Georgia’s schedule break: Goodbye Alabama, hello Missouri

Mark Richt, Bulldogs react after seeing next year's schedule. OK, maybe not.

Mark Richt, Bulldogs react after seeing next year's schedule. OK, maybe not. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Welcome to Mark Richt’s new charmed existence.

While it’s impossible to project how difficult a schedule will be until a season plays out, it’s safe to assume Georgia just caught a huge break. Instead being forced to travel to Alabama next season as previously scheduled, the Bulldogs will play at Missouri.

That means for the second straight season, the Dogs will avoid Alabama, LSU and Arkansas. And they play Mississippi again.

The SEC released its 2012 schedule Wednesday. There are three changes from the original schedule Georgia was supposed to play. The Sept. 8 game at South Carolina just became at Missouri (which will be making its SEC debut). The Oct. 6 game at Alabama is now at South Carolina. Also, the open date before the Oct. 27 Florida game is now on Oct. 13, the week before the Kentucky game.

When you add the fact that Georgia will open the season against Buffalo against Boise State, this qualifies as potentially one of the easier schedules they’ll play in recent memory. The Dogs’ non-conference games will come against Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.

In the SEC East, Florida must play LSU and newcomer Texas A&M, and South Carolina plays LSU and Arkansas.

Teams sometimes are better than projected (and vice versa). But here’s how Georgia’s 2012 schedule breaks downs, including current Sagarin computer ranking, just for some kind of measurement.

Sept. 1: Buffalo, 135.

Sept. 8: at Missouri, 16.

Sept. 15: Florida Atlantic, 190.

Sept. 22: Vanderbilt, 36.

Sept. 29: Tennessee, 53.

Oct. 6: at South Carolina, 15.

Oct. 13: Bye.

Oct. 20: at Kentucky, 87.

Oct. 27: Florida (Jacksonville), 35.

Nov. 3: Mississippi, 112.

Nov. 10: Auburn, 45.

Nov. 17: Georgia Southern, 84.

Nov. 24: Georgia Tech, 50.

How many losses do you see on that schedule?

By Jeff Schultz

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200 comments Add your comment

Hollywould

December 28th, 2011
11:40 am

Wow, Buford has a better chance of beating the leg humpers than anybody in the East or non-confernece.

Ricky 4

December 28th, 2011
11:44 am

I’ll take 0 for 100 Jeff.

jdawg

December 28th, 2011
11:46 am

Good for UGA. It’s funny how people forget the last several years what UGA’s schedule has been like. This year they caught a break because of UF and UT being down. I think their out of conference schedule should be easier, and they should have a few weeks to get their footing before heading into the SEC schedule. Their turn will come again to play the powers in the West. The irony is that the East may be back on top when that time comes. The worm always turns in the SEC.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

December 28th, 2011
11:52 am

Yeah, we did luck out on the schedule front, but I HATE how people (especially ESPN) feel the need to compulsively point out that we didn’t play Bama, Arkansas or LSU in the regular season this year EVERY TIME they talk about us: as if our 10 wins for some reason don’t count because we avoided the West heavies.

And, based on this column and several others, it’ll happen next year, too, and that p!sses me off.

Georgia doesn’t determine their SEC schedule: the head office in Birmingham does. So if you want to rag on someone for our avoiding those teams, go to the front office.

Don’t take it out on our guys for playing the games the league told us to.

Go Dawgs!

falconfan58

December 28th, 2011
11:53 am

It does not matter who they play, they always lose the last one.

Cobb Dawg

December 28th, 2011
11:54 am

Jeff, does Florida have a bye week prior to Jacksonville? If they do, then moving the bye week is the only negative I see here. Otherwise, this looks like a pretty good schedule — although Missouri on the road that early in the season might not be much easier than USC on the road. But it looks like things are finally breaking our way.

Dawglasville

December 28th, 2011
11:56 am

I don’t want to hear from anyone in the East, Auburn, or Tech. You have a chance to impact the results of our year.

jdawg is right. The years that we had 3 of the big four in the West no one felt sorry for Richt. Dem is just the breaks.

Cobb Dawg

December 28th, 2011
11:56 am

@Sam Robards: I feel your frustration. But I think I’ve finally arrived at the point where I no longer care what ESPN says, or what the polls say, or even who ends up in the BCS title game for that matter, which is (frankly) looking more and more like a glorified exhibition game to me. My only concern going forward is results that are decided purely on the field, like the SEC division and conference championships.

I'm with ATL teams (Always)

December 28th, 2011
11:57 am

NONE. No losses.

Vance Duly

December 28th, 2011
12:00 pm

I see 2 losses, either Missouri or SC, then either Florida or Auburn. On paper, we SHOULD do better. On paper, we could be undefeated until the SEC championship game. BUT, we have to replace 3 offensive linemen from a line that hasn’t been great for several years now. Also, we have to replace both our punter and kicker. With Coach Bobo calling the plays, unless his in-game decision-making improves, there’s no reason to believe that we will be much better offensively, even with more depth at tailback. It takes 5 very good linemen AND solid play-calling to have a great running game. We won a number of uninspiring games this year, where the offense was mediocre and the play-calling was sometimes too predictable and too conservative.

IF we can find 3 good new starting linemen, and Bobo grows into his role (learning how to push the offense hard for all 4 quarters), we could be 12-0. GO DAWGS!

Dawglasville

December 28th, 2011
12:00 pm

I think we get a huge break playing South Carolina in October. Lately we have been playing a pretty tough opener and USC has been playing a patsy. That gave Stevie Wonder all summer to scheme for us. I think that helps us a ton.

GTT

December 28th, 2011
12:01 pm

Good. Glad to hear it.

GSU Eagle 91

December 28th, 2011
12:02 pm

let me applaud the mighty UGA program for stepping up and taking on Buffalo and FL Atlantic….
Games like these will surely let the rest of the country see how mighty the Mutt program really is…
Sorry UGA…Until you step up and play Oregon, USC or Oklahoma..there will be no BCS title game for you. There is simply no credibility playing a schedule loaded with candy a$$ teams…Yes, I am including my GSU Eagles here…and the rest of the incredibly weak SEC East….

Whatever happened to Chip Towers

December 28th, 2011
12:03 pm

what is UGAs rating

GTT

December 28th, 2011
12:04 pm

Realist

December 28th, 2011
12:04 pm

Hey Sam, They say that because you would havd lost those games dumbass. You havent beat a top 20 team in years, but looks like you won’t have to next year either. Not UGA’s fault just reality. you saw what happened in SEC Championship game this year. Got your ass licking self dominated. Thats what they say that again, dumbass stupid ball sniffer. Just like a UGA fan. 1980 is over, now you need to get over it.
Thanks

Whatever happened to Chip Towers

December 28th, 2011
12:04 pm

What is Ala out of conf schedule

jdawg

December 28th, 2011
12:05 pm

I agree Dawglasville. That was not a good spot for what has become a crucial game. Cobb Dawg, UF lost their bye week as well.

Whatever happened to Chip Towers

December 28th, 2011
12:07 pm

un realist. UGA waas not dominated by LSU just the opposite. LSU only had 2 TDs over 20 yds. Without the turnovers and special teams play UGA dominaated LSU and SC. Get real

ChillyMutt

December 28th, 2011
12:08 pm

Disappointing. I want to see the Dogs play Alabama … LSU and top SEC teams.

Decided on the field?

December 28th, 2011
12:08 pm

How was the Division decided on the field? South Carolina beat Georgia. But, they had to play Arkansas instead of Ole Miss.

jdawg

December 28th, 2011
12:10 pm

Eagle, you are showing your GS quality education with an assenine post like that. Who did Alabama play out of conference this year besides Penn State? Realist, why is a bitter a$$ like you even reading this blog and responding? Are you still ticked off because no one gave a crap enough about you to give you a Christmas present?

Decided on the field?

December 28th, 2011
12:10 pm

How do you dominate somebody and get beat by 30 points?

ChillyMutt

December 28th, 2011
12:10 pm

@ Chip Towers …. LSU also added a late “style points” touchdown …. and don’t forget some of the questionable calls and non-calls by the refs.

LSUfreak

December 28th, 2011
12:10 pm

You have to be kidding me! UGA runs from the big boys again!! What a joke. I will say this, my guess is that Tennessee is a heck of a lot better next year and Florida will be too. Those 2 powers wont be down long. As for your cupcake schedule dawgs, we will be waiting for you in the dome if you make it there again. This time we wont mess around for a half!

busterbrave

December 28th, 2011
12:10 pm

UGA, division 2 losers, national championship ??!! ever heard of strength of schedule 11-0 won’t get you squat with that one !!

Decided on the field?

December 28th, 2011
12:12 pm

Does anyone here really believe that UGA would have beaten Alabama this year?

Chuck

December 28th, 2011
12:12 pm

To be the best, you don’t have to beat the best, you just schedule accordingly.

UGA will lose at SC again.

Bob in SF

December 28th, 2011
12:12 pm

Unfortunately it hurts UGA as much as helps because the same thing will happen in the SEC Championship again next year; they will be playing a team who has had a much tougher schedule, is more used to being in big games vs ranked opponents and at that point will be more geared to higher level competition. UGA’s lack of experience showed in the past SEC title game. Lets be realistic; the three best teams UGA played this past season all beat the Dawgs, two of them being blow outs. You don’t want to dial down your competition if you aspire to be the SEC champ or National champ, you have to play better teams to get better. True they don’t control their SEC sched but they sure control their non-con so be ready for all the pundits giving them no respect when they win double digits and go back to the SEC title game again this year. Like the old saw says, “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

Decided on the field?

December 28th, 2011
12:14 pm

Please state the questionable calls and non-calls.

pj

December 28th, 2011
12:15 pm

after travelling to colorado, ok state and asu, in addition to boise st last year and ending each season with tech – who isnt a patsy – it’s nice to have an easier schedule for a year. If Rambo and Orsen come back – we have a non kool aid drinking shot at a National title.
Biggest challenges I see?
1. AT South Carolina
2. At Missouri
3. Jacksonville

That’s not exactly a dragon to slay.

UGA 2012 will have:
1. The SEC’s best QB
2. A stable of RB’s with different unique abilities
3. The best WR corps in the SEC (Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley and Michael Bennett are all Sophomores and Marlon and Tavarres are back PLUS we had Justin Scott Wesley off his redshirt)
4. The best DT’s in the East
5. The deepest and most talented LB group in the East

This is the door getting flung wide open for the Dawgs. Time to walk through and continue the SEC streak in the big dance!

slydog

December 28th, 2011
12:15 pm

A schedule is as a schedule does. Just go win the games you have on your schedule, beat the teams you are suppose to beat, don’t suffer embarrassing losses, and have a nice season.

slydog

December 28th, 2011
12:17 pm

Oh yeah, let me add, a national title should not be out of the question. Now will UGA get a chance to at least play for it?

Whatever happened to Chip Towers

December 28th, 2011
12:18 pm

UGA beat Auburn and Aub beat SC. SC lucked out against UGA as did LSU against UGA. I feel Ala will beat LSU again (A bad call on the so called interception at LSUs one yd line changed the game. Ala receiver had both hands on ball in his possession when he hit the ground which means a reception. LSU took the ball from receiver after he was on the ground and SEC refs (worst in America) gave the ball to LSU. Add to the act that Ala moved the ball well enough to miss 4 field goals means they outplayed LSU and will win again. Yes I gave Ala credit for winning the first game that was taken from them by the officials. Other than that I do respect the honey badger- he is good.

Dumbo

December 28th, 2011
12:21 pm

GSU Eagle 91….go stick your head in Eagle Creek

biff pocaroba

December 28th, 2011
12:22 pm

just think if you are a season ticket holder paying big bucks for seats you get to see thrilling games with the likes of buffalo,florida atlanticgeorgia southern,vanderbilt,thank greg mcgarity for this crap

Inlet Dawg

December 28th, 2011
12:23 pm

See what happens when you have a real AD and not an Adams puppet.

South Georgia Dog

December 28th, 2011
12:24 pm

Listen,

Georgia didn’t lobby for Missouri and A&M to come into the conference. Did Georgia cause Auburn’s coaching staff to implode? Everybody sees the handwriting on Auburn’s wall. Auburn had a nice semester’s run with Cam; I have no problem with that. Charlie Weis wasn’t going to make it in Gainesville anyway; Muschamp was smart to cut and run with him anyway. Alabama, LSU and Arkansas aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so let’s let this play out on the field. And Dooley may be in over his head in Knoxville, but that’s not Georgia’s fault and I don’t think even Barbara can save him up there. And don’t forget about Georgia Tech, who hasn’t been able to learn playing the triple option against Kansas is a little different than playing the triple option against Virginia Tech.

There’s just a lot of turmoil in the east with the coaching staffs. While Richt is now secure, we still have an offensive coordinator who thinks the tailback between the tackles is our bread and butter play. And is all of this turmoil Georgia’s fault? It wasn’t that long ago Richt was the laughing stock because Spurrier and Fulmer were in the east; I’m sorry but things change. Spurrier’s still here, but not with the weapons he had in Gainesville. The folks in Columbia still think their second biggest game of the year is against Georgia and they think they can mail it in with everybody else (losing to Auburn at home? REALLY?). Carolina hasn’t learned they need to show up every Saturday and not the two Saturdays Carolina plays Georgia and Clemson.

Georgia plays Southern every four years; Tech doesn’t even do that. Wonder why? So that’s not really a fair argument; we do it as a favor to our friends in Statesboro. And Georgia has more to lose than to gain by scheduling Southern.

Georgia didn’t make the schedule.

Dawglasville

December 28th, 2011
12:26 pm

Decided on the field? I love it how you guys just forget the Auburn loss.

This looks like UF’s schedules during their championship years. No one remembers the schedule if you win it all.

Columbus Dawg

December 28th, 2011
12:30 pm

Does anyone care to look at the creampuff schedules that Alabama and Florida played in their BCS Title seasons? As I remember it, in 2009, UGA beat Arky with Joe Cox no less, and without the cheating pos refs in the LSU game making the bogus call against Green, that game could have easily turned out different as well.

Bottom line is that all of the UGA bashing from the ESPN bobbleheads, haters, and rivals is about to end. Since the underacheivement UGA had shown since being ranked #1 in 2008, UGA had become everyone’s punching bag. UGA will now do the punching on the field.

The Dawgs are trending up, way up. Bama is trending down. Yes they will still have a running back left at Bama after Richardson goes pro, but that coupled with a mass exodus of top defensive players will leave a shell of what they are now. LSU will likely have a QB battle between the perv Mettenberger and Gunner, but will not repeat as champs with first year QBs on the field, and will lose it’s share of defenders as well.

Grantham’s D will add depth, and will sustain the pressure for four quarters in 2012. Richt will get the special teams fixed as well.

Dawgs WILL be respected again in 2012!!!!!

Columbus Dawg

December 28th, 2011
12:30 pm

Does anyone care to look at the creampuff schedules that Alabama and Florida played in their BCS Title seasons? As I remember it, in 2009, UGA beat Arky with Joe Cox no less, and without the cheating pos refs in the LSU game making the bogus call against Green, that game could have easily turned out different as well.

Bottom line is that all of the UGA bashing from the ESPN bobbleheads, haters, and rivals is about to end. Since the underacheivement UGA had shown since being ranked #1 in 2008, UGA had become everyone’s punching bag. UGA will now do the punching on the field.

The Dawgs are trending up, way up. Bama is trending down. Yes they will still have a running back left at Bama after Richardson goes pro, but that coupled with a mass exodus of top defensive players will leave a shell of what they are now. LSU will likely have a QB battle between the perv Mettenberger and Gunner, but will not repeat as champs with first year QBs on the field, and will lose it’s share of defenders as well.

Grantham’s D will add depth, and will sustain the pressure for four quarters in 2012. Richt will get the special teams fixed as well.

Dawgs WILL be respected again in 2012!!!!!

Cobb Dawg

December 28th, 2011
12:30 pm

@Decided on the field: You have to win the most conference games to win the division (or via established tie-breakers) — no style points, poll placement or other factors involved. That’s what I mean by “won purely on the field.”

Hail Munson

December 28th, 2011
12:33 pm

Great schedule. Plenty of tough games including road tests at Mizzou and USC and the annual cocktail party. I personally love scheduling GA Southern the week before playing tech since they run the same 1920s offense.

bucket

December 28th, 2011
12:35 pm

Alas McGarity has the Foley/Florida model in full swing in Athens. Play a soft OOC schedule to begin the year, win enough of your SEC games to make it to Atlanta, and then see what happens in the SECCG. Before you laugh or complain remember that model enabled Florida to win 3 Mythical National Championships in the last decade.

AFDawg

December 28th, 2011
12:37 pm

GSU Eagle 91, I hate to blow-up your top notch (not) analysis — but if the Dogs go undefeated in the regular season and then beat the SEC West champ in the SECCG, then they will be playing for the BCS championship. Do you not realize that the majority of the SEC plays a soft schedule for their out of conference (OC) games. McGarrity is just leveling the playing field, like he did at Florida. Didn’t seem to hurt Florida when they won their national championships. In year’s past UGA always had one of the toughest OC schedules in the nation and it never helped them. If the others are going to do it, then why shouldn’t we? Also, what’s your beef with the Bulldogs. I have several family members who are alumni and they and all their friends are appreciative that UGA was one of the first big schools to start playing you and bringing in the big bucks (and on a regular basis too I might add). The only reason GA Tech agreed to play you is because PJ is there now.

BigDaddy

December 28th, 2011
12:38 pm

This schedule will allow UGA to grow up further and be a very serious contender for a NC. Hide and watch. If UGA goes undefeated and loses the SEC championship in a close game, they may still play for the NC in a rematch. Let the griping begin!

SteveO

December 28th, 2011
12:38 pm

Georgia Southern is ranked higher in the Sagarin ratings than three of the other teams on UGA’s 2012 schedule – WOW! And Southern should have an experienced (and very, very fast) QB by the UGA game too. Southern could beat a lot of those teams on UGA’s schedule, but we don’t get to play any of the easier FBS schools. I hope the Dawgs don’t treat this as a “practice scrimmage” for Tech the next week, but they probably will. I really think the Dawgs will easily be 10-0, and Southern will be 9-1 or 8-2 at worst by that game. It should be a good game for a half at least. Also heard a rumor that Florida is cancelling the 2013 game with us due to SEC schedule issues, but we still get a good pay check. Go Eagles (and Dawgs!)

Rich T

December 28th, 2011
12:42 pm

I hope you UGA fans who gripe because people note you didn’t play Bama, LSU, and Arkansas this year aren’t the same folks who complain about the love Boise State gets when they play a light schedule. You can’t have it both ways.

BigDaddy

December 28th, 2011
12:42 pm

Yes, I will say it. UGA would have matched up well against Alabama. Would have had a better shot at beating Bama that LSU. Look at the matchups.

bama fan

December 28th, 2011
12:44 pm

@What Happened to Chip Towers: Bama opens with Michigan at Cowboys Stadium, and then has Western Kentucky, Fl Atlantic, and Western Carolina