Dawgs face tough slate, but ...

Noted football expert Jerry Palm says Georgia has the second-toughest schedule in college football this fall (behind Arizona) but that isn't stopping Dennis Dodd of CBSSportsline.com from tabbing the Bulldogs No. 1 nationally in his post-spring ratings.

Georgia, defending champs of the SEC East, must play defending national champ LSU and Tennessee at home, with South Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky and Auburn on the road. As always, the Dawgs face Florida in Jacksonville.

Dodd, who ranks Georgia and LSU 1-2 nationally, hints that he gave the Dawgs the edge over Nick Saban's Tigers because their head-to-head meeting on Oct. 2 is scheduled at Sanford Stadium in Athens. Dodd notes that Mark Richt's team boasts a Heisman contender in QB David Greene, a Biletnikof candidate in WR Fred Gibson and a Nagurski candidate in DE David Pollack.

In addition to Georgia at No. 1 and LSU at No. 2, Dodd's post-spring rankings also include three more SEC teams.

Florida is ranked No. 9. Dodd notes that the Gators went 6-3 last fall after freshman Chris Leak became the starting quarterback, with victories over both SEC West champ LSU and East champ Georgia.

Auburn is ranked No. 19, even though Dodd notes that QB Jason Campbell will be playing for his fourth offensive coordinator (Al Borges) in four years.

Tennessee is rated No. 20. Dodd had this to say about the Vols:

''A critical year for the Vols. LSU and Georgia have passed Tennessee as SEC powers. Casey Clausen is gone. The talent level of the receiving corps has dropped.''


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