Game by game: How UGA will go 11-1 and win the SEC East

Spoiler alert: This will be Georgia's lone regular-season loss. (Photo courtesy of The State)

Spoiler alert: This will be Georgia's lone regular-season loss. (Photo courtesy of The State)

Sept. 1, Buffalo, noon. Last year’s opener was against the Boise State Broncos, and for Georgia it didn’t go well. This year’s opener brings the Buffalo Bulls (not to be confused with the Buffalo Bills) to Sanford Stadium. This should work out rather better. The Bulls were 3-9 last season, 2-10 in 2010. They played Tennessee in October and lost by three touchdowns, and the Vols wound up 5-7. In sum, no sweat. Bulldogs win.

Sept. 8, at Missouri, 7:45 p.m. Sweat will be required in Week 2. This is the Tigers’ inaugural game in their new conference, and Memorial Stadium, forecasts coach Gary Pinkel, “will be pretty cramped.” Mizzou has lost only one home game the past two seasons, that to No. 4 Oklahoma State last year. In 2010 it beat No. 1 Oklahoma in Columbia. This is a very dangerous and losable game for the visitors. That said … Bulldogs win.

Sept. 15, Florida Atlantic, 7:30 p.m. A less dangerous game. The Owls were 1-11 last season. Their first three games were against Florida, Michigan State and Auburn — all of which Georgia would play, two of which it would beat. Florida Atlantic lost the three games by an aggregate 98 points. Not much else to say about this one except that FAU’s coach is Carl Pelini, whose older brother Bo coaches Nebraska. Bulldogs win.

Sept. 22, Vanderbilt, TBA. The lasting memory of last season’s Georgia-Vandy game was of Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s postgame squabble with Commodores coach James Franklin. The Bulldogs nearly squandered a 16-point lead, and Franklin wasn’t pleased with Georgia’s decorum. Franklin got mileage out of his we’re-nobody’s-doormat message, but now his team must play in Athens. Bulldogs win.

Sept. 29, Tennessee, TBA. Big year for the Volunteers. Bigger year for coach Derek Dooley, who’ s 11-14 at Tennessee, 4-12 in SEC play. The Vols already will have played North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome and Florida at Neyland Stadium, so there’s a chance they could be ranked when they arrive in Athens. There’s also a chance they could be 2-2 and playing to stay above .500. If so, the Dooley Watch will be on. Bulldogs win.

Oct. 6, at South Carolina, TBA. Both teams should exit September unbeaten. (South Carolina has a tricky Thursday night opener at Vanderbilt.) Both should be ranked in/near the top five. South Carolina beat Georgia in Columbia in 2010 and won the SEC East, beat Georgia in Athens last season and didn’t win the East. Gamecocks fans are convinced theirs was the better team in 2011. A big-time game in a big-time setting. Bulldogs lose.

Oct. 20, at Kentucky, TBA. With its front-loaded schedule, Georgia benefits from a week off. It also benefits from having to resume hostilities against Kentucky, which has stalled under Joker Phillips. The UK alum is 4-12 in SEC play, 11-14 overall. Coming off its loss to South Carolina, Georgia again is in the position of having to win out in SEC play and hope the Gamecocks stumble twice. They did last season. Bulldogs win.

Oct. 27, Florida (in Jacksonville), 3:30 p.m. Under Mark Richt, Georgia has never beaten Florida two years running. (Then again, Georgia under Richt has beaten the Gators only three times.) But he is 1-0 against Will Muschamp, which is semi-significant. Richt was 0-1 against former Florida coaches Steve Spurrier, Ron Zook and Urban Meyer. Muschamp might well get it going against his alma mater, but not just yet. Bulldogs win.

Nov. 3, Ole Miss, TBA. How bad were the Rebels in 2011? They were 2-10 overall, 0-8 in SEC play. They lost to LSU and Alabama by the collective score of 104-10. They lost to Vanderbilt, long the standard for SEC misery, by 23 points. They lost to Kentucky by 17. They lost to Mississippi State, itself a raging disappointment, by four touchdowns. But they have a new coach, having gone from a Nutt (Houston) to a Freeze (Hugh). Bulldogs win.

Nov. 10, at Auburn, TBA. In Gene Chizik’s first three seasons at Auburn, he won a BCS championship while compiling a losing record against Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Georgia. The Tigers have new offensive and defensive coordinators, Scot Loeffler having replaced Gus Malzahn and Brian VanGorder (formerly of UGA, Georgia Southern and the Falcons) having succeeded Ted Roof. There is as yet no replacement for Cam Newton. Bulldogs win.

Nov. 17, Georgia Southern, TBA. This could either be a great or a grievous bit of scheduling. On the one hand, Georgia could have just clinched the SEC East title at Auburn and might be ripe for the picking, and the Eagles won’t bring anything short of maximum effort. On the other, playing Georgia Southern should help the Bulldogs prepare for their next game, coach Jeff Monken having apprenticed under Paul Johnson. Bulldogs win.

Nov. 24, Georgia Tech, TBA. The first three meetings between Georgia and the Johnson-coached Tech were ferocious. Last season was a relative snooze. Playing without its best backs, Georgia still won easily. That seemed an indication that a narrowed gap — before Johnson arrived, Georgia under Richt had never lost to Tech — has again begun to widen. We’ll see this year if that was the cold truth or a red herring. Bulldogs win.

By Mark Bradley

242 comments Add your comment

Chris Sodemann

August 25th, 2012
10:31 pm

TampaGator

August 25th, 2012
10:32 pm

I think not on that Oct. 27 predection.

TampaGator

August 25th, 2012
10:32 pm

“prediction”

TampaGator

August 25th, 2012
10:33 pm

Dawgs beat SC….and lose to Florida….and still win the SEC East because Florida will lose to SC and LSU….schedule wins out again.

ReeseinDade

August 25th, 2012
10:35 pm

11-1 is maybe one game better than I have them.

GATA!

August 25th, 2012
10:36 pm

I like all except, there is no way the DAGWS lose to USCjr 3 times in a row.

Julie

August 25th, 2012
10:38 pm

Ridiculous. Has to be the easiest schedule in America.

probably not

August 25th, 2012
10:38 pm

losses at Missou, SC, Jax and Auburn.

P-Man

August 25th, 2012
10:38 pm

Predictions are fun and all, but they really mean nothing, sort of like pre-season rankings or preseason All-Americans. Let the games begin!

GATA!

August 25th, 2012
10:39 pm

DAWGS; not what the spirits spell.

SmartestFan

August 25th, 2012
10:57 pm

okay, See if you really get it. http://www.smartestbulldog.com

kerryb

August 25th, 2012
11:09 pm

UGA will NOT lose to SC this year. Better offense than SC, better defense than SC. The ONLY thing SC has that may be better than UGA is at the RB position. That is only if Latimore can come back from major knee surgery 11 months before and be as good as in the past. I think with Gurley and Marshall UGA can be good enough to beat SC. SC has no established WR’s and are thin in the secondary with a starting CB going down with a torn thigh muscle. SC is pretty good at D-line with Clowney but UGA has Abry Jones, Washington, Ogletree, Jarvis Jones,Jenkins, Geathers, and so on. UGA’s front 7 will be one of the best in the country.

Jefferson Davis Hogg

August 25th, 2012
11:09 pm

Mark, You’re pretty close to seeing it the way as I am but without some differences as well. I can see us winning at Mizzu, losing to SC, or vise versa splitting the two one way or the other, or winning both outright and losing some unforseen game in between. I think this is a very tallented team that could also run the table despite some coaching flaws, seeing as though our schedule set’s us up for such. Either way, things should be interesting this fall. I also think Tech is in the same boat.
Now, I am off to Cooper’s creek in the North Ga mtn’s to get some R&R and do a little late season trout fishing, hike the mtns, try to keep a warm fire, and enjoy the hurricane for a week!. LOL.
Ya’ll have fun on the blogs an GO DAWGS!
SEE YA

kerryb

August 25th, 2012
11:14 pm

probably not
August 25th, 2012
10:38 pm

losses at Missou, SC, Jax and Auburn.

_________________________________

You probably have no clue of what you’re talking about. Missou? They’ve lost 3 starters on their O-line the last 2 weeks and are being replaced by walk-ons and true Freshmen. UGA’s front 7 will run through their O-line. Auburn does not have the personnel this year to beat UGA. The game in Jax is always tough but it is a winnable game, and I just gave the reasons why UGA will not lose to SC.

GT GRAD

August 25th, 2012
11:15 pm

Wow what a super soft schedule!

NCAA football (due to the BCS nonsense) has become a competition to see who can set the easiest schedule…….UGA has a done a great job this year……..no wonder why UGA is ranked in the Top 10!

How could UGA possibly finish worse than 10-2 with this super easy schedule???? GT & South Carolina are the only two games which will even test UGA (a not very good Auburn and a really down Florida might be capable of keeping the final score within 10 points; however, I doubt they will).

Honest people who look at this schedule should admit the SEC is not very solid after the Top 5 teams; honestly……….how many teams on the 2012 UGA schedule really scare you????

kerryb

August 25th, 2012
11:19 pm

GT Grad, lets see if I can explain this simply enough for you. Teams do not set their conference schedule. The conference does. UGA could have just as easily played Bama as was scheduled but the SEC did not decide that. THEY took off Bama and gave UGA Ole Miss. UGA had no control of it. YOU play the teams you’re given to play. No one was complaining a few years ago when UGA was playing the 4th hardest schedule in the country.

zeke

August 25th, 2012
11:20 pm

A definite loss in Columbia! “The Brice” will take it’s toll on UGA!

Jefferson Davis Hogg

August 25th, 2012
11:20 pm

GT Grad, how many teams in the ACC scare anyone?. In reallity, Tech’s schedule is easier than UGA’s if you want to compare apples to apples. Tech has no excuse to finish with any less of a record than your predicted UGA record

kerryb

August 25th, 2012
11:21 pm

GT Grad, Honest people who look at this schedule should admit the SEC is not very solid after the Top 5 teams; honestly……….how many teams on the 2012 UGA schedule really scare you????
_____________________________________________________

One things for sure. The last team on the schedule doesn’t.

@eidsonb

August 25th, 2012
11:22 pm

I dont know what is more fun to watch…UGA fans who think there program is a top tier one or the writers who drank the Kool-Aid….

Thwg

August 25th, 2012
11:22 pm

If u can’t go 11-1 with this Micky
Mouse schedule, hang it up. Preseason no6 only because of this schedule. Worse top 20 team but record will contradict. Looks like this uga season tix holders are really getting their monies worth. Ga southern, buffalo wow. I’m sure the place will be half empty. Your best home game is the team hate the most – gt. That’s the only home sell out on the schedule.

kerryb

August 25th, 2012
11:22 pm

Georgia 35 SC 21. I’m calling it.

@eidsonb

August 25th, 2012
11:23 pm

The SEC is Alabama and LSU and the rest not so much

Thwg

August 25th, 2012
11:28 pm

Tired of hearing about sec toughness. Not that tough. Sure 7 ncs but from the same 4 teams that are any good. Aftr al, lsu, USC, rest is avg in any conference. Acc is less top heavy but deeper. Everyonewill see hem ncsu spamks the vols and Clemson rolls auburn for the 2nd year in a row.

kerryb

August 25th, 2012
11:30 pm

Thwg
August 25th, 2012
11:28 pm

Tired of hearing about sec toughness. Not that tough. Sure 7 ncs but from the same 4 teams that are any good. Aftr al, lsu, USC, rest is avg in any conference. Acc is less top heavy but deeper. Everyonewill see hem ncsu spamks the vols and Clemson rolls auburn for the 2nd year in a row.

________________________________________________________________________

USC?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

TN vs NCST, Clemson vs AU. 2 average ACC teams playing two average SEC teams. Big deal.

SSIgator

August 25th, 2012
11:36 pm

Mark Bradley –

This is about as accurate as that drivel you wrote last week about Augusta National finally accepting women and thinking that your readers would follow like sheep and agree with you. Have you ever considered reading Tarot Cards at the local carnival instead of this nonsense?

WI Dawg

August 25th, 2012
11:38 pm

Thwg….get back to us when we all get finished laughing at how VT lost to James Madison!!!! lol The ACC…The Always Chokes Conf! What a joke of a conf….u may see FSU do something ok this year…if they don’t fall on their face like they did last year….

Jefferson Davis Hogg

August 25th, 2012
11:38 pm

Ok Thwg, the same 4 teams. That’s four more teams than from the “deeper” ACC as you like to say. Lets see, the deep Clemson team of who’m West Va. just scored on again just a few minutes ago? Or the Fla. St team who got showed the door by OK. Actually, the most consistant team in the ACC has been Wake Forest! Now that say’s something. OH, and the Vol’s, as much as I dislike them still beat NCSU and the AU vs Clem game is a toss up. When your conference wins a BCS bowl game then brag!. Outside that, just remember that UGA has won as many BCS games as the ACC has combined!……
OK, I’m out of breath, you guys have at it……I’m gone fishin finally!

WI Dawg

August 25th, 2012
11:41 pm

Hey look! It’s SSIgator reading a blog about the Dawgs! That’s right….nothin special goin’ on in Jean Shorts country in a while huh…since T-bow and Urban Cryer left u high and dry huh….when u come on here….u should change ur name to SoSogator…lol

Moobs Johnson

August 25th, 2012
11:43 pm

Dawgs will lose to Mizzou, Cackalacky, and Florida. Joke schedule doesn’t save Coach MediocRe from going back on his hot seat.

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

August 25th, 2012
11:44 pm

Steve Spurrier will do his best General Sherman impression and make JawGA howl again. By the time December 1st get here JawGA fans will be looking forward to spring football.

Dawg Reporter

August 25th, 2012
11:46 pm

Something that has never happened, SC beating UGA three straight. Could happen I guess because of Spurrier. Auburn is the other obstacle because it’s Auburn. UGA wins 10, 11, or 12 before a bowl. Yep, a second straight win over Florida with more to come. Getting close to overtaking Tennessee in the series which is appropriate.

Ed

August 25th, 2012
11:47 pm

Here’s a prediction: Florida fans will be calling for Coach Bam’s head before Oct. 27. Let’s just hope that we’re not doing the same with Richt around that time.

WI Dawg

August 25th, 2012
11:48 pm

Thwg….Clemson…really??? As Jefferson Davis Hogg pointed out….when u let another team score 10 TDs against u…IN A BOWL GAME….u should have to sit the next year out! Wow…no one should talk about Clemson for a while…..man…I’ve heard it all now

Tide Rising

August 25th, 2012
11:48 pm

So we open with 8th ranked Michigan which went 11-2 last year and the dawgs open wit Buffalo? Serious?

I don’t know if beatng UF again is realistic. They’ve got Boise’s former offensive coordinator and by the 6th game I think he will have them rolling. Hard to imagine uga beating uf a whole 2 years in a row. And between AU, GT, and even UT I think the dawgs lose one of those 3. 9-3 I see the dawgs- 2nd or 3rd in the east. But I’ll be pulling for the dawgs nonetheless. The idea of possibly playing them in the seccg just makes me salivate.

WI Dawg

August 25th, 2012
11:58 pm

I know SC has an ok D…but why all the talk of us losing to them?? and yes i know that game is always close…but…let me give you the stats from last year if they are not already burned into the avg Dawg fan’s mind….UGA-436 total yrds (Pass=248,Rush=188)…USCjr-327 yrds (Pass=142, Rush=185)…..and our D is better this year (and so should the Off)…we scored 22 points on them in the 4th qtr!! And turned the ball over 4 times!!! And we only lost by 3!!!! they lose a key CB for the game….and NFL WR is gone…..Lattimore is Lattimore……so why again does everyone give the edge to USCjr????

WI Dawg

August 26th, 2012
12:03 am

@Tide Rising

So we open with #5 ranked Boise St last year which went 12-1 last year and the Tide opens with The Kent State Golden Flashes last year? Serious?

WI Dawg

August 26th, 2012
12:04 am

No offense….but we would rather see LSU…we have a little payback coming for last year :)

kerryb

August 26th, 2012
12:07 am

Auburn an obstacle because it’s Auburn? You mean the team UGA has beaten 5 out of the last 6 times?

BigDave

August 26th, 2012
12:12 am

Tennessee will finish 8-4 saving Dooley’s job. I think they go 4-4 in the SEC

aon

August 26th, 2012
12:14 am

I am so excited that it is football season! Go GA Southern Eagles!

Joe Shabadoooo

August 26th, 2012
12:15 am

They’re all easily winnable. Even the one in the chicken coop at the state fairgrounds. I’m not worried at all.

A Fan

August 26th, 2012
12:20 am

A team with a cupcake schedule that has now WON a NC in 30+ years is all of a sudden win the SEC East! NO WAY! Florida or SC in the EAST!

Enough Said!!!

Beastly

August 26th, 2012
12:26 am

All the games are winnable. Will Georgia win them all is the question?. That Missouri game has me worried a bit. I just have a bad feeling about that one. Hopefully it’s just that, a bad feeling. Missouri seems ready to shut some people up. I hope we can match their intensity during the game, because if not, we may lose gentlemen.

BigDave

August 26th, 2012
12:32 am

I think Georgia goes 10-2 with losses to Missouri and South Carolina. I think they go to the SECCG and loses to LSU again

Beastly

August 26th, 2012
12:35 am

If Mark Richt uses the gameplan he used against Tech in 2009, and run the ball A LOT then we’ll beat Missouri IMO. They just don’t have the horses up front to get enough push for all 4 quarters. If we try to get all pass happy, then it’ll be a toss up. I think I’d put that game in the hands of my O-line and RBs and eat Missouri’s defense up.

RED DOG 77

August 26th, 2012
12:54 am

Almost got ‘em all right Bradley……………..The University of Georgia football team is a group of young men who are extremely motivated………..they are ready for war wheather the opponent is South Carolina or Buffalo……………Yup, the “DAWGS” are pi$$ed, and ready to push some folks around this year………………..Yesereebobtail, Mark……….”My GEEEEOOOOORRGIA BULLDOGS” are ready to litterally whip the livin’ snot out of the schedule as it;s written………….and that means The South Carolina Gamecocks too……………..other games will be closer, mabe Tenn mabe Fla…………..But South Carolina?……………We’re going to make them regret waking up the day we play them…………..Georgia 31 South Carolina 13………………Good story though, Bradley………………Regards, RED……………………PS………………………GATA!!!!!!!!!!!

7576DAWG

August 26th, 2012
1:02 am

The Missouri game will tell us a lot. In the past Georgia has always taken 3 or 4 teams for granted and either the game was real close and they were lucky to have won or they lost. I hope this team is not one of those arrogant , self centered teams that listen to the press and blog hype.
I think and hope they remain focused on their goal of winning every game and going to the national title game. Richt needs to do his part by NOT filling sorry for a team if we are winning by 24 at half. He needs to keep the pressure on the entire game and beat them like a rented mule. When you take the pressure of it sends a message to your team that they do not have to try for 60 minutes. Then when they get into a game like the LSU game or the Michigan State game last year , they are not able to go 60 minutes. If Murray is having a bad day and has had a few turnovers because he just wasn’t very smart , history says that he will continue having a bad game until it is over. Before his mistakes make us lose Richt needs to take he out of the game , at least until he settles down and the Prozac has time to take affect.

[...] Predicting Georgia, game by game This is the Tigers' inaugural game in their new conference, and Memorial Stadium, forecasts coach Gary Pinkel, “will be pretty cramped.” Mizzou has lost only one home game the past two seasons, that to No. 4 Oklahoma State last year. In 2010 it beat No. Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

7576DAWG

August 26th, 2012
1:10 am

The Vanderbilt , South Carolina game might be played in a downpour. If either team relies of a passing attack they could be in trouble. If he can hold onto the ball Lattimore may carry the ball 35 times in that game. Conner Shaw may not have a very good game if it is raining hard. This game could be very important for Georgia especially if Vanderbilt wins.