Future Schedules Offer Revelatory Peek

Canines vs. CatholicsHan Vance on Georgia football:

2019:
Aug. 31 at Vanderbilt 7:30 p.m. ET/SECN Nashville
Sept. 7 vs Murray State 4:00 p.m. ET/ESPN2 Athens, GA
Sept. 14 vs Arkansas State 12:00 p.m. ET/ESPN or ESPN2 Athens, GA
Sept. 21 vs Notre Dame 8:00 p.m. ET/CBS Athens, GA
Sept. 28 Open week
Oct. 5 at Tennessee N/A Knoxville, TN
Oct. 12 vs South Carolina N/A Athens, GA
Oct. 19 vs Kentucky N/A Athens, GA
Oct. 26 Open week
Nov. 2 Florida 3:30 p.m. ET/CBS Jacksonville
Nov. 9 vs Missouri N/A Athens, GA
Nov. 16 at Auburn N/A Auburn, AL
Nov. 23 vs Texas A&M N/A Athens, GA
Nov. 30 at Georgia Tech N/A Atlanta
Dec. 7 SEC Championship 4:00 p.m. ET/CBS Atlanta
Dec. 28 College Football Playoff ~ Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 13 CFP Final ~ National Championship, in New Orleans

Georgia opened as a 10.5 favorite over the Fighting Irish and are currently favored in every single foreseeable game in 2019, with the exception of those of us foreseeing another SEC championship game, where Georgia as SEC East champion would be likely to come in as an underdog to the more nationally valued SEC West’s champion. Side notes: the SEC East actually had a better head-to-head record than the SEC West last year; only Georgia (once) of SEC East schools has won the league in many years.

The Gators, who finished #7 in the country in Dan Mullen’s first campaign and look to be improved in his second year in Gainesville, loom. It’s all about Jacksonville, this year. That’s what Vegas sees as Georgia’s tightest spot, though the Dogs are not ‘dogs, still giving about a touchdown.

National big picture, it is so plainly all about Notre Dame coming to Athens, though. Get the CANINES vs CATHOLICS T-shirts (on gray) at www.Aclothing.company. Win that game and Georgia is in good shape.

Dawgs should, as I see it, be 7-0 and having already taken one of their two byes by the time real divisional conquest will be firmly at hand. Then another bye before the Cocktail Party. Hard to imagine Georgia reaching many of its seasonal goals without winning that game in J-Ville, (although I have) and therefore the SEC East. There exists a real and feasible possibility that a one-loss non-champion Georgia ekes into a four-team College Football Playoff pool as an at-large team, but it seems an unlikely path to a Georgia national championship. The Bulldogs claimed titles in 1980 (unanimous) and 1942 (split).

…And the postseason, Georgia under Kirby Smart badly needs to rise above .500 mediocrity in postseason play, which you obviously never see in a posted regular season schedule.

Thinking back, Kirby’s first team beat my parents’ alma mater of TCU. I was on hand in the Memphis Liberty Bowl, before I went to Graceland.

1-0, then in 2017 the program reached the level of new accolades, suddenly, behind a historically strong junior linebacker and two senior runners, a dynamic duo in the deep Georgia backfield. Running the football is always the hallmark of success at the University of Georgia. The SEC championship revenge game versus Aubie was a big win, ultimately bigger than the Rose Bowl, which I attended and regard as the greatest football game I have seen in person (turning 49 this summer). So, that was a great 3-0 start.

Then, the next two postseason games for our beloved Bulldogs are the eerily-similar late losses to the Tide. Falling to 1-1 in the CFP and then 1-1 in SEC championship game and 3-2 postseason, in the era.

The Texas loss this calendar year in the Sugar Bowl plummeted the team to 3-3. Georgia is on a two-game losing streak overall as a football team right now and is suffering through a nightmarish three-game postseason skid. Yet a national championship feels within reach to me right now at UGA.

If Georgia and Bama do meet in the 2019 SEC championship, regardless of outcome, that will build a lot of extra hype for the next regular season game I foresee Georgia being an underdog in: At Alabama Sept. 19th of 2020. That game stands as a major seasonal scheduling deferential with this season, where the cross-division rotational opponent is a lesser Texas A&M having to play us in Athens. Georgia has not lost at all at home for the last two seasons. The Dawgs have an overall more favorable league schedule and more key home SEC contests than they will next year, and then they did the last two years where at LSU was on the books and, prior, at Auburn came around at a time the Plainsmen were peaking with maturing offensive talent, that was not healthy enough to compete maximally in the SEC championship win.

In a major way, it’s all about the postseason for Georgia this year. Although, you have to get there first. And three-peating in the SEC East has not been happening, with a weird cycle of Georgia with two crowns, prior Florida had two, before that Mizzou got two, then Georgia two again before. The third of Georgia’s four SEC title game entrants was the only East-based league winner over this period.

I find the UGA schedule rather exciting this season, although we host none of the big rivalries Between the Hedges in the Classic City. Great to see ND and A&M in Athens. And, Bulldogs could play a final three games before another national championship game in my hometown of Atlanta: Tech/SEC/CFP-Peach.

…Then win it all back in NOLA where we fell on our fat faces on New Year’s Day.

2020:

Week 1: Virginia (Atlanta)

Week 2: East Tennessee State

Week 3: @ Alabama

Week 4; UL-Monroe

Week 5: Vanderbilt

Week 6: Auburn

Week 7: @ Missouri

Week 8: BYE

Week 9: Florida

Week 10: @ South Carolina

Week 11: Tennessee

Week 12: @ Kentucky

Week 13: Georgia Tech

All tradition flies out the window in 2020 with Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky to the back of the Georgia football schedule. Auburn is the new middle. The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry remains intact with an extra home game on the Auburn side still not repaid. In what Kirby perceives to be of program benefit, Georgia won’t have at Auburn and at Tech to close out regular season campaigns every other year. Speaks to the significance of all of the four major Georgia rivalries: Florida, Tech, Auburn, Tennessee.

The Georgia-Alabama rivalry has to be one of the fastest-growing in the old sport of college football.

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