Georgia opens 2019 season on the road against SEC opponent Vanderbilt on August 31. This is the first time the Dogs open with a conference opponent since Kirby Smart was a freshman defensive back under Head Coach Ray Goff. Georgia fans always show up well in Nashville and the crowd is usually split 50/50. Georgia will be sorting out a lot of new pieces on both sides of the ball, but they should start the season and conference play undefeated.
Best Bet Game for ESPN Game Day to Show Up
Georgia hosts Notre Dane on September 21. The Fighting Irish travel to Athens for the first time to seek revenge for their 2017 defeat at home. That game was the first glimpse Jake Fromm gave that he would be a special quarterback. This is the first road game against the SEC that Notre Dame has played since Tennessee in 2004, when they upset the then 9th ranked Vols. Look for this to be one of the marque games if 2019 that will get tons of media attention Ironically, Notre Dame has lost to Georgia both times they have previously played. The Fighting Irish will look to break that streak and get the bad taste of last year’s Clemson loss out of their mouth.
Most Intriguing Match Up
Georgia hosts Texas A&M on November 23. The last time Texas A&M visited Athens was in 1980, Herschel Walker’s second college game. Led by Walkers’ 145 yards rushing and 3TDs, the Dogs ran all over the Aggies that day en route to their national championship. They played again in the Independence Bowl in 2009 when the Von Miller led Aggies would lose again to Georgia 44-20. Jimbo Fisher has the Aggies going in the right direction and this game will mean a lot to them. This will be Georgia’s final conference game if the year and could be a must win to get to the SEC championship game.
Best Opportunity to Play the Scout Team
The Murray State Racers visit Athens on September 7. They finished 5-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference last year and are taking the big pay day to come to make the road trip. With the rugged SEC schedule ahead, this is the game Coach Smart uses to play his depth and get the younger guys some game action.
The Deep Souths Oldest Rivalry
Georgia and Auburn will new their rivalry on the plains on November 16, the teams have played each other 123 times since their initial meeting in 1892. The schedule is interesting in that Georgia plays all six eastern division opponents before their two cross-over games with the West. They could go undefeated in the East and still potentially miss out in the SEC Championship. with a misstep here. Georgia has beaten Auburn in each of the last five seasons, including once in the SEC championship game. Auburn will finish their 2019 season with Georgia and then Alabama, probably the toughest back to back in the country
Clean, Old Fashioned Hate
The rivalry with Georgia tech takes a new turn as the Dogs welcome new Tech Coach Geoff Collins into the mix. Georgia destroyed Tech and their option attack last year in what signaled the end of the Paul Johnson era. Coach Collings will bring a more conventional style and new mindset to the rivalry, but this will be a tough start, look for the Dogs to roll easily here in Atlanta with hopes of retuning the next week to play in the SEC Championship game.
It’s no secret that the SEC East is improving, Florida and Tennessee both showed gains last year and will only get better. With Texas A&M and Notre Dame added to their normal SEC East opponents, the Dogs have one of the most attractive schedules in the nation They are hoping they get to add three additional opponents to the end (SEC Championship, National Semi-Final and National Championship game). The last time they won the National Championship in 1980, they beat Texas A&M and Notre Dame along the way, could history be ready to repeat itself again in 2019.
I have covered local, college and professional sports for 12 Local and Regional Newspapers over the past four years. A lifelong Georgia Bulldog fan (I attended my first game in 1978 when I saw the Dawgs beat Baylor), I love to find the compelling story lines that make the game so great.