Nation, get ready because here comes a shot of cold water. You can very easily argue that our DAWGS have not won a game of consequence since the 2007 season. The best option to buck this idea is probably a road win against a #11 LSU team that finished with four losses, or maybe a road win in 2009 against a #7 Georgia Tech team that couldn’t play defense (allowed nearly 21 pts/game). To give this stretch an even more bitter taste our DAWGS have had a few sour losses too…Alabama at home in 08, GT at home in 08, an uninspired loss on Rocky Top in 09, Kentucky at home in 09 and on the road at Mississippi State in 2010. Ugh. *shudder* Moving on. Essentially, Georgia hasn’t won a game it wasn’t “supposed” to win (according to rankings) in two years. Now that stings a proud DAWG like me.
Now, you know me Nation. I respect every opponent on the DAWGS schedule and I can channel Larry Munson with the best of ‘em. I have seen up close and personal and know the strength of this league…from top to bottom…and get frustrated when I hear some DAWG fans so easily look past opponents and chalk up Ws like checking off a grocery list. And I defend the depth of the Southeastern Conference until I’m red in the face when it is at all possible. Any victory of the HATED Gators is to be cherished. Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia Tech can all go to hell too, for that matter. Therefore, what I’m about to do is not something I do easily.
What I crave as a fan, what I NEED to see from our DAWGS sooner rather than later, is a strong win over a respectable opponent and preferably one that is ranked higher than Georgia and takes place in a big moment. Now again, don’t misread this. Last season was a great ride and 10 straight wins is an outstanding achievement, especially in the eyes of a DAWGS fan. However, it seems that to anyone not woofing and wearing read and black that Georgia has not had that win that has grabbed the nation’s collective sports media by the shirt collar and jerked them to attention in recent years and I would say there is an underlying feeling of disrespect out there. I see it when a commentator speaks hopefully of the DAWGS chances at upsetting the apple cart and winning the SEC this year and then only seconds later, laughs dismissively as they focus on some other team they feel has a REAL shot at being a champion. So, even though I am as excited for Buffalo as I am South Carolina, I am going to attempt to boil the 2012 season down to the four games that will really matter for the DAWGS, especially when you view it through the prism I have just detailed. Regardless, I will be watching (and re-watching) every snap.
***SEPTEMBER 8, 2012***
The Tigers are all kinds of jacked up and ready for this one. The whole state’s been talking about it and pointing to this game for months. Missouri is already a trendy pick for the upset to declare that they belong in the big time world of SEC football. If Georgia goes west and loses, the script will write itself for the doubters and it will drive home the notion that Georgia’s still Georgia and they still aren’t ready to play with the current big boys of the league. By the way, everybody knows that all horse thieves come out of Missouri. Everybody knows that.
***OCTOBER 6, 2012***
@ SOUTH CAROLINA
Ah, South Cackalacka. There are certainly more obnoxious fans out there in our league, but they’re hard to find. The DAWGS will renew acquaintances with Marcus Lattimore in this one and let’s be real, he embarrassed Georgia two years ago in Columbia and was unstoppable when it mattered last year in Athens. Then there’s Steve Spurrier. I don’t think I need to say anything more there. This is THE game in the East this season and everyone knows it. Does a loss in SC end Georgia’s season? No. Although coupled with a loss in Missouri, it would most likely end any talk of a division or conference championship. A win would be tremendous in the standings, but what’s more, it would do wonders for Georgia’s national shine. Until of course, someone wins the race to point out that it was ONLY South Carolina and not a team from the big bad SEC West.
For the record, I would like to state once again that here at the BEAST there is NO victory sweeter than any victory over the HATED Gators.
NOW WE RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING
***OCTOBER 27, 2012***
@ FLORIDA (JACKSONVILLE)
This is Florida. We all know the deal. I cannot stand to hear the various pundits droning on and on about streaks and Gator athletes. And I can NOT help but hate that incessant and ridiculously obnoxious chomp. Then there’s the orange. But, here’s a fact that we in the DAWG Nation must face and it’s one we’ll most certainly hear leading up to the game: Georgia is 0-4 the last four times they beat Florida the prior season, having scored no more than 10 points in any one game along the way. Victory against the Gators will certainly be sweet. The only downer will be when we hear that it doesn’t really matter because the Gators are still young and rebuilding. I don’t give a damn. We know better. BEAT FLORIDA!
***DECEMBER 1, 2012***
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
This is the one that really matters. Even though the talk is already brewing to keep any SEC team out of the National Championship Game, nothing short of a DAWGS upset victory in Atlanta will do the trick to make the rest of the country understand that Georgia is a team worth their attention. If the DAWGS take advantage of their “manageable schedule” in the league and win the East, beating a crazed Missouri team, a top 10 South Carolina team and perennial nemesis Florida along the way, no one outside of Georgia will really care because they will fully expect another double-digit loss to the SEC West champion in the Georgia Dome. But if the DAWGS step up and take care of business, especially against Alabama…..man, I hope it’s Alabama…..then Mark Richt and Georgia will have a win to hang their collars on and national perception of the program will finally change….and get right back to where it’s supposed to be.