NCAA Football Georgia BulldogsSEC Football

Georgia Bulldogs Face Tough Slate in 2013

John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS

Last season, the Georgia Bulldogs came within about five yards of playing for the national championship. That’s how far away the Bulldogs were when quarterback Aaron Murray connected with Chris Conley in the SEC Championship Game last December when time ran out before Georgia could run another play.

Despite significant losses, especially on defense, Georgia expects to be right back in the SEC title game again this year. The Bulldogs should be explosive on offense, with Murray returning behind center, and running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall coming back to anchor the running game.

While expectations will be high for Georgia in 2013, the schedule is a demanding one for Mark Richt and his team.

Georgia goes on the road for the season opener, visiting the Clemson Tigers in Death Valley on August 31. The following week, Georgia hosts the South Carolina Gamecocks between the hedges in Athens.

After a week off on September 14, Georgia will host North Texas on September 21. The following week, Les Miles and the LSU Tigers visit Sanford Stadium to battle the Bulldogs. That’s three of the first four games against ranked teams, two of which will likely be ranked in the top ten nationally.

On October 5, Georgia visits one of its SEC Eastern Division rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers. The following week, the Bulldogs welcome the Missouri Tigers. On October 19, it’s a trip to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores.

After another week off, Georgia will face the Florida Gators in Jacksonville on November 2, in a battle of two teams that could be ranked in the top ten in the country at the time. This game could also play a big part in determining the winner of the SEC East.

Georgia closes its schedule with games against Appalachian State, at the Auburn Tigers, at home against the Kentucky Wildcats and on the road against its arch rival, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

While there is little doubt that Georgia will be among the nation’s most talented teams in 2013, the rigorous schedule might prevent the Bulldogs from being a national championship contender.