Which game is bigger for the 2012 Dawgs: South Carolina or Florida?

Which is more important, beating Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks or winning two in a row over Florida? (Associated Press)

Which is more important, beating Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks or winning two in a row over Florida? (Associated Press)

A recent SportsNation poll conducted by ESPN.com put this question to fans: If you could only watch one SEC game next season, the game that was absolutely the must-see game in the league, which one would it be?

The winner, not surprisingly, was again Alabama-LSU, same as last year, with 42 percent of the vote. But the No. 2 pick, drawing 27 percent of the 10,000 votes cast, was the Georgia-South Carolina game on Oct. 6 in Columbia.

There’s no doubt the game between the Dawgs and Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks is a big one, and probably the toughest on Georgia’s less-than-challenging 2012 schedule.

But is it the most important game for Mark Richt’s team this season?

ESPN’s Chris Low seems to think it is, saying the game in Columbia “has as much or more riding on it for Georgia as any season in recent memory, and it’s always a pivotal contest. Until last season, the loser of this game had never advanced to the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs were able to change that by winning 10 in a row after their loss to the Gamecocks the second week of the season. Georgia has lost two in a row in the series, and the Bulldogs would prefer to control their own destiny in the East race heading into the latter part of October as opposed to needing help. Winning in Columbia, S.C., is never easy, but the road to a second straight trip to the SEC championship game for the Bulldogs will almost certainly go through the Palmetto State. What’s more, Georgia has never lost three in a row to South Carolina since the teams first started playing back in 1894 (64 meetings).”

So South Carolina is Georgia’s most important game? Well, maybe not. After all, as was proved in 2011, with the right schedule Georgia can lose to the Cocks and still take the SEC East crown, and that scenario very well could happen again this year.

And as the Senator at Get the Picture notes, there’s always Jacksonville. Georgia won over Florida last year but hasn’t taken back-to-back games against the Gators since 1989. And winning two in a row would certainly be a major step toward getting that Jacksonville Jinx monkey off the Dawgs’ backs.

Here’s how Blutarsky puts it: “It’s not a game they should go to merely hoping to win. It’s a game they should believe they can win. But I don’t think you cement that attitude unless you can win again this fall.”

That’s why he believes Georgia-Florida is the Dawgs’ biggest game of the year. “True, South Carolina is the bigger short-term threat to a defense of the East title,” he writes. “However, Florida has too many resources at its disposal not to return eventually to the place it’s occupied over the past two decades. … It’s time to flip the series.”

It’s a tough call. On the one hand, winning two in a row in Jacksonville would seem like a dream come true for the Bulldog Nation after the past two decades of mostly frustration down there. But losing three in a row to South Carolina and the Prince of Darkness? I’m not sure we wouldn’t be exchanging one nightmare for another there.

One thing’s for sure: Georgia has to beat at least one of the two to win the SEC East.

And there’s no denying another division title and two wins in a row over Florida would go a long way toward making up for a third loss to Carolina.

What’s your view? Which do you think is the most important game for the Dawgs this year?

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

250 comments Add your comment

Marvin

May 24th, 2012
10:35 am

This year? South Carolina.

Cuz

May 24th, 2012
10:36 am

Still@theKool-aidBAR

May 24th, 2012
10:46 am

South Carolino it is not like UGa will be the National Champ so they just need to work at not being USCe. That has been very difficult since 1980.

General Ledger

May 24th, 2012
10:49 am

Let’s just say they’re equal and win them both. No more loser talk.

bubba4dawgs

May 24th, 2012
10:51 am

If this team is going to quieten the naysayers and climb out of the “mediocrity” hole, the must win both games, USC and Florida. Why not? They have the returning players and more good ones added to the team this year. They should go into both games as “must” wins! Frankly, I think one is just as important as the other. Florida owns the Dawgs and USC is beginning to show signs that they own the DAWGS too. It was Spurrier while at Florida who dominated the DAWGS. Now he’s at USC, let’s not let him continue his ownership! Watch out for Clowney! He’s a beast! Hopefully, someone will know how to block him! He was a huge difference in the game last year, simply walked in and shook Murray like a rag doll…..wasn’t even touched! Cant’t wait until Oct. 6!! GO DAWSGS!!

OldFan

May 24th, 2012
10:52 am

South Carolina. We’re expected to lose to Florida. Lose to South Carolina and that will definitely happen.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

May 24th, 2012
10:55 am

If either team is ranked then you can bet 35:55minute Murray will find a way to lose both games.

BigDawg

May 24th, 2012
10:57 am

Keep Muschamp down and enrage the UF fans!

jablonski

May 24th, 2012
11:04 am

Must Win Both…No excuses this year. Time to change the mentality of the fan base in exchanging wins for acceptable losses. Win them both..period.

maconBulldog

May 24th, 2012
11:07 am

WIN BOTH screw this going 10-2 crap I want it all….. AU got it all in 2010 WHY not UGA ???? I hope the players understand how far they could go Undefeated ……GATA

hop

May 24th, 2012
11:08 am

There is no comparison, it is USC. FLORIDA does not have a QB worth anything.

RxDawg

May 24th, 2012
11:19 am

Spanky

May 24th, 2012
11:21 am

Unfair question, Bill! LOL!! This is like asking which son you like best! Both games are very important, both are now heated rivalries(kudos to the Evil Genious for that), and both are divisional stepping stones with some of THE most obnoxious fans on this rock!!……and they both smell bad!…..(sorry, couldn’t resist!)… Go Dawgs!!

Habersham Dawg

May 24th, 2012
11:25 am

It’s gotta be the GameClucks. They’re first on the schedule.

chilidawg

May 24th, 2012
11:26 am

Carolina. Seems kinda funny to say that.

maconBulldog

May 24th, 2012
11:26 am

Oh year FL does need a QB……BUT !!!! WE still need to beat FL just because they are FL and they been winning too many times these past years…..So like I said I want it all.

Mad Mike

May 24th, 2012
11:26 am

The next game, of course.

UGA Insider

May 24th, 2012
11:26 am

UGA had better not lose 3 in a row to the chickens.

Dawg Haus

May 24th, 2012
11:28 am

The Dawgs have to win them both.

Calhoundawg

May 24th, 2012
11:28 am

Is that a trick question …??

Dawg Haus

May 24th, 2012
11:34 am

Couldn’t agree more, maconBulldog. Gotta learn to beat Florida on a regular basis before we can start believing. It’s been a frustrating two decades.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

May 24th, 2012
11:37 am

What about Kentucky and Vandy? Isn’t there about where UGa has slipped too?

UGa has about as much chance of getting to the BCS CG game as USCe. If UGa goes undefeated they will not have the strength of Schedule to be seriously considered to be the best team in the country. I still don’t think Murray can win the SEC CG to even get to the BCS CG.

cyberdawg

May 24th, 2012
11:37 am

Every game is tough, but these games impact the teams confidence for t he rest of the season. With the dawgs ‘12 schedule I think both of these games will depend most importantly of UGA’s new O-line development. If the line is solid GA will be expected to win, if weak we’ll probably lose both games.

MattDawg

May 24th, 2012
11:39 am

USCe, UGA never lost to USCe 3 years in a row. ever. Still need to beat the Gators too, so I would rather win both.

cdpridf

May 24th, 2012
11:40 am

I have a good feeling that the Dawgs will do just fine in both of these contests.

funny...

May 24th, 2012
11:58 am

Georgia should win both games.

These are the only two games on the schedule with any real significance.

They’re giving Richt an extenion and a raise. He should be able to win both games.

funny...

May 24th, 2012
12:00 pm

These years, the ones filled with expectations that turn out very bad for Richt and Georgia.

Expect a loss at Missouri, a loss at USCe, a loss to someone terrible, and a loss to Tech.

It will round out the perfect 8-4 season for a highly touted Georgia team.

funny...

May 24th, 2012
12:00 pm

Jake

May 24th, 2012
12:12 pm

You’re usually right if you disagree with anything Blutarsky writes. So I’ll say SC is bigger, because it’s the ONLY ranked team we play. And we havn’t lost to them 3 in a row since the series started in 1898, lose that one, and Richt’s 0-10 vs. ranked teams, and winless against ranked teams for 3rd straight season, hotseat will be flaming. So as usual, Blutarsky is wrong.

cpinthedawghouse

May 24th, 2012
12:12 pm

Whip ALL of’em’s A double snake. Bulldawg Nation is hungry for happy. I have had enough of grumpy. Coaching situation is settled, period. Now lets GO GET SOME!!!!

just a fan

May 24th, 2012
12:15 pm

It is the Florduh game without a doubt just from a pure psychological stand point. We havent won back to back since the 80’s. How many other teams can say that about a main rival there aren’t that many and the only two that come to my mind is USC vs UCLA and Notre Dame jmho

Jake

May 24th, 2012
12:16 pm

South Carolina will face 3 ranked teams: UGA, LSU, Ark
Florida will face 3 ranked teams: LSU, South Carolina, UGA

UGA only faces 1, and it’s South Carolina. Lose that one and you fall out of the top 25, last time lost to South Carolina, took 10 wins in a row to UNRANKED teams to get back into the top 25.

Jake

May 24th, 2012
12:18 pm

Florida will be unranked. A win over them is meaningless.

cattledawgs

May 24th, 2012
12:23 pm

Personally, I think the Mizzou game is the most important game of the year.

kingdaddy

May 24th, 2012
12:24 pm

That’s like asking, would you rather eat razor-blades or broken-glass? Fla.fans have 10×the class S.C. fans have on the blogs. I don’t know if I could stand taunting the Chikins with another SECe Championship if we don’t beat them this year. We need them both, but I hate Spurrier!!!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

May 24th, 2012
12:29 pm

The Most important game is the one where Uga IX is introduced.

Jake

May 24th, 2012
12:33 pm

As long as Richt beats the UNRANKED teams, and LOSES to the RANKED TEAMS, he’ll finish 11-1, win the EAST, just like last year.

Jake

May 24th, 2012
12:35 pm

Can you iagine the HOTSEAT if Richt loses his 3rd in a row to South Carolina for the first time since 1894?

This one is easy, South Carolina in a landslide.

Holy Guacamole

May 24th, 2012
12:38 pm

Hard to decide which I dislike the most, Spurrier or Musrat, although I will have to admit that I think Musrat to be the more obnoxious of the two.
How about we win them both, beat the SEC west champ and play for the NMC? Could happen.

Jake

May 24th, 2012
12:47 pm

uNTIL gRANTHAM FIGURES OUT A WAY TO HOLD A TOP 25 TEAMS TO UNDER 30 POINTS, AIN’T GONNA BE NO WINS.

MICH ST, BOISE, SC, LSU, ALL SCORED BETWEEN 33-45 POINTS.

EASIEST DEFENSE TO SCORE ON IN THE SEC AGAINST RANKED TEAMS WAS GRANTHAMS.

Craig

May 24th, 2012
12:51 pm

Lets be very clear- FLORIDA!!!!!! He has got to start beating UF on a consistent basis. I am not saying win every year but out of 10 years- it should at the VERY LEAST be 5-5….and another point- why does it take almost 2 years to get a UGA????????????????

SSIgator

May 24th, 2012
12:52 pm

Why not just lose to both teams and avoid the rush to be called out by your own fans. UGA football – Do Less With More. A tradition since 1980.

Craig

May 24th, 2012
12:57 pm

SSI……real funny comments from someone that supports a team that just started playing football in 1991. What’s even funnier……UF is the ONLY team that it took 60 years to win their first SEC title………7-6 over last couple of years…..before you smack talk you better be worried that its going to be back to the same old floriduh!…Trust me- Muschamp is no Spurrier or Meyer……

What will happen in 2013 when......

May 24th, 2012
1:02 pm

It won’t matter after losses to Missou, Vandy, Ky SC and Fl. McGarrity will grow a pair and fire Richt and hire Petersen from Boise.

What will happen in 2013 when......

May 24th, 2012
1:04 pm

Craig really funny from a team who has been on a dream since Dookey broke recruiting rules and HIRED Hershel. Check your records and see when the last time UF lost to Vandy and Ky fool.

tony

May 24th, 2012
1:06 pm

Every game on their schedule is a must win. If Ga, USC(Troj) and OK were to go unbeaten, Ga probably will be the team that will not play for the title because of that weak schedule. That’s why every game is a must win for the dawgs.

If LSU, ALABAMA and USC(Troj) were to play the teams on our schedule I doubt they would lose one game. Our boys came back because they believe that they can win the whole thing this season so it’s about time for Mr Richt to start using his coaching intelligence and creativity to bring that crystal ball to Athen in 2013,

bham dawg

May 24th, 2012
1:07 pm

@SSIgator… kind of like yall did last year?

ga gator

May 24th, 2012
1:07 pm

Craig, I usually keep my comments respectful because I am married to a Dawg, but if Muschamp loses again this year he might be gone because after all even the Zooker won 2 out of 3 against the Dawgs.

kingdaddy

May 24th, 2012
1:11 pm

Buffalo is the most important game for now. One at a time!!!

harold

May 24th, 2012
1:16 pm