season doesn’t make me nervous, but the Alabama hangover is a little overrated there. Some of those 23 games were played by some pretty bad teams – it may be hard to believe now that every coach in the West is making bank, but just a few short years ago, Ole Miss and Arkansas stunk – and a bunch of those next week games came against ranked opponents. I can’t say the Dawgs will be dominant this season, but I’m pretty confident they’ll win more games than they’ll lose. And if Tennessee is a ranked opponent, it’s going to mean wins against Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas before Georgia rolls into Knoxville. We’ll see about that.
Besides, let’s not forget the Alabama hangover cuts both ways. Tennessee has to play at Kentucky the week after its Alabama meeting, and I have it on good authority that the Wildcats won’t suck this season.