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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Upset Specials

A lot of talk at the start of the season has surrounded Georgia's grueling schedule, and for good reason. Cross-country non-conference games, brutal SEC West matchups, a four-game road trip (sorta)... there aren't exactly a lot of easy weeks for the Bulldogs.

I think most people have Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and LSU circled as the toughest games on the schedule -- particularly since all four teams begin the year in the preseason top 25. But what about those other contests?

This was the subject of a recent debate I had with a friend: Of those other games, which one is most crucial (i.e., which is the most likely upset) for Georgia?

I ruled out Arizona State, since I find it hard to believe the Bulldogs won't be up for this game. Plus, I'm not exactly president of the Rudy Carpenter fan club.

Vandy beat Georgia the last time it played at Sanford Stadium, but what are the chances of that happening again? Same is true for the road game at Kentucky.

Without Reggie Ball or Chan Gailey, you might think Tech would have a better shot this year, but I think the Jackets might still be a year away.

Georiga Southern? Um, no. Same, likely (though certainly not definitely) for Central Michigan.

So, that leaves us with South Carolina and Alabama.

My friend thinks Alabama could be the upset this year. The Crimson Tide should be improved, have young talent that will have had more than a month to gel, are in Year 2 of the Saban administration, and have a battle-tested QB.

I said South Carolina was the game to watch. It's Georgia's first road test of the year in a very hostile environment. The Gamecocks always play Georgia tough, including a win at Sanford Stadium last season. And the South Carolina D might be one of the few the Bulldogs will play this year that can contend with Stafford and Moreno. With the trip to Arizona State the following week, it might not be out of the question that South Carolina gets overlooked a bit.

So, what do you think? Beyond the Big Four, which game are you most worried about?


Hobnail_Boot said...

For me it's Alabama.

We'll be coming off of 2 huge road games and could be looking forward to the bye week and revenge game vs. UT.

The Tide surely haven't forgotten losing a heartbreaker to us last year either.

chefboyardee said...

South Carolina for me, just because it's where it is on the schedule. First SEC game, first road game ... and no matter what happens, Georgia won't be #1 after that game, because USC and Ohio St. play at 8:00 pm.

Ally said...

No way its South Carolina - that will be a revenge game this year. Their D is good, but they can't handle Stafford, Moreno, AND the receivers. Not to mention the fact that they have little to nothing on offense.

Auburn and Florida are my nail biters this season.

David Hale said...

Totally agree on Auburn and Florida, I was just thinking outside of the obvious rivalry games who would be the toughest.

One thing about Alabama is that it is one of the few SEC teams with experience at QB. LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina and Auburn are all trotting out unproven guys, which I think is a huge advantage for teams like Georgia and Florida.

Hunker Down Dawg said...

I think South Carolina will be a tough battle that we win. It won't be a comfortable evening watching it because it never is. But, we will win in the 4th quarter.

The Alabama game will be close if John Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Peppers has a good game. Otherwise, we win easily.

Among UT, LSU, UF and Auburn... two will be nail biters and two will be surprisingly easy. But I have no idea which is which.

Tech is Tech and we will win it. I have no idea if it will be close at this point because we don't know if they have the personnel to run the triple option yet. It will become abundantly clear by the middle of the season however.


ScoopDawg1 said...

South Carolina will be a test for this team. It's not only our first road game but it's the first SEC game.

Playing four games on the road against some tough competition will be the biggest test for this team. If we come up with a win in all four of those games we will definitely be able to beat anybody in the national championship game.