Sunday, August 26, 2007

Go Dawgs!

(Sabbath Blog #31)

Some people would say that I am not a real Georgia Bulldog fan. That’s because I don’t hate Georgia Tech. Indeed, I pull for Tech in every game they play except for the Georgia game. I would not put a bumper sticker on my car that says “I still hate Tech.” I pull for Tech like I pull for Valdosta State, Georgia Southern, and Fort Valley State—if the college is in Georgia, I root for them. If that keeps me from being a true Bulldog fan, so be it.

I do, though, consider myself a University of Georgia fan. I fly a UGA banner outside our house during football season. I plan my schedule around watching the televised Bulldog games. I read the DogBytes website every day during the season. I grieve when the Dawgs lose and I rejoice when they win. No other football team’s fortunes stir any particular emotions in me.

It’s hard to say why I became a Dawg fan rather than a Yellow Jacket fan. I grew up nearer Atlanta than Athens. It may be that I just associated rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs with rooting for the state of Georgia, which seemed a natural thing to do.

I have another theory, though. When I was a child, my hometown of Barnesville was the home of Gordon Military High School and Gordon Military College. The high school has gone the way of the dinosaur now while the military college has become a unit of the University System of Georgia. But during the 1960s, I spent many a Friday night at Gordon Military High School games and many a Saturday night at Gordon Military College games. So here’s my theory as to why I became a Georgia Bulldog fan: the Gordon teams were known as the Bulldogs, also. Their helmets were even the same color and had the same style “G” on them. I remember being glad that I could have a Georgia Bulldog souvenir in my room and have it be a Gordon Military Bulldog, too. So I think that my love for the Gordon Bulldogs led naturally to a love for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Regardless, I am a Georgia Bulldog fan and I’m excited about the upcoming season. Most folks are picking the Dawgs to be good but not great. The consensus of the pollsters is that they are the #13 team in the country. That’s pretty good. The Dawgs’ first game is next Saturday, September 1, against Oklahoma State. With the season opener just six days away, I thought I’d offer my predictions for the upcoming season.

Georgia 31, Oklahoma State 17. Georgia doesn’t lose many non-conference games at home. The Cowboys are a tougher than usual opening game opponent, though, and it could be close.

Georgia 35, South Carolina 10. The evil genius Steve Spurrier is making some noise about the Gamecocks being a contender. I look for the Dawgs to make him eat his words.

Georgia 45, Western Carolina 17. Most of the visitors’ points will come late.

Georgia 14, Alabama 10. Nick Saban will soon have the Tide back in contention for the SEC and national titles. This will be a tough game at Tuscaloosa.

Georgia 28, Ole Miss 21. The SEC is tough. Home field will matter in this one.

Tennessee 31, Georgia 28. The first loss of the season will be a heart-breaker.

Georgia 42, Vanderbilt 13. The Dawgs won’t forget last year.

Georgia 27, Florida 24. This will be an upset, as the Gators will likely come in undefeated and ranked in the top 5, but Georgia is due for a win in this series. Matthew Stafford will outplay Tim Tebow.

Georgia 41, Troy 21. Georgia has a history of not playing particularly well against teams that they are supposed to beat and they will be dealing with post-Jacksonville letdown. Troy is a program on the rise.

Auburn 31, Georgia 24. The Tigers will want revenge for the spanking the Dawgs administered on the Plains last year. The visiting team seems to win quite often in this historic series.

Georgia 34, Kentucky 10. Same storyline as the Vandy game.

Georgia Tech 28, Georgia 27. I hate to say it, but Tech is overdue for a win in the series and they’re going to be a better team without Reggie Ball and Calvin Johnson.

Again, I’m a Georgia fan and I hope they go undefeated. But it looks to me like a 9-3 season with a second or third place finish in the SEC East and a top fifteen ranking.

We’ll see. Go Dawgs!

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