Friday, November 09, 2007

Pick a Mascot, Any Mascot, and Whip Its Ass

No time-traveling characters from contemporary literary fiction for this one, just straight-up bi-polar pontificating. With a side of beer. And a bemused/pensive Sophia Bush.
(If Google led me to an actual ad run by Budwiser in Days of Yore, I can add another to the list of "maybe I was born in the wrong time." Though this is kind of wrong. Give a kid some good beer first, or they'll hate it forever.)

Happy things first:

The Rose-Colored View

History, schmistory. The Dawgs have hiked up a leg and pulled an R. Kelly on history before, they can do it again. Two home wins vs. the War Eagle-Tiger-Plainsmen-Zoophiliac-Trailer Trash-Multiple Choice-We-Choose-All-of-the-Aboves since 1991?

Bosh, flim-shaw.
(Yep, I quote Mr. Burns when talking about the game. It's imperative that we crush Auburn before the start of the Rainy Season...and remember, a shiny new dime, to whoever brings me the head of Col. Montoya.)

The Dawgs hadn't won at Neyland Erector Set Stadium in years before a freshman named David Greene and a Verron Haynes erased that ghost of history.

The 2003 Bulldog team had no trouble at home against the mascotally-challenged.

And this year's team proved the 1990s no longer applies w/r/t Florida and Georgia.

So forget the bad mojo. In the past two years, the Dawgs topped 400 yds of offense and 31 points against equally statistically impressive, Muschamp-coached Auburn Defenses. No one in Red and Black (or some combination thereof) is going to be intimidated by Auburn.

However, Auburn just might panic a bit. Sanford has never been confused with death valley, but with both a black out and a noise out planned, things may be rocking in eardrum-damaging fashion.
(Like Spinal Tap's amps, Sanford needs to go to 11. And how black should the stands be? None more black.)

With Stafford remembering that Leonard Pope is gone and none of his current targets approach 7 feet in height, the WR catching everything near them and Moreno running better than all other UGA freshmen RBs save the man whose number is retired, it's pick your poison for the Auburn D. Meanwhile, Auburn, while talented enough on offense, has no Ronny Daniels or Cadillac Williams. And luckily for the UGA D, Greg Blue won't be stuck playing pass coverage on a 4th down late in the game.

The Cumberland Report

History can be a two-sided bastard. And just as an overwhelming amount of mojo and history was in the Dawgs favor in Jacksonville, a similar quantitiy of bad mojo is staring the Dawgs down Saturday.

Auburn Senior QBs are 10-0 lately (and yes, I think that even includes former UGA back-up, conceited and highly cocky jackass Daniel Cobb--who I can claim is a jackass because I rode the North-South bus with him when I was a freshman. At the time I think he was already 30 and was clearly in Chris Weinke territory with AU.)

The lower-ranked team usually wins, and the away team usually wins. Oh, and Auburn is up there with UGA for best road record in the SEC in the past 5 years.

Tuberville's road strategy of keeping his D off the field plays right into the weakness of the traditional Willie Martinez bend-but-don't-break D strategy. We got some stops when we needed to against Florida, and turnovers and stops early against Troy, but if the team that showed up in Knoxville or the 4th quarter vs. SCar takes the will be bad and heartbreaking.
(Leading to a different kind of blackout.)

And as good as the offense has looked the past two games, don't be surprised to see them hit a wall (aka the Auburn DLine) Saturday. The WE-T-Ps are just a little better than Troy or Florida on D. Couple that with an encore performance from the Bad UGA that showed up in Knoxville and you get the worst-possible-scenario: Auburn-UGA 1999 Part Deux.

Some combination of the above is how this all likely plays out. It'd be nice if UGA breaks 40 points again, but pretty unlikely, just as it'd be nice (and a favor to UGA fans everywhere) if Brandon Cox played against us like he did last year (and did this year against South Florida and MSU).

It's going to be loud, brutal, and probably very entertaining. And the uniforms? Well I'm not going to say they don't matter.
(Sophia is again reticent, but dons black anyway.)

This year's team doesn't have that many intrinsic motivators. Moreno may evoke the odd David Pollack comparison, but he's pretty much it. The motivation and energy needs to be externally motivated for these guys to really get fired up (see the "Greatest Offense ever" comments ticking off the D prior to OSU, and the Celebration vs. Florida.) Without that, they can be flat and unfocused.

So cool-looking black jerseys just might be the trick to get over the home-field disadvantage. Hell, if it takes them wearing pink to get to and win the SEC this year, throw the white jerseys in with the red and let's do it.

Turn your vocal cords to 11 Saturday, and wear none more black. Go Dawgs

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