The first month of the season is very important for the Georgia Bulldogs. The schedule is balanced with two easy games and two hard games. The Dawgs could get some great momentum early, or find themselves behind the proverbial 8 Ball before the Bizarro Bulldogs come to town.
There are 6 possible situations we could be discussing around the water cooler September 26: Starting the season 4-0; starting the season 3-1 with a loss to Boise State; starting the season 3-1 with a loss to South Carolina; starting the season 2-2 with losses to South Carolina and Boise State; starting the season 1-3, only beating Coastal Carolina; starting the season 0-4.
With respect to Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, the Dawgs will be, at worst, 2-2 entering the Mississippi State game. Yes, anything can happen against the Old Misses, but no one sees Ole Miss being any good this year. Last season, Georgia beat teams that weren’t very good…and beat them handedly. It was the teams that were good that Georgia couldn’t beat. So barring a complete collapse, I don’t see UGA losing to the Rebel Black Bears.
So there are 4 likely scenarios:
1. Starting 4-0. This would be great. After the first month, the Bulldogs would already have same number of victories they had the end of September this year they had the end of October last year. Yikes. I would be incorrigible.
2. Starting 3-1 with loss to South Carolina. This is how I feel we will start things off. To use an argument that Ucheedawg hates, Boise is “due”. They have shown up to play on the big stage every time since their debacle in Athens seven years ago. Every big game against a “big boy”, or every BCS bowl, they have won. No team can have a seven year run of winning consistently on the big stage, even if they don’t play on the big stage that often. One of these times, they are going to lose against a big boy on National TV; why not versus UGA? You want some real insight and not some hokey “due” argument? Ok. I think our defense will show up in the Georgia Dome and hit Kellen Moore’s horse teeth back to normal. The UGA secondary seems like it can be athletic enough to match Boise’s speed, and without Austin Pettis or Titus Young, attrition will be the great equalizer for the UGA secondary, that has some young (but talented) depth. This will allow the big front 7 to have at it.
Most years the Carolina game is a struggle, and that was when they were bad. This year the Gamecocks should be quite good. How many times have we seen this story play out in college football: big time win, then hangover the next weekend?
3. Starting 3-1 with a loss to Boise State. I think if you polled 99.9% of UGA fans, outside of starting 4-0, this is the most preferred scenario. I can swallow my pride with ESPN if we are 2-0 in the SEC.
4. Starting 2-2. Ew. This would not be a disaster, as there would still be time to salvage the season and it would not be the train wreck the first month was last year. But still, it would be hard to get to that magic 9 or 10 win mark over the next 8 games. The Mississippi State game is going to be tough, and the Dawgs are going to need some good mojo heading into that one.
The thing is, I could see each of these scenarios working out. If I had to put a percentage on each one, I would say this:
3-1 (loss to South Carolina): 40%
3-1 (loss to Boise): 25%
What do you think?