Friday, October 26, 2007

Sorry Mr. Adams, it's still a Cocktail Party to the rest of us

In the interest of getting better mojo flowing the Dawgs' way, I'm flipping the script this week:

The Rose Colored View
If you're a student of history who also has a superstitous bent, this weekend shapes up very well for the Dawgs. Why? Let's go into the past:
1. There's already recent evidence that history can repeat for the Dawgs. Last season the Dawgs lost to Vandy and Kentucky for the first time since 1973. Like in 1973 they finished the year beating Auburn, Tech and a bowl opponent.
2. In 1997 Florida was defending a national title (earned with one loss), and had already lost to LSU, in Baton Rogue at night, earlier in the year. The Dawgs entered coming off a non-impressive year and shellacked the Gators.
3. The Red Sox are in the World Series. The last time this happened was in 2004, coincidentally the last time UGA beat Florida.

Bonus personal history mojo: the two previous times UGA has beaten Florida I was not living in Athens. I was living in Athens from 1998-2003 seasons and moved back for the 2005-2006 seasons. 1997 and 2004 were wins.
(The Dawgs record vs. Florida=significantly better when I'm closer to this location.)

But beyond all that scientifically insignificant stuff, this is also the worst defense Florida's brought to Jacksonville since 2004 as well. And that's been the recent storyline for Florida wins in this series. Florida plays stout D and scores enough to eke out a win, UGA does just not enough on offense. Even last year's horrid D, fresh from barely stopping MSU and embarrassing shows against UT and Vandy, held Florida to 2 TDs (the third was a gift from our offense, which has played far more nervous than the D recently).

If ever there was a situation where Matt Stafford could rise to the occasion and live up to some of the massive hype he's had thrown his way, it's this one. He's got the physical tools, a good number of the WRs have the speed and potential (particularly Sean Bailey and Demiko Goodman), and Florida has the 95th ranked pass defense in the country. Ole Miss put some feat into them and had a career day passing, and that was when Reggie Nelson Jr., aka Major Wright was still suiting up. To date, Stafford still has not a single 300+ yard passing day in a Georgia uniform. It needs to happen Saturday. Because if it does, that means Knowshown gets a chance to ram it down the Gators' throats, just like LSU did. He was key in the Vandy comeback when (which, by the way, doesn't look quite as bad now...betcha Visor boy would love a close win against them) he took over on some late drives. If he can do it again Saturday, there might be just enough keep-away on offense to let a fast and rested UGA D inflict pain and suffering on Cro-magnon QB Tim Tebow.

And since this is positing the best-potential outcomes, since Lady Luck owes us one after Shockley went down a week before facing Meyer's weekest Gator team, it'd be nice if on his first carry, Tebow pulled up gimpy with a terrible hamstring strain and remained out for the rest of the game.

The Cumberland Report
Because the flip side is, while I've joked about losing by 200, if the Dawgs play in JAX like they did in Knoxville, 100 points is possible. Meyer seems to have no qualms at all about pouring it on rival teams (see the UT game in which they scored 59 on a team that beat UGA by 3 TDs and kept Tebow and company in). Sure the karma ought to catch up to him soon, but this could be over with half the first quarter left on the clock if the Dawgs play poorly and UF's D mimics its UT game performance. They shut down Ainge and Co., don't think they can't do that to an offense that struggled putting up points against Vandy.

Plus, unlike last season, there's no potential love of my life (well, I thought at the time) to distract me with her wit and charm. That's not to say a UGA loss would be easier if I had a date or a girlfriend (though for the record, normally girls that care about their teams losses are far more attractive than those that don't, I've pretty much given up on trying to pinpoint any particular thing about The Girl that made her so incredible...I will say that, as an obsessive UGA fan, that Saturday was a great day despite the loss and hope that speaks volumes about her, and then return to your regularly-scheduled hand-wringing.)

(The Girl had also been compared to Sophia Bush, but I attest was more attractive. Sophia's looking skeptical of this, but her skeptical looks have helped mojo-wise before...but I will get annoyed if she starts dating Tony Romo)

My biggest fear? (Besides going out to a halloween party/concert afterwards and seeing either no "Sexy _______" costumes worn or "sexy _______" costumes worn by folks with no business wearing said costumes.) Given their recent history, Willie Martinez's defense vs. the Tebow-lead spread offense is about as big a mismatch as Bill Hicks and LC from the Hills.

(As Hicks had a bit about wishing California fell into the ocean, and Ms. Conrad is from Cali, I figure they're a poor couple. Plus Hicks is, sadly, deceased. And for anyone that's not a zombie, that's an obstacle in dating.)

So to wrap it up, this whole thing reminds me of 2004, sort of. The Dawgs have been beaten by lesser Gator teams a lot lately, and clearly enter this time as the underdogs. Mentally, they've been one mild breeze from going over the edge in these games. Like the 2004 Red Sox against the Yankees, they need one good thing to go their way and they could turn it around. Here's hoping someone pulls a Dave Roberts steal, because if not, this will get uglier than Game 3.

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