Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. We were looking for a dream matchup and ended up with Virginia. Yeah, I’m leading with R. Kelly two days in a row. Come at me.
If you can dream it, you can do it
By now you have likely seen the news that Georgia has scheduled a meeting with Virginia to open the 2020 season at Mercedes Benz Stadium. So, that’s happening. I don’t really have much more to say about it than that. Maybe you know some Virginia fans or have always wanted to play the Cavaliers, but neither of those is the case. Add that to the fact that the Cavs have little going for their program at the moment (which, of course, could change in three years) makes it a pretty blah matchup.
But the news did get me thinking about games I’d really like to see Georgia play, as either a one-off or on a semi-regular basis. We had one this season against North Carolina, one of Georgia’s very first football rivals, and get another against Notre Dame next season, a rematch of the 1980 Sugar Bowl. There are a ton of other teams I’d love to see Georgia face.
Now, I understand that depending on where you grew up in Georgia — and if you grew up in Georgia — could determine what your dream matchups are. These are just mine, in no particular order. I’d love to hear some of y’all’s in the comments section.
Florida State — A UGA-FSU game would have had a bit more cache if Mark Richt was still the coach, but it would still be a killer contest. With Tallahassee right below the Georgia border, Bulldogs fans and Seminoles fans in south Georgia interact on a daily basis. Although it rarely comes out, I’m sure there’s a rivalry boiling between these two fan bases, if only because of proximity. Plus, it gives me an excuse to post this Bruce Thornton pick in the 2003 Sugar Bowl.
Miami — Richt’s departure may be a wound that still is raw for some Georgia fans, but you can’t deny it would be great theater to see him return to Athens — or even Atlanta — to coach against the Bulldogs. I know some Richt loyalists who would be torn apart inside just from the thought. Aside from that, Miami is a classic college football program in arguably the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country. Who wouldn’t want to play the ‘Canes?
Southern Cal — The Trojans have another classic, storied program, one that Georgia has struggled with over the years. The Bulldogs are 0-3 against Southern Cal all time and UGA was outscored 101-3 in those games. Yeah, they were played in 1931, 1933 and 1960, but that doesn’t mean I’m not hankering for some revenge. Whether played in Sanford or at the Coliseum, this would be an amazing game to see.
Oklahoma — The Sooners are arguably the biggest program in the country that Georgia has never played a game against. There’s something that just doesn’t sit right about blue-blood programs such as UGA and Oklahoma never playing in the more than a century-long history of college football. This is a game I think Greg McGarity should make a priority to get scheduled sometime in the next decade or so.
Clemson — If you wanna be the best, you’ve gotta beat the best. Right now, Clemson is the best and figures to be one of the best for many years to come. Clemson also is one of the most natural rivalries for Georgia. Clemson is the second-closest major college campus to Athens after Georgia Tech, and it’s closer when you consider you’re zooming through South Carolina farmland instead of sitting in Atlanta traffic. And if you hadn’t noticed, these two fan bases really don’t like each other, especially those who were around in the ’80s. For my money, this is one of the best rivalries in college football that isn’t played on a regular basis, and that’s a damn shame.
Another win for Bulldogs basketball
Georgia hoops (11-5, 3-1 SEC) made it two wins in a row and it did it in convincing fashion, beating Ole Miss, 69-47, on the road. As far as RPI is concerned, this is one of the biggest wins of Georgia’s season. If Ole Miss (10-6, 1-3) can keep winning, this victory could be a boon for Georgia when the selection committee goes over its resume.
Quality win for Georgia tonight. Ole Miss' RPI entering today is 39. May not finish as a top 50 win for Georgia, but it is for now.
— Seth Emerson (@SethEmersonAJC) January 12, 2017
Third true road win too, fourth away from home. But most importantly: Georgia looked really good. https://t.co/eVbFsbdCR0
— Seth Emerson (@SethEmersonAJC) January 12, 2017
Georgia has an even tougher challenge next: a meeting with the No. 24 Florida Gators this Saturday at noon in Gainesville.
And the loser is …
Over at Dawg Sports, MaconDawg has a great post asking the simple, if not obvious, question: “If Kirby Smart is winning on the recruiting trail, who’s losing?” Recruiting is a zero-sum game. Every top player that signs with Georgia doesn’t sign somewhere else, i.e. with a rival. One team in particular seems to be feeling the brunt of Georgia’s ability to secure top talent this season: Auburn.
The simplified version of MaconDawg’s argument is that every year Auburn is hot in recruiting, it pulls lots of players form Georgia. This season, Smart’s metaphorical wall around the state is coming at the expense of the Tigers.
The commonality among those classes? Auburn’s ability to snatch 4-6 blue-chip prospects from the state to the east made the difference between a top 10 signing class and one that would have finished outside the national top 20, and near the bottom of the SEC West. And it’s not as if Auburn has been signing the players Georgia passed on. By my count, no more than five of the big-time recruits listed above did not also have an offer from the Bulldogs. While Auburn’s recruiting “home base” is arguably lower Alabama, Georgia is a close second. When Auburn has recruited well overall, it has recruited Georgia well.
You should definitely read the entire post at Dawg Sports, but to summarize:
- How Rodrigo Blankenship’s first season as a starter compares to previous UGA kickers (Jason Butt, Macon Telegraph)
- Todd Grantham returning to Athens this fall (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- Georgia sets its sights on another giant Pacific Coast QB in Tanner McKee (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- 3 reasons why UGA RB commit D’Andre Swift is an underrated prospect (Brandon Adams, DawgNation)
- Towers’ Take: It’s time for Georgia hoops to show some fight (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- 3 things to watch: Lady Bulldogs at South Carolina (Chris Starrs, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Do the UGA commits think the program can sign 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon? (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
Today on “Amazing Feats of Dog:”
If you missed the dog on the basketball last night… https://t.co/Q4RdfXgKvy
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) January 12, 2017