Which game besides Florida will be toughest for the Dogs?

A.J. Green makes a big catch as Georgia sneaks by South Carolina last year. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A.J. Green makes a big catch as Georgia sneaks by South Carolina last year. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It’s time for our annual debate about which game on Georgia’s upcoming football schedule will be toughest — other than the meeting with the Gators in Jacksonville, which has unfortunately achieved a level of toughness for the Dogs above and beyond all other opponents.

Last year at this time when I asked this question, 43 percent of the poll votes went to the LSU game. Ironically, the Dogs came within about a minute, one blown call and a muffed tackle of winning that one. The second most worrying game for poll voters last year was Georgia Tech, but that was before The Dogs proved they still run this state. The opener against Oklahoma State drew 21 percent of the vote as the likely toughest game, but would have been winnable if not for some lousy kickoff coverage. But the Tennessee game drew only 5 percent of the vote and that turned out to be the worst beating of the season for the Dogs. And nobody saw the second-half collapse against Kentucky coming.

So, what about this season? We all know what can happen on “any given day,” but frankly not too many UGA fans are concerned about Louisiana-Lafayette, Mississippi State, Colorado, Vandy or Idaho State. And as was proved last year, Kentucky is good enough to beat the Dogs if Georgia makes too many mistakes. But what are the odds of that happening two years in a row?

However, the South Carolina game worries a lot of folks for a number of reasons, including a noon kickoff in summer heat, the fact that Aaron Murray will be making his first SEC start on the road in Columbia, the usual closeness of this series, and the fact that the Gamecocks have a veteran (if inconsistent) quarterback in Stephen Garcia.

Then there’s the Arkansas Razorbacks’ visit to Athens, which some folks see as a potential “trap” game for the Dogs, coming the week after the Cocks. QB Ryan Mallett definitely will be a challenge for the revamped Georgia defense, but with the Hogs being this year’s most overhyped SEC team, I don’t see any chance of Georgia overlooking Arkansas, so I’m not sure you can really call this a trap game. A tough one, though. Many fans are marking this as a possible “L.”

Tennessee is always a challenge, but at the rate that program is losing players Derek Dooley might have to suit up the managers, and after their abysmal showing in Knoxville last year the Dogs definitely will be looking to make Barbara regret wearing orange at Sanford Stadium.

Which game besides Florida looks toughest?

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Auburn, on the other hand, will have a potent offense led by Cam Newton, though they still have some defensive question marks. Still, this is a game that concerns a lot of Georgia fans.

And then there’s Georgia Tech. While the Dogs upset the ACC champions in Atlanta in 2009, the last time Paul Johnson brought his triple option to Athens it didn’t turn out so well. Of course, Willie Martinez is not in charge of Georgia’s defense any more. But the Jackets definitely will be keying on this game even more than usual (which is a lot).

So which game on the 2010 schedule looks toughest to you besides the one in Jacksonville? South Carolina? Arkansas? Tennessee? Auburn? Tech?

Feel free to comment, vote in the poll or both.

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276 comments Add your comment

Dawg Rule

July 10th, 2010
10:43 am

The Dawgs shouldn’t have trouble with any team except florida. Florida should be down, giving the Dawgs a great chance for an upset! Dawgs win the East–mark it down.

Patsy

July 10th, 2010
10:46 am

Your non difficult start should get your new QB (almost) ready for SC. But as your already said, if it is 100F in Columbia, dogs might lose.

AFDawg

July 10th, 2010
10:49 am

All the aforementioned reasons are excellent, but I’d have to say South Carolina. It’s the first real game. You can’t really look too far ahead in this league b/c you always have to take it one game at a time.

A D 's Gone Wild

July 10th, 2010
10:49 am

SC ,Vandy and Kentucky will be real struggles for the dawgs in conference play. Dawgs will endure its usual beatdown from both Florida and Tenn.

Frank Lane

July 10th, 2010
10:50 am

If we get by SC, we could very well win out. I am not worried about anyone except South Carolina and Florida actually.

trojan94

July 10th, 2010
10:53 am

outside of florida no one can beat the dogs

Frank Lane

July 10th, 2010
10:53 am

Anyone know what Dooley did with Rogers. Da Rick’s discipline was not listed in the article this morning about the other players.

bardawg

July 10th, 2010
10:54 am

Just to change the subject , thank our lucky stars that D’terd opted to attend Tennessee.

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Real Texas Dawg

July 10th, 2010
10:57 am

Carolina sets the tone for the season….nuf said

George

July 10th, 2010
10:58 am

We are 500 10-10 in SEC East last 4 years -better be concerned with everyone particularly with new DCoordinator who has never called a college game and was only DC in pros for 2 seasons and bombed with Cleveland-hopefully offense and kicking game plus softer schedule will help.

A D 's Gone Wild

July 10th, 2010
10:58 am

New Qb and a entirely new defense….. what are you folks smokin? BTW the injury bug excuses hasnt even started. This will be another tough year for CMR as the seat will become icy hot !

Bizzaroneck

July 10th, 2010
11:00 am

Did anyone see that Dontavious Jackson and T. King got arrested for a DUI last night?

Bizzaroneck

July 10th, 2010
11:01 am

D. Jackson got the DUI and T. King got underage possession of alcohol.

daslicksta

July 10th, 2010
11:01 am

SC and the old ball coach are always a tough game, but they usually defeat themselves with their own mistakes; living over here in foreign countryside (AL) and being sunjected to ridicule as well as all the BAMA crap, I think Auburn is going to be the most improved combantant for us this year as they really surprised me last year with a new coaching staff and changing their offense back.

Clean House

July 10th, 2010
11:04 am

No institutional control. I wonder if CMR will have the bawls to kick off those two thugs from the team for last nights DUI arrests.

cindy

July 10th, 2010
11:08 am

Big D Dawg

July 10th, 2010
11:10 am

Finger N Cider

July 10th, 2010
11:10 am

More UGA thugs arrested! Looks like thuga wont be able to field a team at this rate. Wow!

Go Big Orange

July 10th, 2010
11:15 am

Dawgs win the East–mark it down. Bwwaaahhhhaaaaaa . . . . .

Flushed out of the pocket

July 10th, 2010
11:16 am

This is getting so comical. Who’s next to be arrested for DUI ? CMR its time to grow a pair and make cow horns hook !

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Silver Creek Dawg

July 10th, 2010
11:18 am

Finger,

Since when did a 19 year old holding a beer become thug behavior? I would willing to wager you broke that law at least once in your life.

Stomping a cop into unconsciousness= thug behavior

destin dawg

July 10th, 2010
11:21 am

Get by S.C. and Ark. then we’ll beat Fla. Auburn will be tough too….Richt, Kick these kids off then have a team meeting on drinking… get ‘em off the street after midnight, may be a curfew ???

Big O

July 10th, 2010
11:24 am

Thank God somebody is talking about the games and not Evans !!!!

dougmo2

July 10th, 2010
11:25 am

How about the latest battle; you know, the fight with the DMV over getting a drivers permit. Memo to CMR, tell your players to QUIT driving without a liscense. Odds are in Athens they will make the police blotter.

1eyedJack

July 10th, 2010
11:27 am

Bill, why are you flagging me?

Palm City Dawg

July 10th, 2010
11:28 am

When is this going to stop. By the way, are former AD Evans’s season tickets available?

dawggirl

July 10th, 2010
11:28 am

Guys, no matter what the age, are stupid. With everything that has come out of Evans’ arrest, I cannot believe the players (one starter, no less) actually have the lack of intelligence I’m seeing. No, our players aren’t thugs like Vols, just a bunch of alkies.

In regards to the toughest game, SC for sure. Get past that one, and you should be golden until Florida.

Finger N Cider

July 10th, 2010
11:31 am

silver…. Mr Jackson is the same thug that got in trouble being out at 2:00 am for the “smackin a couple upside the head” incident saying he was the peacemaker. Yes he is a thug for not being smart in my book you blind homer !

Bud

July 10th, 2010
11:32 am

1eyedJack

July 10th, 2010
11:33 am

South Carolina for a number of reasons. And I might add that SC usually plays pretty good defense early in the season before depth becomes an issue. And don’t forget their leader, Darth Visor, succumbed to the dark side long ago and loves no better than to bring down the Dawgs. This game could define the Dawgs season.
Arkansas. OK, they got QB Ryan Mallett. Their defense is atrocious. They score some points, we got them at home, we’ll score more.
Tennessee will stink this year. The question is, if Barbara wears orange at Sanford Stadium will she be wearing red bloomers. And what color will she make Vince wear?
Auburn, Still, this is a game that concerns a lot of Georgia fans. Me too also. We’ve had their number too long.
And then there’s Georgia Tech….While the Dogs stomped a mudhole in the ACC champions in Atlanta in 2009, the last time Fish Fry brought his triple option to Athens it didn’t turn out so well (see willie comment). But the Jackets definitely will be playing with Fish Fry’s recruits so they will be crying more than usual (which is a lot).

DAWG H8R

July 10th, 2010
11:34 am

I LUV DEM DAWGS!
WHY AM I BEING “BLACKLISTED”?

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DAWG H8R

July 10th, 2010
11:36 am

1EYEDJACK NEEDS TO WRITE A COLUMN.
I CAN’T MY COMMENT POSTED UNLESS
I SAY I LUV DEM DAWGS!!

bjohndawg

July 10th, 2010
11:37 am

You want to know bill what our toughest game will be? Its not Florida, or South Carolina, or Tech or anyone on the schedule. The toughest game this coaching staff and team will face is keeping the ballplayers out of jail from everything from underage drinking,DUI, to shooting off fireworks, to assaulting ex girlfriends to running their mouth at authority figures to fighting. Not to mention violating undisclosed ” Team Rules”.

Their toughest game is control their own behavior.

Its like they are all reading the AJC and going ” Wait Tenn players just did something stupid and are arrested. We cannot let them get all the media attention.” Man we got to do something….lets get some fake IDs and get some liquor and ride around in a car. Hey you got that learner’s permit right? Well if you drink beer and ride in a car, then a learner’s permit is a valid license. Yeah , you should be the one to drive.”

I mean what the hell kind of water is in the fountains at the UGAfootball dorm. h2o and some dumb_ _ _ syrup?

I am a Dawg fan…but this is way past stupid and embarassing.

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Milton Bradley

July 10th, 2010
11:44 am

I told ye shouldn’t judge !

1eyedJack

July 10th, 2010
11:44 am

Bill, we was just wondering if the AJC has any openings for a headline writer? Here’s a sample of my work:

“Braves knock Met’s Dickey in the dirt!”

How much would something like that pay?

Dr. Nick

July 10th, 2010
11:46 am

bjohndawg wins “RED PANTIES AWARD” for most intelligent comment made on this blog.

East Atlanta

July 10th, 2010
11:47 am

Finger, King didn’t get a DUI. He got an underage possession ticket, as did I and about 98% of the people I when knew when I was in college. It’s practically a rite of passage. Beating someone into unconsciousness, however, is something else entirely. Nice try, though!

1eyedJack

July 10th, 2010
11:49 am

As the man says, “You can’t fix stupid”. CMR…it’s time to show some REAL TOUGH love.

bob

July 10th, 2010
11:49 am

I recently spoke to one of Donnan’s assistants and asked how they only had only one DUI in five years with Dawg players as compared to what’s going on now and he said each coach had so many places assigned and made periodic checks plus the tavern owners called the coach if someone was out of line-plus Dick Copas had police contacts to help avoid these incidents before they popped up

Some Lame Name Here

July 10th, 2010
11:51 am

I can tell that most of you Lame@sses have never actually met a true thug. Because you sure like to throw that name around loosely. I know what word you really want to use but your comments would probably be blocked.

Some Lame Name Here

July 10th, 2010
11:53 am

Half the students at least have been drinking before they were 21. Yet let a black athelete do it and he is a thug.
Maybe you are not racist but your comments are.
And for those of you that are going to throw me under the bus for “bringing race into it” please take the time to comment on the people that make obviously racist comments and charaterizations first or STF-Up because I will not be willing to listen to you.

Some Lame Name Here

July 10th, 2010
11:56 am

oops almost forgot the reason i was here in the first place. SC is the toughest game for sure.

BullDawg!!!

July 10th, 2010
11:58 am

There’s still something inside of me that says that the toughest game isn’t gonna be Florida, isn’t gonna be Auburn, isn’t gonna be South Carolina or Arkansas, something tells me that Mississippi State is going to give us the fight of our season down there in Starkville. They almost beat the number 1 team in the country (Florida) last season WITH Tebow. Miss. State will be ready. We can’t afford to overlook them. Instead of Arkansas being labeled as a trap game, I think Mississippi State is the one that should be called a trap game.

Fast Eddie

July 10th, 2010
11:59 am

destin dawg, I’ve told you before about drinking that oily tasting salt water down there. Now look what it’s done to you. You’re delusional thinking your dawgs are going to beat the gators!

Buzz29

July 10th, 2010
12:03 pm

The game of sobriety.

Razorhog

July 10th, 2010
12:05 pm

Razorback defense will be improved enough for the offense to outscore anybody this year. This offense will be the most potent the SEC has ever seen.