Aug 3, 2009

Rating this Season's Opponents

Here's my very subjective list of this year's most difficult games, based on not just each team's talent, but also where the game is played and when it appears on our schedule.

1. Florida: Even if UF isn't the best team we'll play this year, Jacksonville hasn't been kind to us much for a couple of decades.

2. @Oklahoma State: OSU may be overhyped and the Dawgs could have a great game here, but their offense is clearly talented, the game is in their new stadium in another part of the country, and it's the season opener, leaving a lot of questions to be answered come September 5.

3. @Tennessee: No one will probably agree with me here, but I think this game looks really difficult from a distance. Bad memories come to mind when I think of the last time we played in Neyland Stadium. Even if UT is having another bad season by game 6, this game looms large like a "trap." Also, it comes right after LSU at home.

4. LSU: Most will have LSU much higher on their lists (probably #2 even), but I'm not seeing it. LSU will almost surely be undefeated coming into Athens (playing Washington, Vandy, UL-Lafayette and Miss. State to start the season) and riding high in the rankings. UGA might even be lower ranked and have a chance to play an upset between the hedges. There will be plenty of motivation for us to win this big game at home, but LSU will obviously be a very talented team as they always are.

5. @Georgia Tech: I struggle even putting Tech this high on here, but I will. It all depends on what happens in the ACC and with the triple option "run, run, or run?" offense in year 2. At this point, I'm confident that by the end of the regular season our UGA team will have things figured out enough to be able to win this one. Even if Tech is doing well I'd still feel pretty confident about this game. But if UGA somehow is undefeated or with 1-loss going to Atlanta with a lot on the line, this game will worry me, as it should everyone.

6. South Carolina: Once again, they aren't looking like too big of a threat in the SEC, but they love to be an upset. If UGA comes out of Stillwater with a big win, this game looks like a big trap.

7. @Arkansas: They're a favorite pick to be a "surprise" team in the SEC this year, so they aren't to be taken lightly. But like some have said, it may be good that we catch them early in the season.

8. Auburn: They're going to have to win again sometime, and I'm sure they'd love it to be this year. If Auburn is much improved, they could be coming to Athens with only 2 or 3 losses and motivation toward the end of the season.

9. Arizona State: Don't know too much of what to expect from this ASU team that was embarrassed last year. But an out of conference game will likely be hyped up and could be an early test for the Dawgs, not to mention it comes a week before LSU.

10. @Vanderbilt: This game gets the nod over Kentucky simply based on where the game is played. Last time UGA played at Vandy, things were very stressful, but of course a close win helped to spark a great 2nd half of the season in 07.

11. Kentucky: At home and against a UK team with low expectations. Also the second-to-last game of the season, so we should have things pretty figured out by then.

12. Tennessee Tech: We better not lose this game.

I know, some of them appear strange. Have your own opinion on the matter? Post it in the comments.

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