Having watched the debacle that was the Bama vs Arkansas game on Saturday afternoon, can we all agree that this whole scheduling "advantage" isn't nearly as big as thought back in August at media days. Coach Spurrier - are you still crowing about having to play the Hogs? What a disaster in Fayetteville. Not only did Petrino trash that Harley but he also sent the Razorback program into a tailspin. For those of us from Georgia...we're not surprised as we remember that chump when he was here with the Falcons.
Let's take a gander now that we're a few games in. Each worth a point or half point advantage. The team with the scheduling advantage is awarded the points.
* Yearly West game: Yes, Auburn too looks pretty awful. So call it a wash with Georgia playing Auburn and S Carolina playing Arky. But, ours is a rivalry game and on the road...just saying. SC + 1/2 point
* Comparing the West rotation games UGA gets Ole Miss at home and S Carolina gets LSU on the road. Scheduling advantage - Georgia. Quite obviously here. But keep this in mind: it's one game - and if uSC could beat Georgia, that gives the Cocks essentially a two game swing, right?
UGA + 1 point
Then, let's look a little deeper than just the names and preseason hype on the schedule. The games that will matter:
* Georgia had to open SEC play on the road at Mizzu in their inaugural game. That certainly adds much more electricity to the environment and not to mention they're a solid squad...the season will show that out. The Gamecocks get Mizzu at home and in the middle stretch of the schedule. The Tigers will be more settled into being an SEC member. No extra mojo to compete with. Scheduling advantage: SC and + 1 point
* The Mighty Gators: Recent history gives the Gators the advantage over Georgia in Jax. Hopefully that tide is turning, but one game does not indicate a streak. The Cocks must travel to the Swamp one week after traveling to Baton Rouge. That is no easy task and playing 2 physical teams back-to-back on the road. Schedule advantage Georgia, but mostly due to the Gamecock's trip to LSU the week before. UGA + 1 point
* Deer Hunters Orange: Both squads get the Vols at home - Georgia in the middle of league play, Carolina towards the end but also right after LSU and Florida. But, as shown by the Gators last night, the Vols lack of depth will hurt them down the stretch. Schedule advantage - I'd say a draw being that Georgia plays them in September, not late October. No points
* Vandy: having to open on the road in Nashville was a big hurdle...much more so than it looked on paper. And the Dore's just about pulled out the W. With Vandy coming between the Hedges and now a night game, the schedule for this one goes in favor of the Dawgs. UGA + 1 point
* Kentucky: no further comment needed. Both Georgia and S Carolina have equally favorable chances against the Wildcats....even if Bear Bryant came out of his grave to coach the Cats again. No points
Pick's schedule favorability point totals:
South Carolina: 1-1/2 points
Georgia: 3 points
Difference being 1-1/2. As noted previously, the Georgia/S Carolina winner gets a two game, 2 'point' swing.
So...upon further review, doesn't it really just come down to winning the game in Columbia (SC) and holding equal serve on the rest? The winner gets a "free loss" so to speak. As the great Al Davis once said - Just win baby!