UGA's Brutal Road Ahead

October 1, 2018
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ATHENS - Don’t look now, but No. 2 Georgia is about to hit the most difficult stretch of the season. 

Vanderbilt will set up a stretch of four games in five weeks that will make or break this team. Vandy seems to have taken a step back after a decent showing at Notre Dame, and Las Vegas has noticed - putting UGA as a near four-TD favorite to win the game.

That leaves games with LSU, the Gators Kentucky and Auburn - who are a combined 18-2 with all four teams ranked... three of them inside the AP top 13. 

Hello difficult path. 

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Actually, this is a good thing believe it or not. The more wins over legit teams the better. This is about positioning and conditioning for the playoff… Alabama won’t play a schedule more difficult than the Dawgs. In fact, it appears Alabama’s schedule won’t be as difficult as Georgia’s. 

(I think about all these things as I patently wait for the world to let us know how much better the SEC West is than the SEC East. After all, while repeating non-truths to yourself enough times still won't make them true, doing so can make you feel better. Also, is everyone no longer pumped up about Clemson-Alabama IV? I hear so little about that now.)

Ohio State is losing any benefit of the doubt with the way the Big Ten has fallen apart of late (Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin with out-of-conference losses). Clemson - oh Clemson - has won two games by a combined five points, and the status of its now-starting QB is up in the air. The Tigers' play needs to improve fast, but they play no one the rest of the way. Oklahoma’s great escape against Army may or may not be used against them in the future, but the odd nature of the Big 12 Championship Game creates a scenario where OU could take on West Virginia in back-to-back weekends. 

Weird. 

Nonetheless, this will get Georgia ready for what matters most: December. I’m not sure if I anticipate Georgia losing any of these games - the Dawgs will likely be favored for all of them. But that’s not to suggest all of these games are un-losable. 

Not at all.

The trip to Death Valley will be a major physical test from a team that’s as close to Alabama in terms of sheer strength as anyone. The Cocktail Party won’t be the cakewalk it was a season ago, or the beating most UGA fans want. Anyone with memory recall knows that Commonwealth Stadium (or whatever its name is now) contains trap doors. I don’t think I need to lay out how difficult beating Auburn can be. 

So that's where we are at. This is the stretch - the path that will determine this program’s 2018. It will not be an easy one, but it will get Georgia ready for December, and that’s all that matters.

 
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