#Mizzou D-tackle Sheldon Richardson on Georgia: "It's like watching Big Ten football. It's old man football."
Georgia's Mark Richt entered 2011 on one of the hottest seats in the country. Despite having won at least nine games in seven of 10 seasons (they had done so seven times in 18 seasons before Richt arrived), the grumbles that began when the Dawgs didn't win the national title in 2008 (after beginning the season No. 1), grew considerably when Georgia fell to 6-7 in 2010. The perception was that things could totally fall apart if and/or when Richt began 2011 poorly. And sure enough, Georgia was picked apart by Boise State and lost via some crazy bounces against South Carolina. Georgia was 0-2, and Richt was supposedly on his last legs in Athens. But anyone who looked at Georgia's schedule knew the Dawgs could go on a major run if they held together. They did, and they did. The defense clicked, and the offense did just enough. Georgia held all but one of its final 10 opponents under 21 points and, when South Carolina stumbled offensively, they not only caught the Gamecocks in the standings, but surpassed them for Richt's first SEC East title since 2005.
It is all but official, based on talking to someone with knowledge of the schedule talks, that Georgia will not play Alabama next year. A trip to Missouri early in the season (probably Sept. 8, the second week) will replace the previously-scheduled trip to South Carolina, which will be moved to midseason (probably Oct. 5, the sixth week).
And it's not expected that much if anything will change with the rest of Georgia's original 2012 schedule. The four non-conference games are expected to stay where they were.
The 2012 SEC schedule is not complete but should be announced soon, athletics director Eric Hyman said. Calling 2012 "a transition year," Hyman predicted the juggling prompted by the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri to the league will upset some fans.
McGarity said Thursday that a new model would be used for 2013 and beyond. It’s not known what that model will be, but it will not be a nine-game schedule, Bloom said. The SEC has repeatedly asserted it is not adding another conference game since expanding to include Missouri and Texas A&M.
The Bulldogs were able to win despite sleepwalking through their SEC East-clinching game against Kentucky.
Seriously, your big announcement that you're going to the SEC Championship Game is beating Kentucky 19-10?
Georgia (+30.5) over Kentucky 52-10
I was going to pick UK to cover up until I sat down to write this picks post, actually. I thought UGA was going to take it easy and coast to the win. However it occurred to me that with the SEC East title officially theirs with a victory, the Bulldogs are probably going to make this about as emphatic as possible. It's been six years since their last division title, and with this game being in Athens, it's going to be a three-hour party.
With the way the SEC East looks this year, it will be Georgia and South Carolina fighting for control and both of them are on our schedule. This will be a completely different game for us this year. Their QB has experience now. Their defense is getting their act together. And we are playing in their house.
The Gators traditionally struggle in Athens, dropping two in a row there, including a loss last season that began a three-game losing streak that cost Florida some seeding. Add in the fact that the Bulldogs are a more talented team this season, and UF's position alone atop the SEC East is very unstable.