Dawgs-Big Green, O-Town

GEORGIA plays the Michigan State Spartans on New Year’s Day at 1:00 pm (ABC), in Orlando, my former town – I lived there for a year (1995). The season I was down there was when Robert Edwards burst onto the scene at running back in a game-and-a-half flurry unseen in years, only to go down with a season ending injury in a close loss at Neyland Stadium. It was Ray Goff’s final year at the University of Georgia, and young Mike Bobo had finally taken the reins of the team from all-time statistical great Eric Zeier. Bobo too eventually went down with a season ending injury, the season went to pot and Goff was fired. The excitement of those first two SEC games a distant memory by season’s end.

We are in such a better position two coaches later. Donnan did a fine enough job of rebuilding and was undefeated in bowl games. Mark Richt is doing a great job. We can win ten again, and always win at least nine. Only USC and Georgia have been in the BCS Top 15 at some point during the past 6 seasons. Every other program has dipped. Our dip was a 9-4 season Stafford’s Freshman year, in which we beat VaTech in the Chic-fil-a (“PEACH!”) Bowl. We were number two in the nation last year and can be Top Ten this year. The key next season and from now on is to focus on winning the SEC.

We haven’t played these guys since Dooley’s last game. They featured Andre Rison at receiver that day. Sparty from East Lansing, Michigan. They have a cool mascot and a good fanbase. And Javon Ringer is a force at running back, but I expect Moreno, Stafford, Green and Massaquoi – in his final college game – to outscore them.

Will this also be Moreno’s last game? That would hurt. If Stafford also goes pro early it will be all about Green and 5th Year Senior Joe Cox next year. Joe lost zero games in High School, saved an early season when called on versus Colorado. He is described by Richt as the best backup quarterback in the nation. It would be interesting to see him have his chance. I’m not sure if Caleb King and Richard Samuel can produce big in the run game, but I predict Cox will get the job done nicely if called upon.

Our Offense had the top running back, top quarterback and top two wide receivers in the SEC with a young and patchwork offensive line. We will lose between one and three of those players, but we are Georgia, we have talent, we recruit talent. Retaining our offensive line coach may have already been the biggest move of the offseason.

Our Defense has had a rough year, especially in the biggest moments. We have not  beaten a single really good team this year. We played three good rivals and lost to all. Let’s be real here. LSU, Carolina, Kentucky were solid teams we did manage to beat, but two of those three shredded us. Tech shredded us. Florida. Bama. We can’t go on like this.

Yet, we get to play in the traditional bowl slot on New Year’s Day. I remember years of pining for a whiff at the Citrus Bowl. From now on it’s BCS or bust.

DAWGS to Top Ten? Win this game and at ten wins we deserve to be in the final BCS Top 10; we should get there approximately one spot ahead of Georgia Tech based on overall strength of program and continuity of winning in the toughest college football conference in the world.

Twelve straight bowls (9-2 record)  Let’s go for ten versus some yankee ass conference that has eleven teams, usually two of them decent; State ain’t one of them. They had a good year. We started number one and then played down. Both teams have the same record.

This New Year’s we play up. 

Thanks for reading,