Since the prevailing theme this summer in discussing the 2008 Dawgs is going to be "they're going to be very good, but the schedule is so tough," I need to get something off my chest that I've been considering for a while: this schedule is penance. Georgia hasn't played a road game outside of the South since the Lyndon Johnson Administration, so maybe they don't deserve endless hosannas for finally doing what most of the rest of major college football programs do (with the exception of Florida, but they have a better excuse than Georgia because playing Florida State every year is not the same thing as playing Georgia Tech).
Georgia has also benefited from the SEC schedule rotation in the past several years. In 2006, Georgia would have been in real danger of not making a bowl at the end of the year if not for the fact that they played both of the Mississippi schools (combined record: 7-17). In 2005, Georgia won the SEC title, but they won the East by one game over Florida. Do you think that Florida having to play LSU, Alabama, and Mississippi State (combined record: 24-12) as opposed to Georgia playing Auburn, Arkansas, and Mississippi State (combined record: 16-18) might have been a factor in Georgia finishing one game ahead? Or how about in 2003, when Georgia pipped Florida for the East after playing LSU, Alabama, and Auburn (combined record: 25-15) while Florida played Ole Miss, LSU, and Arkansas (combined record: 32-8)?
My point is simply this: Georgia has benefited from the SEC schedule rotation several times in recent years. I can't quite remember Georgia fans (myself included) acknowledging that fact. So this year, when the schedule rotation is against the Dawgs, I don't think that Georgia fans are in a great position to complain. And let's be honest: repeating endlessly "we have to go to Columbia, Tempe, Baton Rouge, and Jacksonville" is complaining. Similarly, with a legitimate out-of-conference trip finally on the schedule, the natural retort to "we're going to Tempe! We're so bold!" is "what took you so long?"