Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we assess the make-or-break nature of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” for Georgia’s season and remember the greatest play in Georgia football history.
The tipping point
One way or another, Georgia’s season always seems to come down to the Florida game. Typically, there are SEC East implications on the line for the Dawgs. But this year it’s all about bragging and salvaging what’s left of a lost campaign.
I don’t think any Georgia fans will ever look back on 2016 as a success, but perhaps one day they’ll look at it through a less harsh lens than they do now. To do that, Georgia needs a statement win against the Gators that should right the ship a bit and give the team confidence heading into the final four games of the season.
A loss to Florida pretty much guarantees this season is seen as a failure. The Dawgs would be at 4-4, with tough games ahead against No. 15 Auburn and Georgia Tech, as well as a trap game at the No. 2 team in the SEC East, the Kentucky Wildcats. But, based on how schizophrenic both Georgia and its remaining opponents have been, a case can be made both for finishing the season 0-5 or 5-0. More than likely, it’ll fall somewhere between.
Obviously, the more wins, the better for Kirby Smart. A lot of fans have lost faith in him after tough losses to Tennessee and Vanderbilt. But a better second half of the season — say 5-0 or 4-1 the rest of the way — will show he’s learned and improved as a coach during his first year on the job. That should assuage a lot of fears fans have about him.
The Florida game is a perfect opportunity for Smart to redeem himself for the Vanderbilt loss. He’s had two weeks to assess what has and hasn’t worked for Georgia this season, and I expect to see a more cohesive team with a clearer identity — especially on offense — than we’ve seen so far this year.
With the time it’s had to prepare and with the line between failure and a modicum of success hinging on the outcome of the WLOCP, it will be a major disappointment if Georgia comes out flat. The result of this game won’t determine whether Smart is or will be a good head coach. But a win in his first WLOCP will go a helluva long way to making a helluva lot of people feel better about him.
Another week down, and it’s on to the WLOCP. Sip of beer for the working man and woman.
- Do weird things really happen between Georgia and Florida? A look at the betting results (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Towers’ Take: Florida in better shape than Georgia to challenge Alabama’s SEC dominance (Chip Towers, Dawg Nation)
- Mailbag: Kirby Smart’s head-coaching abilities face a major test (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Planning for Opponent: Dogs must avoid disastrous plays vs. Gators (Chip Towers, Dawg Nation)
- Florida-Georgia is the most unpredictable major rivalry in all of college football (Michael Bird, SB Nation)
- Gators focused on red-zone issues heading into Georgia game (Edward Aschoff, ESPN)
- McElwain expects ‘great chess match’ with close friend Smart (Mark Long, AP)
- Note Worthy — Extra Cocktail Notes (Dave McMahon, UGA Sports)
- Georgia legend Vince Dooley: Starting salary was 250 times less than Kirby Smart’s (Matt Schoch, Dawg Nation)
Two times the greatness
Who doesn’t love Herschel mashed up with Jay-Z?
Great moments in Gator hatin’: ‘Run, Lindsay!’
You knew it was coming.
Down 21-20 to Florida with time running out, on third-and-long from its own 7, No. 2 Georgia’s chance of a national title looked like it was dying on the vine. But then the greatest play in Georgia football history happened. Under pressure, Buck Belue scrambled before finding Lindsay Scott over the middle around the 25. Seventy-five yards and Larry Munson’s broken chair later, Georgia was the winner.
You know the rest of the story. Georgia moves to No. 1 in the AP poll the week after the Florida win. A few months later, the Dawgs were named consensus national champions.
Vine is dead
Twitter announced on Wednesday that it is discontinuing Vine. It’s a sad day for everyone who loves sharing short videos mashed up with Ginuwine’s “Pony.” Naturally, everyone spent Wednesday sharing their favorite Vines, so I figured I’d include some of the best UGA Vines I could find in this post. Add any more that you like in the comments. Enjoy.
In honor of Vine’s death, I give you the GOAT dog Vine.
Have safe trips to Jacksonville and enjoy the weekend, folks!