This past Saturday I cleaned out my basement to get rid of clutter and make room for some tailgate equipment. My wife wanted to get the kids out of the house so she took them along with some cousins to get a photo with “Uga” at picture day. I think our youngest, Giles, didn’t enjoy waiting in line just to meet a dog(pictured on the right). He is only 15 months old so he gets a pass for now but dislike of Georgia’s beloved mascot will not be tolerated in the future. Basically, this weekend put me in the mood to talk about Georgia football.
Like most fans I am starting to get excited about the upcoming season. I have been a Georgia fan my whole life but I was too young to remember the glory days of the early 80s. Throughout the 90s, I suffered as a Bulldawg growing up in Valdosta where Gator and Seminoles fans were prevalent. The 90s were not a good decade for Georgia football and that made it hard to be a fan in South Georgia where many kids were jumping on a Florida or FSU band wagon. To this day I have a strong distain for the entire state of Florida and I only travel there if it is absolutely necessary. Subsequently, 2002 was the best season I have experienced as a Georgia fan and it may be a major reason why I am still a Mark Richt supporter. As I stated earlier, I am excited about this season but one thing is starting to bother to me about the pre-season hype. It seems to me that most fans are focusing too much on the Alabama game. For example, I have heard fans and even tv/radio personalities talking about how important the Alabama game is and in reality it is just not true. Of course, it is fun to have Alabama come to Athens because these two teams don’t get to play very often which creates excitement and hype. Nevertheless, the Alabama game is not the biggest or most important game on UGA’s schedule. It may be the most attended or the most anticipated but it is far from the most important.
Georgia plays in the SEC East and they have to win the East in order to play in Atlanta and ultimately win the SEC championship. Georgia has failed to make it to Atlanta since 2012 because they haven’t played well in their division. Over the last two years losses to South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, and Missouri have kept UGA out of Atlanta. These losses are prime examples of Georgia’s reputation for blowing one or two games a year by just not showing up or playing poorly. Every year there seems to be an inexplicable loss usually to an SEC East opponent. For fans this has been beyond frustrating and it absolutely has to stop if UGA is ever going to win a championship. What is even more frustrating is Georgia’s inability to take advantage of the recent decline at Florida and Tennessee. As a result, here are Georgia’s most important games this season (in my opinion): South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Missouri. If Georgia losses one of these games I can just about guarantee you they will not be in Atlanta come December. Of course, I want Georgia to beat Alabama. I would also like them to beat Auburn and Georgia Tech but if UGA loses to one of these opponents they could still likely make it to Atlanta. In fact, Georgia could even have a rematch against an Auburn or Alabama if they earn a trip to the championship game. In general, Georgia has to start winning games they are supposed to win and that starts with taking care of business against SEC East opponents.
Ideally, UGA will win every game this year and 2015 will be a special memory for Georgia fans. I sure hope that happens but it is just not very likely. So if I could ensure that Georgia would lose only one game this year then I would pick the Alabama game to lose. At least Georgia could possibly avenge a loss in the dome. Regardless, I do not want to live through another year with losses to South Carolina, Florida, and GA Tech. So I urge all UGA fans not to overlook a good South Carolina team when they come into Athens next month. It just might be the most important game of year for Georgia.