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A Look Ahead at the Georgia Bulldogs' 2013 Football Schedule: Back to the Future

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We need to play Clemson more…some of those names, Igwebuike in particular, raised my blood pressure just a tad.

DavetheDawg

As an emphatic advocate for reviving the rivalry, I could not agree more wholeheartedly with the above sentiment. I was, therefore, most pleased when Georgia and Clemson announced in 2005 that the Bulldogs and the Tigers would tangle with one another in 2013 and 2014, with the former game being played in Death Valley and the latter contest taking place in Sanford Stadium.

At the time, the exact dates of the games had not yet been determined, but it seemed logical for the two teams to face off in the season opener for both squads. That, though, is not to be, as David Hale confirms. The Red and Black will host the Mean Green of North Texas on August 31, 2013, and Appalachian State will come calling in the Classic City at a later date that same autumn.

Presently, there are four available Saturdays on the Bulldogs’ 2013 slate: September 7, between home dates against North Texas and South Carolina; September 21, between home dates against South Carolina and Alabama; October 5, between a home date against Alabama and a road game at Tennessee; and November 9, between a neutral site date against Florida and a home game against Auburn.

Three of those dates make no sense. Shoehorning a road game against Clemson between Alabama and Tennessee or between Florida and Auburn would be suicidal, and opening the season with back-to-back patsy games against North Texas and Appalachian State would defeat a large part of the purpose of such outings. It makes considerably more sense to move the date with the Mountaineers to one of the open Saturdays before the Alabama, Tennessee, or Auburn games (much as Georgia did with Tennessee Tech last year).

In practical terms, that means the only sensible date for the Classic City Canines’ clash with the Fort Hill Felines is September 7, after the season opener against North Texas but before the SEC opener against South Carolina.

If that turns out to be the case, the 2013 season will feature a Vince Dooley-style schedule . . . and, for once, I mean that as a compliment. Back in the day, when both the Country Gentlemen and the Gamecocks were perennial non-conference foes, Georgia routinely made the Palmetto State circuit in consecutive contests.

Between the first series meeting in 1894 and the latest series meeting in 2009, the Bulldogs played South Carolina 62 times. Between the first series meeting in 1897 and the latest series meeting in 2003, the Bulldogs played Clemson 62 times. Georgia faced both opponents from our neighboring state back-to-back as early as 1903 and such a sequence became the norm in 1962.

In his 25-year career on the Red and Black sideline, Coach Dooley faced the Gamecocks and the Tigers one right after the other sixteen times. Of Coach Dooley’s six Southeastern Conference championship teams, half featured contests with both Palmetto State opponents in consecutive outings.

Once finalized, the Bulldogs’ 2013 slate is apt to have a familiar look to it. Think of it as a "throwback" schedule. With a little luck, maybe it will feature some throwback results, as well.

Go ‘Dawgs!