Three Obstacles in Georgia’s Road Schedule

The SEC wrapped up its Spring Meetings this week in Destin. Oklahoma and Texas were officially welcomed into the nation’s top college football conference. The Spring Meetings signal kickoff is less than 100 days away. Oddsmakers have picked Georiga as one of the top favorites to win the SEC and the National Championship. A closer look at Georgia’s road schedule shows that three key contests could be a stumbling block to achieving either or both goals. Here’s a closer look.

Three Obstacles in Georgia’s Road Schedule

Georgia will be “road warriors” in 2024. They will have two neutral site games and four SEC conference games. While the “Between the Hedges” home slate will be thin this season, road trips in September, October, and November should make for some exciting football. Here are the three biggest obstacles to Georgia’s road schedule.

Alabama Crimson Tide: September 28th

There is a new sheriff in town. Kalen DeBoer takes over for the SEC and Alabama legend Nick Saban. Nobody might be happier to see Saban go than Georgia fans. Georgia is a paltry 2-8 all-time against Alabama with Saban— including 0-3 in the SEC championship. The test against the Tide will be Kirby Smart and the Bulldog’s first test to show that they are ready to take the mantle and set the tone as the new standard of the SEC.

This matchup is what ESPN was looking for when it paid for the rights to the SEC. The game will be played at 7:30 PM on ABC. This will be the second time since 2020 that the Bulldogs will have traveled to Bryan-Denny Stadium and the third time the two teams will have met during the regular season since 2015. This one will go a long way to show that Smart is ready to take the reins as the head of college football and the SEC.

Texas Longhorns: October 19th

The eyes of Texas and the SEC will be on Austin for the fourth Saturday in October. Steve Sarkisian silenced doubters last season by winning the Big 12 in the Longhorns’ final season and making the College Football Playoff. Sarkisian is shown to be adept at recruiting and using the Transfer Portal to fortify the Longhorns’ roster. This game is the biggest threat to the Bulldog’s chances of returning to Atlanta.

One could even envision this being the first of two or three meetings for two teams this season. Georgia and Texas are two of just four SEC teams with less than 10-1 odds of winning the league’s championship. With both offenses returning starting quarterbacks with considerable experience, defensive stops will be at a premium and likely decide which team is in the driving seat come November.

Ole Miss Rebels: November 9th

Come to the Sip! Lane Kiffin has elevated and transformed the Rebels. Kiffin is heading into year five in Oxford and has the Rebels shaped to be one of the SEC’s best teams in 2024. Two years ago, Kiffin seemed on the verge of leaving Oxford for The Plains of Alabama. When he stayed, he challenged the fans and The Grove Collective, Ole Miss’s NIL arm, to stand up and allow him to compete. Kiffin has shown himself to be the Portal King, using it to strengthen the Rebels on both sides of the ball.

Georgia fans should be slow to dismiss the Rebels. Georgia took care of 52-17 and shut down the Rebels over the final 2.5 quarters. Kiffin used the game as a benchmark. “This is a very challenging combination of having elite, phenomenal players and elite, phenomenal coaches combined, and us being on the road. That’s a unique trifecta.” To help match that talent, Kiffin has done an excellent job of bringing playmakers on both sides of the ball through the Portal and returns Jaxson Dart at quarterback. Dart is a dynamic gunslinger and will have plenty of highlight reel plays this season to keep them in Heisman’s consideration.

The Rebels have also given The Vaught a key homefield advantage. Ole Miss has always won the tailgate in The Grove but has brought that energy into their stadium. Dating back to the beginning of the 2021 season, the Rebels have won 21 of their last 23 home games. Come for the party, Dawg fans, and stay for one helluva game.

Realistic Outlook on Georgia’s Road Schedule

These games will be a fantastic watch, but more importantly, these are the types of games that Georgia was missing in 2023. Smart spoke numerous times during the season about fighting complacency. Winning two national championships will do that to a program. Losing the SEC Championship and being left out of the College Football Playoff stings. Smart is a master motivator and will undoubtedly remind the Bulldogs what is on the line come the start of the season. Look for Georgia to come out and make a statement in 2024. A 2-1 record in these three games would be considered good and keep everything Georgia wants to accomplish. But as we all know, good is the enemy of great, and it’s time for the Bulldogs to make a statement.

Photo Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports


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