published Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Georgia in midst of homeless October

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Georgia Bulldogs lost at South Carolina two weeks ago, defeated Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night and play Florida this week in Jacksonville.

Where the Bulldogs haven't competed in October is their own Sanford Stadium.

In the one-year schedule implemented by the Southeastern Conference last December following the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M, the Bulldogs are in a five-week stint between games at home. Georgia hosted Tennessee on Sept. 29, which was the fourth of five home games last month, but the next game in Athens won't be until Ole Miss arrives Nov. 3.

"It is odd not having a home game in October," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. "We have one home game in October next season, and I expect that we would in 2014 and beyond, but this year it just didn't work out that way. I think in the future you'll see it spread out a little more."

Georgia's absence of a game in Sanford this month is partly due to an open date Oct. 13 and partly due to the Bulldogs being officially the home team next week in Jacksonville.

The SEC released another stand-alone schedule for next season this past Thursday. It calls for Georgia to host South Carolina, LSU, Missouri and Kentucky within the league, while taking trips to Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Auburn with the Florida game again in Jacksonville.

South Carolina and LSU will give the Bulldogs a more attractive home schedule next season. This year's Sanford Stadium lineup of Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech could end the regular season with none having a winning record.

"I think people can overanalyze scheduling, and people started out this year talking about how difficult the West would be," McGarity said. "Everybody started picking wins and losses, and I just think there is way too much overreaction to schedules. People get hung up all the time on counting on who is going to be tough and who is going to be the easier game, and all that stuff goes out the window.

"[Coach] Mark Richt is spot on when he says we play who we play, and then we'll make those determinations at the end of the year."

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was quick to point out last December how his Gamecocks had to face LSU and Arkansas this season, while the Bulldogs would be facing Auburn and Ole Miss. Spurrier was asked about scheduling at media days in July, and he used the opportunity to blurt out, "If I made the schedule, Georgia would be playing LSU and we'd be playing Ole Miss."

LSU and Arkansas are a combined 5-3 in conference play, while Auburn and Ole Miss are a combined 1-7.

"That's just Steve and the way Steve is," said McGarity, who was an associate AD at Florida for much of the 1990s when Spurrier coached the Gators. "He is very good at what he does, but he does focus on that. Mark, on the other hand, doesn't worry about that. He wants to know who we play and when we play them."

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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