The other thing to factor into all that is that both teams have relatively manageable schedules -- "relatively" being the key word, because there's really no such thing as a manageable schedule in the SEC.
Team Speed Kills (July 8, 2012)
Finally! Someone has acknowledged the sheer stupidity of the shopworn silliness of the preposterous claim that the Georgia Bulldogs will---that any SEC team could---enjoy the luxury of a cakewalk through a Southeastern Conference slate. You can’t call yourself an SEC fan and believe that garbage; ours can’t be the toughest league in the land if one of our teams can play eight conference contests without crossing paths with anyone good, and shame on any so-called SEC supporter who says differently.
That is but one of several reasons why I was stunned after being directed by Senator Blutarsky to Jerry Hinnen’s SEC East win projections, in which the CBS Sports college football blogger opts for the over on the Red and Black’s predicted 9.5 wins.
I take issue with particular elements of Jerry’s rationale, but it is his ultimate conclusion that I find most absolutely baffling. Maybe folks are going by the Bulldogs’ roster as it existed on the day after National Signing Day, rather than by the Georgia lineup as it exists today, but surely it has not escaped the notice of absolutely everyone outside of Bulldog Nation that the Athenians literally have fewer recruited scholarship football players than any other team in the conference.
In his cursory analysis, Hinnen twice gets in backhanded digs at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, characterizing them as a less daunting opponent than the perennially overrated Florida St. Seminoles and absurdly insinuating that the Vanderbilt Commodores may pose a bigger challenge than the Engineers on Georgia’s “cushy home slate,” but home field advantage has meant little in the Peach State’s in-state rivalry, and the Bulldogs’ depth issues do not bode well where the Classic City Canines’ late-season schedule is concerned.
More to the point, the “cushy home slate” argument utterly ignores the necessary flipside to that position: If all of Georgia’s easy opponents come to Sanford Stadium, then the Bulldogs must face all their tough opponents in venues outside Athens. That means locking horns with the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, with the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, with the Florida Gators in Jacksonville, and with the Auburn Tigers in the so-called Loveliest Village, and the Athenians must face three of those four clubs at or after midseason, when the Red and Black’s depth issues are likely to have their most detrimental impact.
If you think this depleted Georgia team is getting through that road slate in shape to conclude a ten-win season, I have some advice for you: Don’t drive by Aderhold Hall after 2:00 a.m. on a Thursday night, because, when you are stopped at the police checkpoint, your vehicle will be searched because the officer detects an odor of marijuana about your person.