ATHENS - Georgia's easier schedule - at least on paper, as the 2012 season begins - is sort of like the Stephen Strasburg story: Everyone's known about it for months, but now that it's upon us, the attention grows.
Here is my story on it, with Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity saying he expected this when the schedule came out, and tight end Arthur Lynch wondering if it's really as easy as people are saying. In addition, BCS analyst Jerry Palm weighs in on how the schedule might affect the Bulldogs' run for a national title.
On a side note, it's always bemused me that fans of other teams - especially South Carolina, but also Florida - are outraged over Georgia's schedule. As if a) there was some sort of SEC conspiracy to favor Georgia, and b) Georgia was supposed to stand up and say, "No, no, we demand we play Alabama, and why don't you throw in LSU too?"
In any case this much seems certain: The schedule will get tougher after this year, if for no other reason than the cyclical nature of it.
By now, we were supposed to know what the 2013 SEC schedule would look like. But as of late last week it was still a work in progress, according to McGarity.
“I would think there would be some news later this fall. I’m not certain when,” McGarity said.
All we know at this point is it will be a 6-1-1 format, so Georgia will play its other six division foes, just like this year, and continue the series with Auburn. That eighth SEC opponent hasn't been announced. It has been assumed that Alabama will be back on the agenda for Georgia, but that's not certain. Remember, the SEC is essentially starting over in 2013. So maybe Alabama becomes the first rotating opponent for Georgia, and maybe it doesn't.
As for the non-conference schedule, McGarity said they haven't done anything new, at least beyond the 2014 season. (Georgia is scheduled to open the 2013 and 2014 seasons with Clemson, and there are the usual season-ending games with Georgia Tech.)
McGarity had also hoped to re-ignite a series with Ohio State, which that school canceled last spring because it thought the Big Ten and Pac 12 were going to a regular series. That fell apart, but McGarity still wants to wait on non-conference scheduling.
“What’s holding us back is kind of waiting to see, a) what the strength of schedule component means, and b) trying to figure out who we’re going to play in our conference schedule," McGarity said. "You want to wait and see, let the dust settle so to speak before we move forward with any further schedule, ’15 and beyond.”