Coming off an 8-5 debacle of a season in 2009, Georgia looks to return to our rightful place in the national top ten in 2010. UGA has not had two consecutive down years since Mark Richt became head coach, and five losses equated to the worst season for Georgia Football since Richt’s predecessor Jim Donnan’s first at the helm. The schedule is a bit softer in 2010 than any in recent memory, but we still play in the best conference in all of college football and face many nasty rivals each season: Florida, Tech, Tennessee, Auburn to name our top four.
9/4: Louisiana – Formerly Southwest Louisiana, the Ragin’ Cajuns have one of the best nicknames in all of sport. They will be unable to control our rushing attack in our first-ever contest and will prove a much easier opening foe than Okie State was in 2009 – a tough GEORGIA road loss in which we rushed for one yard per carry and gave up two touchdowns to now Dallas Cowboy Dez Bryant, which equaled the final margin of defeat. And it really hurts to lose.
9/11: @Carolina – GEORGIA is seven and one in the last eight versus Cocky, but the margin of victory is not what you’d expect in such a lopsided series. The Gamecocks usually play tough against us, especially at home. Augusta’s Border Bash is a fun event, and Columbia is a good tailgate full of pretty sights on a flat fairground. This is an absolute must win for our young quarterback, but of late they excel at pass defense.
9/18: Arkansas – GEORGIA has won five straight versus the Hogs in this Hog-Dawg rodeo, but their best in the SEC passing offense will test our new 3-4 defensive scheme. Last year’s shootout was utterly insane. Sic ’em, Grantham.
9/25: @Miss State – The real DAWGS have won nine straight versus these bell ringers. And rural little Starkville makes the Classic City of Athens look like NYC.
10/2: @Colorado – Snippet from a rap song I wrote back in 2005: “…Time to lower the shoulder, Dawgs over Buffs 2010 in Boulder, and will cover, my prediction, no science fiction…” I’m a social realist immersion journalist with his nonfiction credibility on the line here, plus my cousins are Buffs. We must win and almost always do out of conference. That thin air may play to their advantage, but we are easily the better program. Joe Cox has us 1-0 lifetime versus them.
10/9: Tennessee – Man, I “hate” them! They have won four of six against us and two of three in Athens, while on a program decline. They hired Lil Dooley although he has a losing record as a head coach, and he stole our top wide receiver recruit by saying, “Look what happened to Marlon Brown at UGA.” They like checkerboards and old blue tick hounds and holding up convenience stores. They sing. We can’t lose to them (again) and win the SEC East.
10/16: Vandy – I have to kind of like them. They hired Munson before us, play in a cool semi-urban setting and have a “V” on their gold helmets. They study. And we are fourteen and one versus them in the past fifteen games. Nice of them to allow us to enjoy our Athens homecoming, and I really do.
10/23: @Kentucky – UGA is only two and two in the last four games versus the big blue, but we have never lost to them in back-to-back seasons.
10/30: @FLORIDA – This is an all caps road game played in a house of horrors formerly known as the Gator Bowl. To get to the top, we must start winning in Jacksonville. UGA has never had a losing record versus UF, but those last twenty years were ugly. 2010 is the dawning of a new decade.
11/6: Idaho State – We have never played the Bengals and should not be playing such weak competition, especially so late in the season.
11/13: @Auburn – GEORGIA has won four straight in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, first played in Piedmont Park of Atlanta. One more win would even the series history.
11/27: Tech – Clean, old-fashioned hate is mostly on their side. We have won eight out of nine versus the North Avenue Trade School. Nine of ten sounds good to me, since I live in The ATL.
BONUS: UGA is two and one in SEC Title Games and has won three of four versus Bama and three of four versus LSU, dropping the last meeting with both. And GEORGIA is ten and two in twelve consecutive bowl appearances.