Is the Mississippi State Game the Perfect Time for Georgia to Wear Black?

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Is the Mississippi State Game the Perfect Time for Georgia to Wear Black?

Sony Michel (1), Jacob Eason (10), and Lamont Gaillard (53)
Sony Michel (1), Jacob Eason (10), and Lamont Gaillard (53)

Despite the skepticism that surrounds Georgia and its black jerseys, the Mississippi State game could be the perfect scenario for the team to wear them. Georgia is 3-1 wearing black, and after the beatdown the 2007 team gave Auburn, fans got on board for the new jerseys. However, after the devastating loss to Alabama back in 2008 in them, fans are wary. The fourth night game in a row, a top 25 matchup, and a huge recruiting weekend are just a few things that come to mind as to why Georgia should don the black.


1: Yet Another Night Game:

Georgia has its fourth consecutive night game. What better time to wear black jerseys than after the sun goes down.  Granted, the red uniforms look awesome under the lights, but there is something about black jerseys and the entire crowd wearing black. That can turn into a very intimidating atmosphere.
A night game in Sanford Stadium is one of the best in all of college football. Georgia fans get loud and stay loud. By adding the black jerseys, it excites the fans and players even more. How might you say? Let’s go back to the 2007 game, where it all started.

As you can see from the YouTube clip above, when the team comes out in the black, the crowd erupts. I can remember that game from personal experience and that is the loudest Sanford Stadium has been in my opinion. The excitement of the team wearing something other than red or white pushed the crowd to up the noise and it stayed that loud all game long. I am not saying it was just the jersey colors, but I believe that added another level of intensity to an already intimidating atmosphere.
Since then, when Georgia wore black, the timing just wasn’t right. Hawaii was an overrated team that the Bulldogs faced and then when Georgia wore them against Alabama, it was the start of one of the biggest dynasties during the modern era of college football. Nick Saban was on track to win his first of four national championships and Georgia was not as talented as they were the first two times they donned the black.
Fast forward to 2017, Kirby Smart’s second season as a head coach and UGA is 3-0. He let the players wear black last season for Louisana-Lafayette, but black during the middle of the day just didn’t seem right. However, I take the reason Georgia started the black jerseys are to add excitement to big games, and well, this is a big game, at night, and a perfect chance for Smart to say let’s do it. Which brings me to my next point, a night game in Athens, against a ranked opponent could be the perfect opportunity here.

2: Top 25 Matchup:

The Bulldogs are ranked at No. 11 in the AP Poll headed into week four. As for their opponent, Mississippi State is ranked No. 17 in the AP.  Georgia hasn’t faced a top-25 opponent in Athens at night since 2014 when the hosted rival Auburn and the Tigers came to Sanford at No. 9 in the polls, which the Bulldogs won 34-7.
With this big of a stage, the Bulldogs need to add something to match the size of the game. The black jerseys could just be what the doctor ordered here with the excitement of a top-25 matchup. Granted the jersey color shouldn’t matter, but from the past opinions of the jerseys, the players like the excitement they generate and bring. Georgia finally has the opportunity to win the “big game” and show the college football world they are a force in the SEC. After so many big game hiccups by the Bulldogs, including the debacle of the blackout game against Alabama, this is a prime opportunity to quiet the critics.
Other teams wear jersey variations and their fan bases love the different looks. I know that Georgia has a traditional vibe to them and like to stick to the classic look, but when UGA hasn’t been on a stage this big in three years, something needs to be added. Black Jerseys could give that little ’emotional umph’, an added excitement for the players for the game. A big stage calls for something different, and these jerseys could do just that.
With a top-25 matchup in Sanford Stadium brings up my final point as to why this game could be the perfect time to wear black. There will be a ton of recruits for 2018 and 2019 class there and these prospects love seeing something different and unique.

3: Recruits Galore:

Top-25 matchups at night always bring a big recruiting crowd. Smart is a recruiting guru and knows how to sell the program to the prospects. After last summer, when prospect K.J. Britt came for a visit and told fans that the team would wear the black jerseys, recruits were and are constantly posting pics of them. Prospects like the different uniforms and how they look, seeing teams do different things. Clemson, Oregon, Louisville, etc all have three plus uniform options and recruits like to know they can change up the uniforms.
There is no telling how many recruits will be at the game Saturday. The black jerseys could show some of the prospects on the fence that Georgia likes to change it up and make a statement. Of course how the team performs on the field is the most important thing to recruits but fashion and looking good while you are winning is a big area too. There are a lot of prospects that love the classic red look, but with the younger generation, they like to change it up some.
Black jerseys show prospects that Georgia is up to date on the latest fashion trends for football uniforms and that the Bulldogs can adjust to the changing times. With a large number of recruits heading to Athens this weekend, wearing black could swing a few targets to prospects and prospects to commits.

Final Thoughts:

As much as I love the traditional red jerseys, the black just brings on a different atmosphere to the game and level of excitement to the team. I don’t care what the team wears as long as they win. However, when you look at the timing, size of the matchup and how many prospects will be there this weekend, the black is a great added benefit. By showing up in black on a nationally televised game, people will be impressed. I went to the public to see what the people wanted to see, did they want red or black uniforms.

As the tweet shows, 53% of people think Georgia should stick to the red uniforms. With as much skepticism that surrounds the black jersey and the fans, I expected this.
The team motto is Attack the Day, and wearing the black jerseys is one way to allow the team to take an aggressive stance that they don’t usually take until mid-October. We shall see what the head coach decides, but either way, I believe this will be one of the biggest games Georgia will play this season and it is a huge test.  Black jerseys or not, I think Georgia makes a statement in a big way on Saturday between the hedges.

Recent Articles by Savannah Leigh Richardson

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Savannah Leigh is a recent graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. She is an avid SEC, Dawgs, and college football fan. She also adores her four-year-old black lab, Champ Bailey.