The 2013 football schedule doesn’t start for another week, but the big news today is the release of the 2014 SEC schedule. We knew that the conference would stick with an eight-game schedule, so the only real question was whether another SEC West opponent would replace LSU. That turned out to be the case. Rather than a return trip to Baton Rouge, Georgia will pick up Arkansas and head to Fayetteville.
Here is Georgia’s 2014 slate:
Aug 30 – vs. Clemson
Sept 6 – BYE
Sept 13 – at South Carolina
Sept 20 – vs. Troy
Sept 27 – vs. Tennessee
Oct 4 – vs. Vanderbilt
Oct 11 – at Missouri
Oct 18 – at Arkansas
Oct 25 – BYE
Nov 1 – Florida
Nov 8 – at Kentucky
Nov 15 – vs. Auburn
Nov 22 – vs. Charleston Southern
Nov 29 – vs. Georgia Tech
Dec 6 – SEC Championship
A few observations:
- Everyone’s first analysis is to check who a team avoids from the other division. Georgia misses Alabama, LSU, and A&M.
- For a new quarterback, it’s as close to an ideal schedule as you can get. Four of the first five are at home. Though Clemson and South Carolina will pose tough challenges, there’s at least a bye week before the trip to Columbia.
- The long road trip is back. We’ve seen long stretches away from home like this before (2009 most recently), but Georgia will go from October 4 through November 15 without a home game.
- The long road trip includes one tricky stretch. Missouri and Arkansas might not be the toughest teams on the schedule, but they represent a haul during the middle of the year. It’s not as if the Dawgs will be driving all the way out there, but those are two extended road trips after four straight games. It’s just something to watch. As for the fans…might as well spend a week in Branson, I guess.
- South Carolina opening with an SEC game isn’t new – they just opened at Vanderbilt last year. But in 2014 they’ll start with a Thursday home game against Texas A&M – the inaugural game on the new SEC Network. (Go ahead and start writing the post-Clowney-and-Manziel-era pieces now.) While Georgia will have a bye on September 6, the Gamecocks will host East Carolina.
- Both Georgia and Florida preserve their bye week before the WLOCP.
- Georgia should be fairly pleased with their schedule, but of course not everyone will be happy. Florida will face LSU and Alabama from the SEC West in 2014.
- 2014 will be the first time that the Dawgs will play Auburn and Georgia Tech in Athens in the same season.
- Don’t get used to this schedule – we’re still a couple of years away from anything resembling a permanent schedule and a decision on eight or nine conference games.