What will be the Dawgs’ biggest ‘don’t miss’ game?

I saw where ESPN.com’s SEC blog was polling readers about the biggest in-conference “don’t miss” game of the 2011 season.

Last I checked, LSU at Alabama was way ahead of the pack with 48 percent of the vote, followed by Alabama at Auburn (19 percent), Arkansas at Alabama (14 percent), South Carolina at Georgia (10 percent) and Georgia-Florida in Jacksonville (9 percent).

I was a bit surprised that the South Carolina-Georgia game, which many observers figure could be a big factor in deciding the SEC East this year, didn’t draw more votes. Looks like a lot of SEC West fans read that blog.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about which of UGA’s games (including nonconference foes) should be considered this year’s don’t-miss game.

What is Georgia's biggest "don't miss" game in 2011?

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It’s tough to narrow it down. On the one hand, the nationally televised season opener against Boise State in the Georgia Dome is already being heavily hyped and is an opportunity for Mark Richt’s program to re-establish its relevance.

But then a week later the Gamecocks come Between the Hedges, and the winner of that game will be an early favorite in the SEC East.

Of course, the Gators don’t believe that. Asked this week by a booster in Tampa how his team will do in the division, former Dawg Will Muschamp flatly stated, “Yes, sir, we’re gonna win the East.” Florida’s definitely in a rebuilding mode this season, however, so a lot of folks think the Dogs might have a great chance to notch a rare Jacksonville win.

Which raises another question: Does any win over the Gators trump beating the Old Ball Coach in what may be a more important game for Georgia in terms of conference standings?

What about defending national champion Auburn returning to Athens in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry? That’s always a big game, and with the dirty play on the Plains last year having left a lot of bad feeling on the Georgia side, it’s probably even more so this year. But this won’t be the same Tiger team as last year, by a long shot.

And then there’s the annual grudge match with the Yellow Jackets, this year at Grant Field in Atlanta, where the Dogs embarrassed the eventual ACC champions two years ago. Can the in-state rival ever not be considered a don’t miss game?

They’re all don’t-miss games, frankly, but if I have to pick the biggest one of the season, I’m opting for South Carolina in Athens. The loser will have a tough time making it to the championship game in Atlanta.

What do you think is the biggest don’t-miss game? Vote in the poll, sound off in the comments, or do both.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

196 comments Add your comment

Dick

May 14th, 2011
11:22 am

Jack Handy

May 14th, 2011
11:23 am

south carolina

Teddy

May 14th, 2011
11:24 am

Florida. There is no more frustration in the Bulldawg nation than continually losing to the Gators. If Muschamp walks into Florida and pulls off a win I just don’t see how Richt can recover.

Tony

May 14th, 2011
11:24 am

It’s SC. Lose that one, and Richt’s done.

Freddy

May 14th, 2011
11:30 am

Speaking of polls, a current ESPN poll inquires as to who is most likely to win the ACC this year. GA Tech is not one of the five teams listed. Needless to say, I don’t think Tech is the biggest “don’t miss” game.

Class of '98

May 14th, 2011
11:39 am

The South Carolina game will set the tone, but I want to win the Florida game more than any other. Just like every season.

Joe

May 14th, 2011
11:42 am

Just go ahead and cash in the season and do not play the games. Everyone says they are going to fail and Richt and staff will be fired. Just cancel the season and save a little time and effort.

dawgfan75

May 14th, 2011
11:50 am

The next game is always the most important so I say Boise. I sure won’t miss it.

RL

May 14th, 2011
11:50 am

UGA and UF will be the same as every year-Bulldogs lose in spite of what dog fans think.

Tony

May 14th, 2011
11:53 am

Boise? Not in SEC, meaningless game. Boise 48, Georgia 21.

Florida? Richt’s 2-8, usually a blow out loss. I got Florida 48, Georgia 21.

South Carolina has the best Big 3 offesive skill players in the league in Garcia, Jeffries and Latitmore. South Carolina 38, Georgia 10.

Tech with Johnson is always a close game. Georgia Tech 31, Georgia 28.

Tom

May 14th, 2011
11:54 am

Ideally you want to beat Spurrier and the Gators. However, if we lose to South Carolina its “here we go again” mode for the rest of the year. The problem with beating Florida is that you are subject to an emotional let down the following week or two against Auburn. I’d rather beat South Carolina, Auburn, and Tech.

GOLDNWHITEFORLIFE

May 14th, 2011
11:56 am

30-24 is hardly an embarrassed Bill. A win for you, yes, but an embarrassment? not quite. Don’t let your hate for Tech blind you to facts brother. THWG

Tony

May 14th, 2011
12:01 pm

South Carolina is going to win the National Championship this year. Offense can score, they run the ball well, best QB in the conference, best receiver in the conference, best D-Line in the conference, best DB in the conference. Gonna blow out Georgia this year.

Tech game’s more on Richt’s ability. It will be the most entertaining and the closest game, and the most fun to watch. Johnson gets the win this time though, Georgia has no running game or receivers. Front 7 for Georgia on D, too inexperienced at their positions.

Russ the Smooth Pooch (p.s. don't paint me)

May 14th, 2011
12:02 pm

I see poster “Tony” is fresh off the crackpipe. S. Garcia is NOT one of the, “best Big 3 offesive skill players in the league”! You must have smoked a rock the size of a chips a hoy cookie to come up with that one.

Pago Pago Dawg

May 14th, 2011
12:09 pm

Outside of Athens, people hardly talk about the DAWGS. There are many big time sports talk shows in the SE, UGA is hardly mentioned at all anymore. Sad….

Vince Schmooley

May 14th, 2011
12:13 pm

First Ealey gone now Caleb King and AJ Harmon are out the door also. Who else is next? hahahahaha Richt’s last season is pretty grim leg humpers

DIT

May 14th, 2011
12:16 pm

Hard to agree about the BSU game being the biggest don’t miss game. It is of importance, but I thing the SC game the following week will set the tone for the remainer of the year. That to me is the biggest game of the year on the regular season!

sonny

May 14th, 2011
12:17 pm

garcia is gone–what a dork this tony is

Macclenny_dawg

May 14th, 2011
12:24 pm

Biggest must see games Bill is in this order SC, Tenn., and Fl!!! Richt needs to sweep these 3 teams for the 1st time!!! You can’t win the SEC if you can’t win the SEC East!!!

Vince Schmooley

May 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

I also forgot the big juco DT Jenkins. one less arrest clarke county pd has to make this fall.

Wonderful Ohio on the Gulf 'Dog

May 14th, 2011
12:29 pm

Georgia’s biggest game must be the one they are playing at that moment. If they aren’t playing right then, it’s the next game on the schedule.

Take care of business when business is at hand, and the rest of the season will take care of itself.

sunny purdue

May 14th, 2011
12:37 pm

Winning the EAST? BWAHAHA You are delusional. As soon as the heat gives way to fall weather you will come back to reality.

7576DAWG

May 14th, 2011
12:40 pm

We have got to give McGarity at least three years to get things right in Athens. I have always said that someone in Athens has to be the disciplinary ion and even though Richt has gotten better he still is very slow in not only getting the player in the right frame of mind but the coaches too. CMR gets a C- or D+ as being a motivator. I think that McGarity has already made some big changes and he is backing off to make sure he doesn’t over due it , which is as bad as not doing enough.
The most important game will be the Boise State game because if we win it will probably keep CMR employed even though he loses to South Carolina but if we lose to Boise State then the tension and pressure will be unreal for CMR to beat South Carolina. If we lose both of the first two games I think that McGarity will make Grantham interim head coach until a replacement can be found. Chris Petersen will be the leading candidate but it will take 5 million a year to get him away from Boise State.

tdawg

May 14th, 2011
1:05 pm

@ Vince Schmooley
Are you basing that statement about John Jenkins based on information you know that he is a bad kid, or that your just being racist because hes a large black man?

dinkdunk

May 14th, 2011
1:22 pm

Several come to mind. That first one when the Dawg fans find out that a freshman running back needs to learn how to pick up the blitz just as much as carrying the ball comes to mind. UF beatdown will be good-possibly signaling the end to the Richt era. Poulan bowl or whatever it’s called now will be big also.

GOB BLEUTH

May 14th, 2011
1:43 pm

Dawg fans dont consider the Tech game a big game BECAUSE ITS NOT!!!!

frank

May 14th, 2011
1:43 pm

I think we start either 2-0 or 0-2 and things should take care of themselves from there if you know what i mean.

2-0 start = sec title game, 0-2 start = mark rick fired.

Gators are rebuilding and are never more talented than us. Its always a mental thing. Esp last year when both the coach and the QB crapped their pants. Usuaully its just the way overmatched coach.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 14th, 2011
1:44 pm

South Carolina, easily. Gotta handle the conference 1st.

GIVE ME A BREAK

May 14th, 2011
1:59 pm

Boise sets the tone for the whole season.

Dr. P

May 14th, 2011
2:04 pm

Dawgs biggest struggle seems to be how to get rid of Richt

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 14th, 2011
2:04 pm

Dont forget this isnt the 1st time BSU has came to the South to play Georgia with alot of expectations to win the game. The last time they got smacked in the mouth and the QB quit on the team. Georgia has enough athletes on both sides of the ball to play with BSU. Georgia has got to handle conference business big time. That is what will determine CMR fate, not BSU.

UGASlobberknocker

May 14th, 2011
2:19 pm

Florida. This year. Every Year.

UGASlobberknocker

May 14th, 2011
2:20 pm

I want UGA to beat Tech every year, but since that happens almost every year, it doesnt seem that big of a game. If Tech had not been so stupid as to leave the SEC, then Tech would still be the biggest game..now they are just an irritating distraction.

The Reaper

May 14th, 2011
2:40 pm

It will be the Boise St. game. It will show what kind of team we have and tell if CMR has decieded to become a real SEC coach or will it be his farewell.

Dawg 39

May 14th, 2011
2:42 pm

This “Gator Hater” thinks the USCe game is the one.

Destin Dawg

May 14th, 2011
2:43 pm

should play the Gators home/home or Atlanta/ Jax…. to even things up…. it’s a home game for Florida and away game for the dawgs…. EVERY yea r !!!!!!

george

May 14th, 2011
2:50 pm

still crying about the auburn game. Got to love pathetic georgia fans. Why dont you go back and watch that game and tell me who the thug dirty team is. 31 players and coaches storming the field and one of the dirtiest players in the country (who had already been suspended for mulitple cheap shots and dirty play) going after Fairley 4 different times. What a pathetic program the dawgs are from top to bottom.

Destin Dawg

May 14th, 2011
2:55 pm

If we can handle S.C…. we have a very favorable schedule…. Grantham’s Defense will suprise every body this year… aggressive Junk Yard Dawgs…. win the field position/turn over stats… Richt takes more ” hands on ” on play calling… Go Dawgs !!!!!

shepdawg85

May 14th, 2011
2:56 pm

If you’re a uga fan that thinks CMR should be fired you’re not a true fan. Yes you want to win now but that doesn’t always happen, every season. We are lucky to have a coach that after early and great success didnt bolt to FSU or “the u”… He wants to be in Athens and I consider him a damn good dawg. BTW we win the first two and you will be the first to brag…

Destin Dawg

May 14th, 2011
3:00 pm

George Hey !!!! if Awlbarn can handle Utah St. and Florida Atantic.. they will only lose to S.C., Ark., LSU, Bamer. and the UGA DAWGS ( for the 5 th year in 6 )… how pathetic… get on your own blog… $cam Newton and Late Hit Fairley????

Dawgs Run This State!

May 14th, 2011
3:06 pm

George,
You get the award for the stupidest comment of the day… And these comments go on all day… Auburn will be crushed this year because cheaters/dirty players only get by for a while.

SSIgator

May 14th, 2011
3:15 pm

“I was a bit surprised that the South Carolina-Georgia game, which many observers figure could be a big factor in deciding the SEC East this year, didn’t draw more votes. Looks like a lot of SEC West fans read that blog.”

Bill, that is just wishful thinking on your part. Wishing that UGA was relevent in SEC football again.

george

May 14th, 2011
3:40 pm

can yall really be that stupid? you want to talk about class?? Do I need to remind you morons about complete lack of class uga players,fans,coaches, and athletic directors have shown. If you want to recap the facts please let me know.

BOSS GATOR

May 14th, 2011
3:42 pm

YO RED PANTIES…..Jacksonville….October 29, 2011…Really….Black bras and red panties and ya’ ll will make another fantastic fashion statement ….Too bad you can’t play football…..We’re waiting…..Your BOSS

Tony

May 14th, 2011
4:12 pm

Win the 1st 2, and you never know.

Of course, we say that every year…..

dawg fan 24/7

May 14th, 2011
4:46 pm

i thought this was a georgia fan blog.

tech fans- shut up cuz yall are just jealous that we run the state and have 2 blogs on the ajc.. lol.

auburn fans- get off the ajc and get on the auburn website cuz this is georgia and they gonna talk about the dawgs.

south carolina fans- get on the columbia page

florida fans- get on the gainesville page

Roll Tide!

May 14th, 2011
5:09 pm

Dawgs: BEAT AUBURN!!!!

10 - 6

May 14th, 2011
5:16 pm

SC will make it Two in a row over the pups. SC will beat the pups handily just like they did to Clemson last year.

Bawbie

May 14th, 2011
5:25 pm

FJR

May 14th, 2011
5:27 pm

Garcia isn’t gone. Stories coming out lately say that he was kicked out of the leadership meaning because the speaker started asking questions like “who would you rather have leading your team, Tim Tebow or Steven Garcia?” and when Garcia defended himself against constant berating, that was NOT supposed to be part of the event, he was kicked out. He had two beers prior at a teammates birthday (both Garcia and the Teammate were of legal drinking age) and alcohol was NOT part of the issue.

Garcia has made a LOT of mistakes, but you know something is up when the OBC takes Garcia’s side and said he wants him back. He was basically railroaded because the AD’s wife, who organized the event in question, hates him.

But no, Tony, he’s not the best QB in the SEC. Murray is. Garcia could be, if he wants to be.