South Cackalacky (9.11.2010)
Look, I'm not going to tell you this is how it's gonna be. In doing so it would do nothing but jinx the exact opposite into fruition. The best I can do is tell you what I think might possibly have a small chance of maybe happening...possibly.
What does everyone say at the beginning of every season? ALL TOGETHER:
"SOUTH CAROLINA WILL SET THE TONE OF OUR SEC SEASON."
What that means is Georgia will probably blow out Louisiana LaFa and head into Columbia, SC with little to no idea about how we'll play against SEC caliber opponents. South Carolina won't be the toughest opponent we'll play all year, at best they've been a mid-level SEC opponent since the beginning. But for some reason they give us fits.
All the big boys have lesser opponents that do this. My best friend, who happens to be a Gator, told me Ole Miss is Florida's non-division parade-raining equivalent to our South Carolina. But I've long said the biggest problem we have with the South Carolina game is we play them before they realize they aren't a good team.
Every year South Carolina fans tell themselves they're going to win the East...every year they don't. This is a big rivalry game to them, but we've got so many freakin' "rivals" out there (Florida, Tech, Auburn, etc...) South Carolina falls off the radar of importance to us.
But people are calling South Carolina a dark horse for the East this year. To be honest, this might be the first year I take the threat of South Carolina to heart, because I have ZERO idea what expect from Georgia. If Todd Grantham's rhetoric stopped the ball I wouldn't doubt we'd beat the Gamecocks this year. But Steve Spurrier finally has a decent experienced offense in addition to the same stingy defense South Carolina has been known to field.
Aaron Murray doesn't have to beat South Carolina, the Bulldogs need to beat South Carolina. I think our offense is better than their offense, but is our offense better than their defense...hell, is our DEFENSE better than either their offense OR defense?!? I have no idea if we'll be ready.
But my final call on this game is for a Loss. I don't think we should lose, I don't really think we will lose, but I'm playing this year safe and trying to keep my expectations realistic.
I think after a few serious opponents we'll know what we're dealing with, but G-Day didn't tell me anything. Nothing. I want to believe we're going to be blitzing the balls off Stephen Garcia and nailing him to the salted Earth of Columbia, SC. But that's all wishing and hoping.
Fingers crossed I REALLY hope I'm wrong on this one. I've been wrong before, and my wife will be the first to let me know. I used to think Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady" was being sung as "Do the Lucky Lady"...as if "the lucky lady" were some dance to be done. When she found this out she nearly fell out of the car as it rolled down the interstate, I'm glad she had her seatbelt on.
You'll see a more reserved approach to my picks this year. I got burned pretty severely last year with some really crappy wishful thinking. The whipped dawg in me wants to play it a little safer, that way a loss will only ruin my Saturday and not my whole weekend. Perhaps I'm finally growing up...(fart joke).
1/1 going into week 3. Go Dawgs!
UPDATE: I also wanted to note, according to the poll posted last month, only 14% of you guys thought Aaron Murray needed more snaps if we're blowing out Louisiana LaFa in the 3rd. 53% said he should be pulled for Hutson Mason, and 31% thought he should be pulled for Logan Gray. I voted to get Hutson some snaps because if Logan Gray is going to put himself at risk of injury at WR then we gotta have a solid #2 Quarterback in reserve. Now if we stumble out of the gate (big IF), Aaron better get his act together REAL quick and play the entire game. But otherwise I'd say he's too valuable to leave out there in case some Linebacker thug from a whipping boy school wants to show how tough he is.