When Clemson struggled some at a very game Texas A&M (my grandpa’s school) later, it wasn’t nearly as impressive. Georgia ruling at Carolina then heading south of the border and back west to the birthplace of public higher education in the Empire State…South. It’s September in Georgia. Life is good.
Oh, how thin the line ‘tween despair and glory, glory. Had Kirby dropped this contest, his teams would have sat 5-3 in their last eight games, 1-3 in such contests versus teams from the SEC, 1-2 vs. SEC West and 0-1 vs. “our” SEC East. Instead, the defending SEC champion Bulldogs are projecting to the College Football Playoff and solidly in command of the SEC East already, save a key road trip to Mizzou in two weeks. A thudding reality could yet await, near the middle of the United States.
Greetings from The Cupcake City (postcard): The strength of schedule is plummeting, from its already weak level this season. Middle Tennessee State University comes to town for a night game; Vandy beat MTSU 35-7 in the opener for both future UGA opponents, then the Blue Raiders opened up for 60+ on a cupcake. They are UGA’s cupcake, conversely.
Florida has fallen under Mullen, in the Swamp, after winning 31-in-a-row over Kentucky. The mighty SEC openers saw only Tennessee getting whipped, by former Gator QB Will Grier and an explosive aerial WestVA.
So, Tennessee lost, Florida lost, the Chickens got cooked on a hot day in Columbia. Rivals tossed. The other Columbia sort of silently looms there, though. Drew Lock set the SEC TD passing record (44) last season and he has lit Georgia up twice consecutively, both Tigers losses. Kirby won by one at Co-Mo three years ago and is 2-0 versus Mizzou, 3-0 vs S. Carolina.
A career lead in the records feels inevitable over the orange-clad enemies from Tennessee (9/29, I just got my tickets with Hilley for that one!) and Florida (10/27, looking to go with my alum brother Johnny and lawyer).
Georgia was at it again, after in its last meetings with such beating rivals: Auburn 28-7, Tech 38-7, Florida 42-7 and Tennessee 41-0. The Dawgs were in a whole other class than any Chickens, 41-17.
Underrated Mizzou are 8-1 in their last 9 games, 8-0 in the regular season with a bowl loss, which they were probably too happy to be there, after the amazing rebound last season following the Georgia-Mizzou Homecoming shootout, eventual ground out by the Dawgs. They won out. Made a bowl.
They have a huge drum and rabid fans, an interesting rock section where they could have more seats, Georgia coming to town should scare them. The way UGA is playing, the only argument is what side is playing better, offense or defense. Or do you prefer special teams, where Rodrigo Blankenship (out of Sprayberry High in Marietta) is going to win the Lou Groza Award this year, folks? He to-date is the single most dominant Georgia player at the respective position. Lights out kicker!
I will have Bama #1 in the CFP as defending champion; Georgia #2 in the CFP with the win over a then-ranked team; Ohio State #3 with a complete team; Clemson #4 with a full-blown quarterback controversy potentially looming. For all practical matters, but I have Georgia slightly ahead of Bama for this week, coming off the win in the key divisional game. I’d plop the Tide forward once our schedule flattened more (immediately) and they commenced playing in the much stronger SEC West.