Tuesday, August 24, 2010

South Carolina game most important for the Dawgs in '10

OK, we all know the importance of beating Tech, for, as a decorated Georgia alumnus once said, "if you don't think beating Tech is important, try losing to them." Nor is there any reason to pretend that a victory over Florida wouldn't be huge.

I'm not sure what it says about where Georgia is or where South Carolina is when I find myself realizing that the Carolina game is, in fact, the most important game of the season for Georgia, but here's why.

Assuming the Bulldogs handle LaLafayette in the opener, South Carolina becomes the tone-setter for what Aaron Murray is to become, and what Todd Grantham's new 3-4 defense will be. That game is usually important anyway, because, as Richt so often mentions, the winner typically goes on to have a good season (last year notwithstanding), while the loser is immediately fighting an uphill battle just to finish 2nd in the SEC East, never mind having a realistic shot at the SEC Title (well, the Gamecocks really go into every season without a realistic shot at the SEC Title).

This game's been unnaturally close for most of the past 10 contests, and this year figures to be no different. Carolina usually has a steady defense, and unless QB Stephen Garcia pees the bed in their opener, so to speak, he will not yet have drawn the full ire of Coach Spurrier. Furthermore, the 'Cocks haven't realized that they're not a good team when Georgia comes a' callin' in week two.

So, if the Dawgs want to earn the right to treat the 2010 season as anything more than a 'reset button' year, they must beat South Carolina.

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