Tale of Two Schedules

Tale of Two Schedules

Han Vance on Georgia Football:

Get the CANINES vs CATHOLICS T-shirt at: www.Aclothing.company ($27 free shipping/handling) ~ lead photo is actually of a cool Notre Dame alum I know in ATL, and that’s me with the art.

Dear G-Mac,

I hate cupcakes!

Warm (actually hot, it’s like, 100) regards,

-Han

When the season starts at an SEC opponent it is easy to see some improvement – no not necessarily in the team – in the usual opening day fare. Let the big dog eat, type of stuff. Last season, we spent a minor fortune on an Airbnb in the Boulevard Historic District and front-ish row tickets on the 50-yard line and two days of meals out for four, and it was boring AF. Bulldogs won 45-0, with almost all of the damage done by halftime.

It was 100 degrees in the drained river valley and a literally dangerous level of humidity. My wife and daughter left after the first quarter, and my chief photog/friend Michael Santini and I joined them at the half. Didn’t even have a long enough time in Sanford to get sober.


(Photo by: Michael Santini)

We interrupt this broadcast for two special announcements…ONE: ATHENS LEGACY PARTY (4th annual) will be at THAT BAR, the nice space on the backside of the Georgia Gameday Center building that once housed Wayward Lounge and prior Gameday (bar) – it is across from the bar called Church. This year, it will be the day of the Carolina-Georgia game, and we will get it going early and then head into the old stadium. No cover, lots of fun, great people, Southern Brewing Co. is a sponsor. TWO: Who is Expat Jack? REVEALED ~ An alumnus of the University of Georgia who lives in Italy and is a diehard fan of the Dawgs and a very creative individual. I know Randy from some mutual friends out of one of my three high schools, the one I graduated from, Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga. Randy was I think two grades behind me, and I get to see him in person when he travels to the States to visit every couple of years or so. NO, it is not just me writing. Expat Jack is a real (other) person. He is also perhaps the most buff non-former pro athlete covering any sport, and hey ladies, he is single. Look for Expat Jack 2 later this week.

I am real, too…not single nor buff nor living in lovely Italy…I’m real. Want to meet me and get a shirt? I tailgate at the backside of and adjacent to OLD COLLEGE in the President’s Garden.

Real upsetting that the real season doesn’t start in earnest until 9/21. As I told my friend Sav who writes for the little Brunswick paper and used to write with me the last two years at Bulldawg Illustrated, where we provided the bulk of their written content: Nothing is ever learned from playing these cupcakes. She was saying, hey, if the defense keeps this up they have a chance to be very good. They can’t, though, keep this up, because they are not playing anybody. This is a mirage.

Historic as they were, private Vandy is at an extreme disadvantage in major college football, which played out in them opening 0-2 with losses to our oldest state U and Purdue. They made a bowl at 6-6 and then lost it. So, they are on a three-game losing skid since beating Tennessee for a third straight time. Everybody beats Tennessee! Rocky Top is such a forgone conclusion of a win that I may not even go. See, I like a little drama in my sporting contests, y’all. If I spend my monies, I want to see a good game from a legit still valid name opponent. And not from the train era.

Perfect example would be say, the Rose Bowl. Worth it!

For the record, Georgia opened a bit better than this last year. They started the season by rocking out 45-0, and then gave up only seven to the second (of three!) cupcakes on the seasonal docket. Not a great slate last year when you throw in a sad SEC East schedule outside of the Gainesville gang, where the Gators finished ranked ahead of UGA in the polls, and them Bluegrass Country boys, where they had perhaps their best year ever.

I was there in le bleu, with Merv and Dan the Man and E-Perk drinking his blush wine mimosas and accidentally hitting kids with footballs, like he does, and it was so great. Trav who is the best and Stan the rookie and Merv-o-lous and little Ol’ me slept in a horse-themed hotel. We drank. We ate. We talked. We barked. Swift went off. Dawgs won the SEC East against a 10-win team. That’s football.

While the SEC East actually had a better head-to-head record than the highly-overvalued SEC West last season, our games in-divsion were not close to competitive for a second straight year. We went 1-2 versus the SEC West teams, if you count choking again against Alabama. I surely do. They are our mountain to climb. One fear is, when we get there, if we get there, we may not be able to play out the rest of the season as we should. Clemson/Ohio State/Oklahoma/LSU or a rematch of Bama-Georgia could still await the Bulldogs in the almost-all-that-matters CFP. Win it all, Dawgs.

Please stop scheduling this garbage, SEC Athletic Directors.

You make the schedules! Make them good. Saban is right in saying it should be Power 5 versus Power 5 every single week. Or maybe just play one cupcake – always an in-state team. There are enough big-league programs out there that there is no excuse for playing Red Wolves and Racers and such.

Georgia has some good games on down the line: 9/21 vs. ND, 11/2 in Florida, 11/16 at AU-barn, 11/23 vs. Texas A&M, the SEC championship game in ATL, CFP round 1 (in ATL or Phoenix), the national championship back in NOLA, where our Dawgs wet the bed to end last season downtrending.

It still, ahem, smarts.