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Tough road ahead for UGA

EIGHT games against coaches with national titles on their resumes…and a NINTH against CTT who has an undefeated season on his…

UGA has Tough Row to Hoe To No. 1

If you are a Georgia fan and you believe that coaching is very important in college football, here is evidence that backs up your claim that Georgia will have the toughest schedule in the nation in 2008.

With national championship talk in the air for the Bulldogs, here are a few things to consider.

The SEC has five head coaches who have won national championships:

** Alabama’s Nick Saban (at LSU in 2003);
** Florida’s Urban Meyer (at Florida in 2006);
** LSU’s Les Miles (at LSU in 2007);
** South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier (at Florida in 1996); and
** Tennessee’s Phillip Fulmer (at Tennessee in 1998).

Only one team in America has to face all five of those coaches this season and that’s Georgia: at South Carolina (Sept. 13), Alabama (Sept. 27), Tennessee (Oct. 11), at LSU (Oct. 25), Florida in Jacksonville (Nov. 1).

If you look at the non-conference schedule it gets even better for Georgia. The Bulldogs play at Arizona State on Sept. 20. The Sun Devils, who were 10-3 last season, are coached by Dennis Erickson, who won two national championships at Miami (1989, 1991).

If you go to the lower divisions, there are two more coaches who have won national titles. The Bulldogs host Georgia Southern in the opener (Aug. 30) and Eagles Coach Chris Hatcher won a Division II national championship in 2004 at Valdosta State.

Paul Johnson, the new head coach at Georgia Tech (Nov. 29), won two Division I-AA national championships at Georgia Southern in 1999 and 2000.

So that’s eight games against teams whose coach has won some kind of national championship.

And just for fun, you can throw in Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville who had a 13-0 team in 2004 that didn’t get a sniff at the national championship.

The point is this: Mark Richt is going to earn every penny of his raise this year. And if Georgia goes 13-0 against that schedule, their ain’t no doubt they’ll be in Miami for the BCS championship.

Tony Barnhart/The Atlanta Constitution

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