2012 SEC Schedule Analysis and Thoughts
So, it is out. The 2012 SEC Schedule is out for public opinion and scrutiny - mainly against the University of Georgia. Why, you say? Well, just look at the Dawgs' schedule for 2012:
- September 1st - vs. Buffalo
- September 8th - at Missouri
- September 15th - vs. Florida Atlantic
- September 22nd - vs. Vanderbilt
- September 29th - vs. Tennessee
- October 6th - at South Carolina
- October 13th - Open
- October 20th - at Kentucky
- October 27th - vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
- November 3rd - vs. Ole Miss
- November 10th - at Auburn
- November 17th - Georgia Southern
- November 24th - Georgia Tech
Going into 2012, barring any mass exodus, Georgia should return 17 starters from their 2011 SEC East Championship team and should be favored in every game on the schedule. Another reason people will be critical of Georgia - they miss LSU, Arkansas, and Bama for the 2nd straight year.
However, what people don't realize is that no one is playing a tremendously tough schedule this year... well, except for Ole Miss... God speed, Hugh Freeze! When you talk big out of conference games, here are the only "tough" games for SEC teams this year:
- Sept. 1st - Alabama vs. Michigan (Dallas)
- Sept. 1st - Auburn vs. Clemson (Atlanta)
- Sept. 8th - LSU vs. Washington
- Sept. 15th - Ole Miss vs. Texas
- Sept. 1st - Tennessee vs. NC State (Atlanta)
Again, it is not like there is a schedule like LSU's this year where they play a ton of top 10 teams. Now, in regards to the not playing the "Big 3" from the West argument, all I have to say is this: South Carolina fans, did you ever hear us complain all those years when Arkansas SUCKED??? No! We have played Auburn EVERY year for over 100 years. They are a good team about 90% of the time. Just because 2012 just happens to be a year when they are down is NOT our fault.
The other side of the argument is how do you know how those teams from the East will be vs. the teams from the West. Just because "on paper" the East looks "weak" compared to the West, does not mean that in 2012 the East will definitely be worse than the West. Just think about that first game for Georgia vs. Mizzou away in Columbia! Mizzou's first SEC game - at home- against the SEC East Champ - that game will be a championship atmosphere.
My point is this... sure, our schedule looks "easy" right now compared to others. Yes, it is convenient that we don't play any of the big 3 from the West. However, at the end of the day, the best from the East will play the best from the West. If Georgia makes it to the SECCG, they'll play one of those teams. If they lose, they lose... but if they win... does the schedule still "help" them out? No. They'll have won because they were the best.
So, cheers, Gamecock fans... next time, beat Auburn.