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Georgia coach Kirby Smart leads his team to the field for warmups before an NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga.

5 toughest games on Georgia football’s 2018 schedule

Cy Brown

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Georgia’s 5 toughest games of 2018

Early point spreads for the 2018 college football season are beginning to trickle out, including a handful of Georgia games released Thursday by South Point Hotel Casino and Spa.

The spreads for four Georgia games were released among South Point’s 79 “Game of the Year” matchups, and the Dawgs were listed as a favorite in each.

  • at South Carolina (-11)
  • vs. Florida (-15)
  • vs. Auburn (-3)
  • vs. Georgia Tech (-21)

The spreads for South Carolina and Auburn tell us a little, as does the absence of a spread for the LSU game, but this generally only tells us what we already know. Georgia has one of the easiest schedules in the SEC and will probably be favored in every game it plays.

So, why is this important? Because it’s the middle of the offseason and because it gives me a jumping off point for something I’ve been meaning to get around to for weeks: A look at the toughest games on the 2018 schedule. Let’s get into it.

5. Florida (10/27): There are plenty of reasons the Dawgs are multi-touchdown favorites. (Namely, they’re better.) But this is a rebuilding year for coach Dan Mullen and his Gators, and Georgia-Florida may well end up being their Super Bowl. Whatever happens the rest of the season, Florida will want to fight and set the tone for the Smart-Mullen era of the WLOCP.

4. at Kentucky (11/3): Coming a week after the WLOCP and the week before Auburn, the Kentucky game has all the classic makings of a trap. If the Dawgs get caught in a weird headspace between celebrating another win against Florida and looking ahead to the showdown with Auburn, this could be a long trip to Lexington.

3. at South Carolina (9/8): With South Carolina favored to finish second in the SEC East, this early season visit to Columbia has been noted as a potential upset by many. And while the folks in Vegas seem to have confidence in the Bulldogs, a late touchdown or field goal is all it takes for an 11-point win to appear much more comfortable than it is.

2. at LSU (10/13): I was surprised not to see LSU as one of the Georgia games listed, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. This game is a crapshoot right now. There are too many unknowns, especially regarding the Tigers. We won’t have a good idea of how difficult this matchup will be until a few weeks into the season, but it’s safe to assume any visit to Death Valley will be tough.

1. Auburn (11/10): Vegas generally gives the home team a field goal advantage. Ipso facto, Georgia and Auburn are considered even sides by the oddsmakers. And aside from the fact that Auburn figures to be a very good team — likely the best on Georgia’s schedule — the timing of this one makes it a challenge. This is the final SEC game of the regular season. If something goes wrong and the Dawgs take the SEC East race to the wire, they’ll be in a must-win situation against Auburn. Of course, that worked out fine last time.

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UGAA holds annual board meeting

The University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors began its end-of-year meeting Thursday in Greensboro, Ga., and a record budget and plenty of new potential construction projects made the agenda.

One of the subjects that came up at the meeting was Georgia football’s trip to South Bend last season to take on Notre Dame, which has given the athletic association some inspiration for creative (and cheap) ways to spruce up Sanford Stadium.

“We witnessed a lot of things at Notre Dame last fall about how they celebrate their history,” deputy athletic director for operations Josh Brooks told the board, according to Chip Towers of DawgNation. “That got us to thinking about how we could celebrate our history and also warm up the stadium at the same time. So, we’re going to try to dress up some of those concrete, gray areas we have.”

Georgia baseball knocked out of SEC Tournament

Georgia baseball’s run in the SEC Tournament ended before it ever really got started. The Diamond Dogs were eliminated from the tourney Thursday following a 10-inning, 5-4 defeat to Ole Miss.

“It was a tough way to lose after a back-and-forth game, and we tied it in crazy fashion and then took a lead, and baseball can be a cruel game,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “It’s a disappointing way to end the game and you have to credit Ole Miss for coming back, too. They’re a very good team, a top 5 team, and I think what we’ve done over the course of the season, we’ve earned a national seed. I think the SEC will have four national seeds, and we’ll get back home and get some rest and get ready for an NCAA Regional.”

As Stricklin noted, unlike other recent seasons, this one will not end in the SEC Tournament. Despite the two losses, Georgia is still expected to be one of 16 NCAA Regional hosts announced Sunday night.

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