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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Most important games

My colleague Coley Harvey and I did a combined feature in today's papers, ranking Georgia and Georgia Tech's most important games this season, one through 12.

Here's a link to the Georgia list.

And here's how Coley ranked Georgia Tech's games.

Obviously it's hard to sit here in August and come up with a definitive list. So this is a lot of projection, and assuming things play out as expected. (Which they almost certainly won't.)

I was tempted to rank the South Carolina game first. But the rivalry aspect with Florida and Georgia Tech - and those team's high preseason rankings - trumped the early-season tone-setter of the trip to Columbia.

(But you might also notice that Coley only ranked Georgia as the fourth-most important game for Georgia Tech. Hmmm.)

Tennessee, as less important than the tilts against Kentucky and Mississippi State? Again, that's assuming the Volunteers are as down as they're expected to be. And it downplays the return of Derek Dooley. It's a nice story, but in the long run what's the importance of it?

Auburn as only the sixth-most important, behind Kentucky, is the one that could end up being ranked too low. But I gave the edge to the Kentucky game because its earlier in the season, midway through in fact, when the season is still being fleshed out.

And I could go on, but hey, I won't.


Anonymous said...

I think that the most important game of this season is going to be against Arkansas. It will be the ultimate test for our defense. I don't want to overlook South Carolina as I am sure it will be a close game, but the Arkansas offense will be a much bigger test for our defense. If we can slow down Mallett, it should boost the confidence our players. We need that confidence if we are going to have a chance against Florida, Auburn, and the nerds.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious you know nothing about Georgia football. Putting Tech second is absurd. And Auburn that low? Wow. I wish Hale would of stayed you are an idiot. Please talk to real UGA fans before posting again.

pS : just like how you said you dont like getting into recruiting. Well welcome to the SEC. Its very important so get use to posting about it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon11:21. You have a HUGE learning curve. gtu is not important. I didn't realize how much I was going to miss David until I read this absurd post.

Please do some better work. People actually do read this. You have BIG shoes to fill.


Eric said...

Hey No-Names: instead of bashing, how about coming up with your own list? Like he even said, none of this really matters at this point, and when do preseason predictions actually play out? So again, why don't y'all come up with your own list and prove how right you are.

Drew Williams said...

1) South Carolina - first game that matters against the team that will challenge us to the #2 spot in the East.
2) Florida Assuming we go into the game with 1 SEC loss
3) Arkansas Big for the first time in a long time
4) Yech I hate those guys
5) Tenn Can't lose to these guys this year
6 Aub Will (hopefully) decide who gets to the Dome.

Paul said...

I'd quibble somewhat. I think you're dead-on for number one, but I'd put Tech a lot further down as I don't buy that the rivalry outweighs the fact that it's a non-conference game.

I'd go:

1. Florida

2. South Carolina: This is all about where it falls in the schedule and the perception that SC is a dark horse contender in the east.

3. Tennessee: We've never lost to UT and won the east, UT needs to beat us to recruit GA well, plus with the perception that UT is down a loss here would be an unwelcome statement of our relative standing in the SEC. How do we respond after the long road trip?

4. Auburn: One for the thumb? The timing of this game and the fact that AU is one of our top rivals give this game added importance.

5. Kentucky: We simply cannot lose to UK again and consider ourselves part of the SEC elite. It really should not ever happen.

6. Arkansas: This is all about momentum.

7. Mississippi State: Also, momentum and a potential trap before the big Colorado trip.

8. Georgia Tech: The rivalry is important, but unless one believes UGA is in the hunt for the BCS, then this game isn't nearly as important as the conference slate. Our first goal is always to Win The SEC East. The second is Win The SEC.

9. Colorado: I know I won't be happy if I go all that way and we lose, but I'm pretty sure I'd trade a loss in Boulder for wins over the 8 teams above this.

10. Vanderbilt

11. Louisiana

12. Idaho State

Big Walt said...

Anons 11:21 and 11:36 (who are actually the same person judging by the poor grammar):

Do you have some kind of weird crush on the last guy? Move on with your life. And buy a subscription to if you also have a fetish for talking about high school boys.

My top 5:
1. UF
2. USC
3. Vols
4. Auburn
5. Ark.

Martin Van Dawgin said...

Having the Barner's that low is pretty ridiculous. I really believe that game is what will determine whether or not we go to the SEC championship. I feel like this will be the best chance we've had to beat UF in 5 years, and it seems like we'll may have one loss going into that game. Florida will have a loss to us which means if we win, we're in. Oh, and lay off Seth a bit, his last gig was in Columbia.

Hunker Down said...

I will accept Paul's list. It feels like the Arky game is more important but who do we move down? Well done.

TR said...

It's SEC football. Ranking the games is like ranking methods of execution: there are differences, but the end result is the same. Whichever SEC game we lose is the most important.

Anonymous said...

Most folk'll never lose a toe,
but then again, some folk'll.

Like 11:21 and 11:36 the slack-jawed yokels.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BHNotes said...

I think there is a distinction that needs to be made between which games the fans most want to win and which games are actually the most important to the overall success of the season. Those are two different issues.
Fans want to see the Dawgs beat our rivals. But different fans value the rivalry wins in different orders. Everyone wants to beat UF because we're tired of losing to them. People say they don't care about beating Tech, but they sure hate losing to them! Some fans don't care too much about beating Auburn, but for personal reasons if we only got to beat one rival per year I'd take them 9 times out of 10.
I'm not saying I totally agree with Seth's list, but he makes good points in terms of momentum as the season goes along, ranking conference and division foes according to their potential impact on division races and so on.
I do think, however, that a few years in Columbia have affected his view of the USC game. It's always been bigger for the USC folks. A loss to USC does NOT kill the Dawgs if they can recover, pull a win against Arkansas and play solid from then on.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Paul nailed it.

1) SEC East games
2) SEC West games
3) Tech
4) Others

Paul said...


If it wasn't for losing to USC at home by 4 points in 2007, Georgia very well may have played for the national title.

Yeah, they aren't a top rival on our side of things, but the timing and impact of a divisional game rank it pretty high.

Anonymous said...

This year the most important game is the next one on the schedule! PERIOD

NRBQ said...

I want to beat Tenn in the worst way.

It is unbelievable that the NCAA hasn't jumped in to see why the 8-10 animals that beat and kicked two men nearly to death have met zero punishment save the one suspension.

I know Vince was no saint, but if this happened at UGA today, I would be calling for CMR's head.

Little Dooley has squandered any respect he may have deserved, and I hope every SEC team pounds him for the two or three years before he's run out of Tennessee.