The Saturdays following road trips are manageable. Georgia plays at Columbia, Mo., on September 8, and faces non-conference patsy FAU at home one week later. Georgia plays at Columbia, S.C., on October 6, and has an open date one week later. Georgia plays at Jacksonville, Fla., on October 27, and faces Ole Miss at home one week later. Georgia plays at Auburn, Ala., on November 10, and faces Division I-AA opponent Georgia Southern at home one week later. Apart from the fact that the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party follows the Bulldogs’ road trip to Lexington, Ky., the Red and Black should find the weeks following away games fairly easily negotiable.
The points at which Georgia catches particular conference opponents present a mixed bag. We don’t know the opponent Mizzou will face one week prior to opening SEC play against the ‘Dawgs, but Florida will host South Carolina, Kentucky and Ole Miss both will travel to Arkansas, and South Carolina will travel to Kentucky on the Saturdays prior to those teams’ respective showdowns with the Classic City Canines. On the other hand, Auburn is scheduled to take on Division I-AA McNeese State and Tennessee is slated to tussle with Terry Bowden’s Akron Zips seven days prior to their respective tilts with the Red and Black. Vanderbilt’s September 15 opponent is listed as “TBA.”
The loss of the pre-Cocktail Party open date is a wash, no better and no worse. Neither combatant gets a bye before traveling to Jacksonville. Florida has the tougher October 20 opponent, but the Sunshine State Saurians get the Palmetto State Poultry at home, while the Classic City Canines must venture forth to the commonwealth to take on the Bluegrass State Bobcats on the road. The ‘Dawgs aren’t worse off than the Gators going into the Gateway City, but they aren’t better off, either.
The 2012 Bulldogs are the Rodney Dangerfield of the SEC. Bill C.’s comments following his posting at Rock M Nation indicate that he is more worried about a road game against the Gamecocks than he is about a home game against Georgia; I would respectfully suggest that a glance at Mark Richt’s record in true road games might be in order for our new friends from the Show Me State. Alabama fans are buying into the Georgia “soft schedule” meme, and Kentucky fans show respect for the preservation of the Third Saturday in October while ignoring entirely the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. South Carolina fans have anointed the Bulldogs the winners, and the Gamecocks the losers, of the schedule wars. Aside from Ole Miss fans already conceding defeat and Florida fans noting the aforementioned loss of the open date, we’re getting no respect. The theme of the season for the Red and Black next autumn needs to be the plot of “Caddyshack.”