Looking ahead at the 2011 season, most college football observers agree Mark Richt’s Dogs have one of the most formidable challenges in opening with Boise State and South Carolina. But you also hear a lot that after those first two games Georgia’s schedule looks pretty manageable, barring some unforeseen development like last year’s loss of A.J. Green for four games.
The toughest games are easy to identify once you get past those first two. Mississippi State still isn’t one of the SEC’s glamour programs and the game is in Athens, but the other Bulldogs were too much for our Dogs last season and so everyone should be expecting another tough game this year. Florida in Jacksonville is big every year. And even a depleted defending national champion Auburn team will have the Dogs’ full attention when they come to Athens.
So what looks like a potential “trap” game, one of those weeks when you’re caught looking ahead or feeling complacent and stumble over a lesser team you are expected to beat?
ESPN.com’s Edward Aschoff, in his analysis of Georgia’s schedule, pegs the Oct. 15 game against Vanderbilt in Nashville as Georgia’s trap game. “The Commodores are under a new, more energetic regime and are still a bit of an unknown,” he writes. “Coming off tough games against Mississippi State and Tennessee could also leave the Bulldogs a bit weary.”
And, of course, Florida is the next week. Still, Vandy is Vandy and picking the ‘Dores as the trap game seems a bit of a stretch to me.
Looking at the schedule, the Sept. 24 visit to Ole Miss might worry a few folks, but not much is expected from the Rebel Black Bears or whatever they are now.
Awhile back, CollegeFootballNews.com predicted an 8-4 record for the Dogs, beginning with a 2-0 start but back-to-back losses to Mississippi State and Tennessee, and Tennessee might indeed prove to be a trap for Georgia. It comes the week after the Mississippi State game, and while Derek Dooley’s Vols are still rebuilding, a couple of the uglier Georgia performances in recent seasons have been in Knoxville.
I think Tennessee is the one that worries me most as a possible trap for the Dogs.
Do you see any other games on the 2011 schedule that could catch Georgia looking elsewhere?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg