Shocker! Bold Bulldogs play rugged non-conference slate!

I’m 53. (Note graying hair in otherwise flattering photo above.) I’ve followed sports since 1968. I’ve worked for newspapers since Jan. 8, 1978. I have, in sum, been around. But I’m about to quote for you a sentence I have never before seen written:

“Georgia’s non-conference schedule is the best in the nation.”

The writer: The extremely perceptive Matt Hayes. The publication: The always delightful Sporting News Today. The source: A breakdown of SEC teams’ non-conference regimens.

Georgia's non-conference schedule is:

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Georgia, as you doubtless know, plays four non-conference games: At Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech, with Arizona State and Tennessee Tech at home. By any measure, that’s a testing slate. (Contrast it with Florida’s: Apart from playing Florida State, the fearless Gators take on Charleston Southern, Florida International and Troy — all in The Swamp.)

But by Georgia’s standards, these four games constitute Murderer’s Row. (Yeah, I know Arizona State was a crashing dud a year ago, and Tennessee Tech, which was 3-9 last season and is based in the Ohio Valley Conference, isn’t to be confused with Tennessee-Kiffin.) It wasn’t so long ago we ripped the Bulldogs for never taking a risk, but venturing to Stillwater — as was traveling to Tempe last season — is risky business.

Kudos (as we say on Facebook) to Damon Evans for daring to dare. And no more griping from Mark Richt about the degree of difficulty. As that famous football player Lou Reed once said: “Hey, babe. Take a walk on the wild side.”

54 comments Add your comment

Powder Springs Jacket

June 16th, 2009
11:05 am

Even though I hope they finish 6-6 this year, I have to give the Bulldogs credit for the OSU and ASU games being in their schedule…I think they will lose to OSU who is ranked in the top ten, beat Arizona State, Beat Tenn Tech, then lose against for the second year in a row to the Jackets.

Poopy Pants

June 16th, 2009
11:11 am

I am very surprised that Richt is complaining about a tough schedule when every year we have big time teams get barely nudged out of a National Championship game for not having a tough non-conference schedule.

Granted, just playing in the SEC might be enough to prove they belong in a national championship game, but it brings good national media attention to the program. Since we haven’t won a national championship in almost 30 years, that’s how we can get the attention of the ESPN’s of the world. And there’s no such thing as bad publicity, even if we do lose a couple more games. It will be a good thing in the end for recruiting.

WTF???

June 16th, 2009
11:12 am

Too bad you’re wrong. If we lose it will be to SEC opponent, not PAC 10 or Big 12 or ACissy

kbrock

June 16th, 2009
11:33 am

I never understood why SEC teams have always gotten ripped for their non-conference schedules. All SEC teams have enough top 25 opponents and bowl eligable teams during their conference schedules to deal with without adding more tuff games and potential L’s to the schedule with top out of conference teams. College football is all about getting the big BCS game birth and the money that comes along with it. That leads SEC teams to pad their non-conference schedules with easy opponents to rack up the wins and style points.

Class of '98

June 16th, 2009
11:34 am

UGA plays one of the toughest IN-CONFERENCE schedules year-in, year-out, and we never get any credit for that, either.

When Tech is good, few teams play as tough a schedule as Georgia.

Huh?

June 16th, 2009
11:41 am

Oklahoma State is probably overrated. Arizona State is crap. Tennessee Tech is Tennessee Tech. And Georgia Tech is still Georgia Tech, last year’s 3rd quarter notwithstanding. In sum, the OOC schedule is not that big of a deal, but we’ll take the credit. I’m always more concerned about the SEC schedule like last year’s back to back LSU and Florida stretch. That’s what kills you.

Gen Neyland

June 16th, 2009
11:51 am

Only the Big 1 conference of Notre Dame is tougher, and dang, they always win it outright…even when they beat themselves.

Poopy Pants

June 16th, 2009
11:56 am

Anyone remember Auburn in 2004? They’re from the SEC (duh) AND they go undefeated, yet they STILL don’t go to the national championship game. What was their non-conference schedule you ask? Louisiana-Monroe, Citadel, and Louisiana Tech.

What about the guys in the national championship that year, USC and Oklahoma? USC–Virginia Tech, Colorado State, BYU, and Notre Dame. Oklahoma–Bowling Green, Houston, and Oregon.

As you can see, Auburn had a joke of a non-conference schedule. Oklahoma at least played Oregon, These two teams were both pre-season #1 and #2, which helped, but I think Auburn would have leapfrogged if they had a tougher non-conference opponents.

Georgia News - 6/16/09 | MrSEC.com

June 16th, 2009
12:14 pm

[...] Yellow Jackets are still in the shadow of UGA.Meanwhile, Mark Bradley, also of The AJC, writes that it’s time for Richt to stop griping about UGA’s [...]

Mark Bradley

June 16th, 2009
12:21 pm

Some of the SEC schedules are hilarious. Click the Sporting News Today link above and you’ll see which ones.

m

June 16th, 2009
12:31 pm

sec is a pussie league.

When they venture outside their league they get their pussies handed to them.

Last year the oh so might sec went 6-6 with the so-called pitiful acc.

The sec is full of bullshiite and their fans are really full of bullshiite.

Tech is playing 3 sec teams this year…of course all three are pussies will be defeated handily.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 16th, 2009
12:40 pm

Mark, you know when UGAg scheduled OSU and ASU 4 or 5 years ago, they were hoping for the cupcakes they were.

It worked perfect with Colorado (big name, sorry team), but whoops, not this time.

This was not by design, and they will never do it again.

JD

June 16th, 2009
12:40 pm

My freshman year at Georgia, 2 of the 3 football tickets I got (freshmen didn’t get all 6…) were to Northwestern and New Mexico State. Whooooo!

Oklahoma State will be quite interesting, especially considering the world’s going to be seeing how Knowshon’s and Stafford’s replacements will do. If they falter, we’ll be condemned all season. If they do good, we’ll have lofty expectations all over again. Whoooo!

Speaking of Facebook, I believe I friended you, Mark (or at least the only Mark Bradley in Atlanta) after you mentioned something about FB in a previous post. Still waiting.

Mark Bradley

June 16th, 2009
12:53 pm

I’ll look for you, JD. Haven’t gotten around to Facebook yet today. Duty calls, as it were.

WTF???

June 16th, 2009
12:54 pm

m is a pussie

Bob

June 16th, 2009
12:54 pm

Mark,

You might want to check out UGA’s OOC Schedule against BCS opponents over the past 30 years. While it is true that Georgia did not venture outside the Southeast, their OOC against major schools is light years better than anyone else in the SEC in terms of number of opponents. Florida has had the toughest in quality, as FSU and Miami will tend to do that to your schedule.

Since 1980

Georgia has played 68 BCS level foes that had a winning percentage of .579
Tennessee 53 .573
Florida 50 .735
LSU 49 .587
Auburn 43 .562
Alabama 33 .611

It is great to see the Dawgs traveling more and that should boost their SkyMiles account, but playing quality OOC BCS level competition has hardly been a problem in Athens during most years.

JD

June 16th, 2009
12:55 pm

Yea, this was like a month ago…

Mark Bradley

June 16th, 2009
12:56 pm

I think you can find me on Facebook here.

JD

June 16th, 2009
12:59 pm

I just checked again, and let’s just say there was another Mark Bradley in Atlanta wondering who this weirdo was that’s friending him.

truth-serum

June 16th, 2009
1:06 pm

Bulldogs are losers! How can you have a top 5 recruiting class for 10 years and not play in a national championship game. Loserville, like mark Bradley.

SlimG

June 16th, 2009
1:11 pm

Where are all the bees? Who do they play OOC? Weak I’m sure! Oh I forgot, they play two bottom dwellers(MSwho and Pandy). All you will hear from these uniformed tech fans is they play 3 SEC teams, how about playing LSU? Saw what happened when they did that in the chicken bowl and LSU was a second tier team last year. Really, you know they are not top flight when we hung 50+ on them down in Baton. Didn’t MSU just fire there coach? Yeah, yeah, we know for the first time this decade tech actually beat uga. Big deal, a broken clock is right twice a day.

Techies, try florida, tenn., bama, on for size a few times. I’ll gladly trade you for virginia(homecoming loss), n. carolina(basketball school), and boston college.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 16th, 2009
1:17 pm

UNC and BC would be the dawgcrap out of the fleabags this year, SlimG.

so would WF, VT, FSU, Miami, and maybe Clemson.

Enjoy this 6-6 year mutts.

SlimG, do you like Cox?

Huh? or Les Miles (same loser), I bet you like Cox?

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 16th, 2009
1:18 pm

whoops, that’s beat not be.

Tech sucks

June 16th, 2009
1:18 pm

Powder Springs Jacket, if it’s any consolation I hope Tech never wins another game.

DAWGS will win the SEC this year with 2 losses and destroy someone in a BCS bowl.

Tech sucks

June 16th, 2009
1:20 pm

UNC would beat the crap out of UGA this year? hahaha.

Ramble On you are the epitome of idiotic nerd fans.

Tech sucks

June 16th, 2009
1:20 pm

One last thing. It’s going to take all of 1 week for UGA to jump Tech in the rankings.

gdawginkalamazoo

June 16th, 2009
1:24 pm

Ramble! “UNC and BC would be the dawgcrap out of the fleabags this year” LMAO! Great mispell there.

Coach D

June 16th, 2009
1:26 pm

Poopy Pants: 2004 Auburn got shafted period. If you really think Colorado State, BYU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma–Bowling Green, Houston, and Oregon are were better than Alabama, UGA, Tennessee,LSU,and Virginia Tech, then you sir are an idiot. I’ll give credit where credit it due, that USC team in 2004 was very talented and might have beaten Auburn. But giving the Trojans credit for playing a “tough non-conference schedule” is bogus.

The BCS makes college football suck. Folks can dog UGA out for not winning a National Title but I’ll say this: That 2007 UGA team, if they got the opportunity, WOULD have won the National Title. Believe me when I tell you that LSU,USC, and Ohio State wanted no park of the Bulldogs that year. The BCS just didn’t want to give them a shot because they didn’t want a team that didn’t win their conference title to win the national title, which would have happened.

Wait

June 16th, 2009
1:26 pm

I think “playing quality OOC BCS level competition” HAS been a problem in Athens during most years – but it’s UGA competitors who have the complaint.

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

June 16th, 2009
1:27 pm

How many cut an paste articles about dawgs non conference schedule are we going to have to endure before we play?

Give it a rest

Coach D

June 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

Poopy Pants: 2004 Auburn got shafted period. If you really think Colorado State, BYU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma–Bowling Green, Houston, and Oregon were better than Alabama, UGA, Tennessee,LSU,and Virginia Tech, then you sir are an idiot. I’ll give credit where credit is due, that USC team in 2004 was very talented and might have beaten Auburn. But giving the Trojans credit for playing a “tough non-conference schedule” is bogus.

The BCS makes college football suck. Folks can dog UGA out for not winning a National Title but I’ll say this: That 2007 UGA team, if they got the opportunity, WOULD have won the National Title. Believe me when I tell you that LSU,USC, and Ohio State wanted no part of the Bulldogs that year. The BCS just didn’t want to give them a shot because they didn’t want a team that didn’t win their conference title to win the national title, which would have happened.

Otto

June 16th, 2009
1:41 pm

If UF wins the sec and has the same record or better than the other top teams in the country they will go to the title game no matter how much of a joke their OOC schedule is. IMO UF’s schedule is still far tougher than GT, OU, tOSU, or USCw.

Gen Neyland

June 16th, 2009
2:01 pm

MB : 53…You could be my little brother and I mean that. You could ’cause I have graying hair, too…

man, this semi-retired life and unemployment is taking it’s toll. Gotta get a life. A job, well…

RAMBLE ON!!! : Sometimes the funniest things aren’t meant to be the funniest things, but “UNC and BC would be the dawgcrap out of the fleabags this year, SlimG” was a good one. Good spot there Zoo.

Gatorzone

June 16th, 2009
2:05 pm

Otto, I agree. Yes Auburn got shafted in 04. However, I think the country has come to realize (finally) that the SEC schedule is tough enough in and of itself to warrant a BCS shot if in the running.
OOC games are scheduled 4-5 years in advance. UF had to put Charleston Southern in because USF backed out of their commitment. Otherwise, USF, FSU, Troy, and FIU would be their OOC. Not dominate, but not too bad either. I can recall MANY years when UF played FSU and Miami when both were in the top 10 or competing for National Championshps.
To sum up, ANY SEC school should not be overlooked for the title game if they are in the top 5.

Gatorzone

June 16th, 2009
2:07 pm

m, glad to see your idiocy has reared its head again! Where is the “thank God and Greyhound…?”

Tommy Wildfire Rich

June 16th, 2009
2:13 pm

Week 1 will be very telling. It will either be very quiet, or the Joe Cox-Tee Martin comparisons will be brought up hundreds of times on the blogs.

Tommy Wildfire Rich

June 16th, 2009
2:16 pm

SEC has something to prove after last year. There were 4, maybe 5 formidable teams in the SEC last year, the rest were God-awful. A gauntlet the SEC was not. The tired excuse of “we beat up on each other within our conference so we deserve OOC cupcakes” is no longer acceptable.

Dawg 1

June 16th, 2009
2:17 pm

‘m’ Thank you for NOT being a UGA or SEC Alumni or Fan.

Mark, got to give it to you. You find the headline that brings us in. How’s the golf game?

Marcus

June 16th, 2009
2:17 pm

MB,
If you haven’t already, look at last weeks series of articles (titled
‘According to Schedule’)on ESPN.com (College Football portal) by Maisel, Schlabach, and the other guy (forget name) about this years schedules and the trending away from top 10 early season matchups: good read, some good analysis.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=4239858&sportCat=ncf

mobetta

June 16th, 2009
2:17 pm

Play patsies and win; schedule strength is crap if you don’t beat the hard teams; take a note from UF. SEC is toughest in the land already, why make it harder on yourself. AND ALL THE ACC WIMPS, YOUR CONFERENCE IS CRAP!!!!!!

Mark Bradley

June 16th, 2009
2:22 pm

Thanks, Marcus. Thanks, Dawg 1. And the golf game? Non-existent for about 38 years. But thanks for inquiring.

dobearsbare

June 16th, 2009
3:07 pm

I’m all for deriding Tech as much as the next guy, but their OOC sked this fall isn’t too shabby. At Miss. St. At Vandy, UGA and Jax State. It’s not as tough at Georgia’s but then nobody else’s is, either. No Samfords or Furmans or directional La. schools.

RxDawg

June 16th, 2009
3:17 pm

I love it! Bring em on baby. We’ll play anybody anytime anywhere. Go Dawgs!

Otto

June 16th, 2009
4:10 pm

GatorZone. UF end their yearly meeting with Miami after ‘87 game and have played 3 times in the regular season since in ‘02, ‘03 and ‘08. They have not played a OOC BCS team other than Miami or FSU since Okie St. in ‘91.

However, UF has earned recognition from the voters in the rankings by dominating the SEC. SOS won the SEC 4 of the 5 previous years before their first National Title and was SEC East champ in the other year getting beat by Bama who won the national title. If you dominate your conference and continue to win national title swhen you make the BCS title game, you will be invited back.

I also agree people now understand the strength of the SEC. However, if say Ole Miss or Auburn is in UF’s position last year I think they get wedged out.

Otto

June 16th, 2009
4:15 pm

dobearsbare, I do agree GT plays a better OOC schedule than many teams but they want to claim they are playing SEC teams when Miss. St won 2 games in conf. last year and Vandy is usually in the basement as well.

Voice of Reason

June 16th, 2009
5:00 pm

tell you what m, we will allow every other team in the NCAA to play and see who the best out of those teams is, and then the SEC champion will play them and see who wins. Wait, we did that the past three years and the SEC “pu$$ies” have one all 3 handily. Nobody who knows anything about football and has any sense at all thinks the SEC is weak. New argument please.

GetReal

June 16th, 2009
5:59 pm

I don’t see how Auburn got shafted. They played a soft schedule in ‘04 & they haven’t been anything since. Georgia may have a tough OOC schedule this year, but it won’t really matter if they lose to the Gaytors again!!!

DawginLex

June 16th, 2009
6:08 pm

Rambler is still waiting for his dementia medication to kick in. He forgets that GT plays in the ACC, a loser league made up of nobodies beating each other up. Only the introduction of Butch Davis into the league has given them any semblance of credibility at all.

FSU,Miami are shadows of there former selves but GT brags about finally beating them. UNC and VT will beat GT this year as will UGA and the new streak of nerd beatdowns will begin. GT also hasn’t won in Charlottesville in forever so it could be 8-4 Rambler.

bigshot

June 16th, 2009
7:04 pm

If the Gators win the national championship this year no school should ever be criticized for a cupcake out of conference schedule. The reason that Auburn did not have a shot at NC was because of the media bias toward big ten teams.

m is a pu$$ie

June 16th, 2009
7:32 pm

Congratulation m, you win the 1st idiot post award for this thread. Your vocabulary needs some extensive overhauling. You make gtu proud.

THWGT