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Kaltefleiter: Pining over Georgia's schedule pointless.


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Asher Allen doesn't see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Georgia's schedule this season.

The Bulldogs junior cornerback wonders why the folks who closely follow his team are so worked up about the 12 regular-season games that stand between Georgia and a seat at the BCS title table.

Allen views the Bulldogs' upcoming regular-season opponents about like he saw the last 24 in his first two seasons at Georgia.

That each team, each week presents different challenges and that a schedule is only an issue if a team lets it become one.

He's right.

"Obviously, to the eye it seems like the schedule is really tough," Allen said Saturday before straining to sign hundreds of autographs for the 1,500-plus at the Countdown to Kickoff charity event at the Woodruff Practice Fields on the Georgia's campus.

"I'm not downplaying any of the names on our schedule or anything like that, but I think the schedule in the SEC is tough already and you never know what can happen."

Which is precisely the point. We, fans and media types alike, fall into this trap every offseason, specifically as the season inches closer and closer.

We try to peruse the schedule and find definite wins, possible losses and games that could go either way.

Truthfully, lying around clutching a can of SpaghettiO's and channel surfing is more productive.

The tendency to predict what will happen one week from the next during the offseason happens because the vast majority of us are convinced that we're as football savvy as the late Jimmy the Greek or Phil Steele.

In reality, most are as football smart as Phil Connors from Groundhog Day.

If you listen or read what the national media is saying about Georgia's schedule you'd think the Bulldogs were facing the '75 Steelers every other week.

Based on how things panned out last season, Georgia's slate does seem like the Charles Bronson of seasons. Here's the thing to remember - what took place last season if worth nearly as much as that penny wedged between the driver's seat and the console in your car.

LSU, the defending national champs, needs a quarterback worse than Nick Saban needs a exorcism. Florida still needs a secondary and Percy Harvin with two healthy wheels.

Steve Spurrier and South Carolina covets a quarterback and a rush defense that doesn't give up yards like Visa doles out credit cards. OK, Tennessee's a mystery, but five of its opponents will be off the week before they play the Volunteers. That includes Georgia.

And agonizing over how Georgia can survive a four-game stretch in October and November when it plays four straight away from Sanford Stadium is like wondering when ballooning gas prices will subside. After all, Mark Richt's record on opponents' turf is 25-4.

Bottom line? Georgia's schedule isn't as much of a factor as it appears at this point. Be it through superior talent or a splash of luck, a team destined for a national title finds ways to win, regardless of opponents or venues.

If Allen and company eventually fall into the category, they'll be talking about the final game, not the 12 or 13 that preceded it.

" John Kaltefleiter is the sports editor of the Banner-Herald. E-MAIL: john.kaltefleiter@onlineathens.com. PHONE: 706-208-2239

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 072008


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millejb (7/21/2008)
According to this UGA shouldn't even play the season since their just going to walk through everybody whats the point?????

Amazing...I didn't see where he was saying that at all. Just seemed like more than anything else it's pointless to gripe over how "tough" the schedule is at this stage, etc.

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Who's pining? I love the schedule. All championship calibur teams it seems (with the exception of Ohio State) has to play a somewhat difficult schedule in order to win over the coaches and the critics. It worked for LSU last year.

All the Dawgs have to do is take it one game at a time. I'm sure CMR will inbue that constantly in his players this year. Heck, he started it before the Spring game.

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Statick (7/21/2008)
It worked for LSU last year.

Yes it did.  Hype helped them get over a home loss late in the season to a mediocre AR team, which works in this silly computer point/voter system.  Here's to GA doing it where and when it counts and hoping the hype works for us.

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