Dean’s List: Conference Match-ups of 2015

Dean Legge reviews the top five SEC games of the year for the Bulldogs.

Dean’s List Conference Match-ups of 2015

1. Florida

Georgia’s biggest game of the year is always Florida, but after the deflating performance last season against a lowly Gator squad that finished its season in a third- or fourth-tier bowl, Georgia better be ready to play.

After whipping the Gators three years in a row and taking control of the series for the first time since the 1980s, Georgia found itself in a fight after a successful field goal fake led to a Florida score. Unlike 2013, the Bulldogs couldn’t stop Florida’s momentum and wound up with a black-eye loss that kept them from playing for the SEC title (and perhaps beyond).

2. Alabama

Speaking of beyond, Georgia’s best shot at winning it all in 30 years was stopped four years shy by the Tide. Now, seven years later, Alabama comes to Athens for a game. The two not-so-neighborly neighbors haven’t played in the regular season since 2008. They won’t play in Tuscaloosa until 2020.

The mystique of Alabama has taken a hit in the last two years - that’s what happens when you win three national titles in four years and then go two years without winning one. But the program of all programs in the SEC hasn’t fallen so far off that this one will be a walk in the park for the Dawgs.

Expect a live afternoon crowd in Athens in one of the most anticipated games in years between the hedges.

3. Auburn

Georgia has won seven of the last nine games between these two centuries-old rivals. Only a miracle in 2013 prevented this series from being that more lopsided. But who are we fooling? Auburn, in its two years of striking while the iron is hot has won a national title and two SEC crowns.

Georgia has been the better program in that time and has won more head-to-head game between the two, but Auburn has the hardware to show for it - even if the seasons in-between have been difficult at best.

Auburn is always in Georgia’s way to the SEC title, and 2015 is no different.

4. Tennessee

The Vols have lost to Georgia for a half decade, and that’s not going to last forever. Georgia’s trip to Neyland Stadium will be a real challenge as it comes the week after Alabama comes to Athens. The momentum in Big Orange Country is obvious to see, but the Vols have yet to back that up with a signature win.

Could that be the case when Georgia visits Knoxville in October?

If Butch Jones and Tennessee have it as together as everyone thinks, they will win this game and go on to play for the SEC title in Atlanta later this fall.

5. Missouri

Georgia was better than the Tigers in 2014 - if the 34-0 merciless beating in Columbia didn’t prove that I don’t know what did. But Missouri was the better team over the long term of the season. They squeaked out wins over Texas A&M, South Carolina and Arkansas to go with their thrashing of Florida.

Missouri might not have been the better than Georgia that day, but the Tigers won more games, and that’s all that matters. In 2015, Missouri will have to travel to Athens, and this time the offense won’t feature Aaron Murray and his band of misfit skill players.

The Tigers got away with a win in 2013 against a Georgia team that was total black and blue. It is going to be much more difficult this time around.

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