Deep Inside the SEC

Ah, SEC season. GEORGIA visits the festive Music City Saturday (3:30 CBS) to face a reeling Vandy squad coming off a bad year and a close loss at the hands of powerhouse W. Kentucky. It’s that bad in Nashville post-era of the top receiver in SEC history and a good coach, James Franklin.

I can’t sit here in the unparalleled lushness of Historic Druid Hills of Atlanta patting our untested Dawgs on the back while I criticize the lowly Commodores for as long as I want to go this week, so I’m going in a different direction or two.

Two. That’s the number of games you agree to in a home-amd-home with a big league non-conference opponent, and for all our big wins against out of league major foes over the recent seasons, what resonates most with me is the losses. No team swept us. We swept no team save Arizona State. So, while playing Notre Dame and Ohio State sounds like cool fun we should not-that-fondly recall: Colorado, Clemson, Okie State…we even .500ed tough little Boise, without giving them a home game.

1-0 looks better than 0-1 but some 1-0s are better than others. Fret not that we dropped to #10 in the latest (MEANINGLESS!) poll because that matters none to the playoff committee, and we are solidly in striking distance with several big games ahead. Neutral site game next year against the other oldest public university, state non-rival North Carolina in the old Georgia Dome. Looks like a W from here.

Talk about a memory gap. Too many BAMA fans running around The ATL want to pretend there was no period between the Bear and the dwarf. “I don’t remember,” I keep hearing them say. So, instead of jumping on a little private school already under duress, I’m going to stay public powers and talk GEORGIA-BAMA this week. Then, leave them mostly off the radar until October.

Georgia is just 25-37-4 versus the Tide – the self-proclaimed greatest program in the history of all sports. One thing I won’t deny is history. But if you want to claim history, you must include the not so distant decade when you for the most part point blank sucked. There were two winning football coaches after the better-known Paul Bryant, and then there were three others. Even at great programs, it’s cyclical. You actually may have peaked three years ago when we blew our chance to beat Notre Dame again.

Let’s look at our programs over a full dozen years, leading up to when Saban* really got it going in 2008, the year Bama lost the SEC championship game to Florida and then the Sugar to Utah:

Dawgs 10-2 / Tide 4-7 (1997)
Dawgs 9-3 / Tide 7-5 (1998)
Dawgs 8-4 / Tide 10-3 (1999)
Dawgs 8-4 / Tide 3-8 (2000)
Dawgs 8-4 / Tide 7-5 (2001)
Dawgs 13-1 / Tide 10-3 (2002) UGA wins at Bama 27-25
Dawgs 11-3 / Tide 4-9 (2003) UGA wins vs Bama 37-23
Dawgs 10-2 / Tide 6-6 (2004)
Dawgs 10-3 / Tide 0-2 (2005) 10 wins vacated
Dawgs 9-4 / Tide 0-7 (2006) 6 wins vacated
Dawgs 11-2 / Tide 2-6 (2007) 5 wins vacated; UGA wins at BAMA 26-23
Dawgs 10-3 / Tide 12-2 (2008) Bama wins at UGA 41-30

(*For all his success, Saban is just .500 lifetime in bowl games)

Richt 3-2 versus BAMA: 2-0 on road / 1-1 at home / 0-1 neutral site