UGA fared pretty well in the revamped 2012 SEC football schedule released Wednesday morning.
It’s official that Georgia travels to Missouri Sept. 8 and the South Carolina game, traditionally the conference opener for the Dogs the past couple of decades, moves to Oct. 6, replacing the previously scheduled trip to Alabama.
The Dogs lose the open date ahead of Florida as the visit to Kentucky, originally scheduled for Oct. 13, moves to Oct. 20. But the Gators will have it even tougher, playing host to South Carolina the week before playing Georgia.
Here’s Georgia’s revised conference schedule: Sept. 8 at Missouri, Sept. 22 Vanderbilt in Athens, Sept. 29 Tennessee in Athens, Oct. 6 at South Carolina, Oct. 20 at Kentucky, Oct. 27 Florida in Jacksonville, Nov. 3 Ole Miss in Athens, Nov. 10 at Auburn. The nonconference home schedule looks to remain the same as before, facing Buffalo (Sept. 1), Florida Atlantic (Sept. 15), Georgia Southern (Nov. 17) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 24).
The bottom line is that the Dogs will again have a favorable conference schedule. South Carolina, on the other hand, must face LSU and Arkansas as its SEC West opponents. You can bet they’re not happy in Columbia.
As for the SEC opener against Missouri, that was widely anticipated so I tried to get a feel for Mizzou by watching a good bit of the Independence Bowl the other night. Unfortunately, North Carolina was such a dismal opponent that it was tough to tell just how good the Tigers were, though it’s obvious quarterback James Franklin, who passed for 132 yards and led Missouri in rushing with 142 yards, is dangerous.
Georgia looks to be the likely favorite again in the SEC East, barring too many losses of key players to the NFL draft. I wasn’t thrilled to hear this week that Branden Smith is one of the Dogs considering leaving early. No doubt the uncertainty about Smith is a factor in the Georgia coaches considering having star wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell possibly also play cornerback some next year, though it’s difficult to gauge just how serious they are about that. Let’s hope the continuing development of Nick Marshall at cornerback makes that unnecessary.
So, overall, I’d say the Dogs are sitting pretty for 2012. What do you think?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg