Bulldogs will win because they HAVE to

 

The first week of the season always has a bunch of easy picks and honesty compels your Fearless Friday Forecaster to admit that none of the tough picks went his way:

Picking Georgia over Oklahoma looked good after the first possession of the game. Then Oklahoma State woke up and the Georgia offense took a nap for the rest of the day.

The Florida State pick over Miami looked promising until the Seminoles dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone as time expired.

I really thought Wake Forest was going to beat Baylor 24-21. Instead it was the Bears, and QB Robert Griffin, who prevailed by the same score.

So that gives us a modest record of 7-3. And it will only get tougher from here on. So let’s press on with this week’s edition of the Fearless Friday Forecast:

 

1. South Carolina at Georgia: The latest internet rumor has Joe Cox selling barbeque sandwiches out on East Campus and Buck Belue coming out of the broadcast booth to start at quarterback against South Carolina. That’s not true and neither was the rumor that Logan Gray would start ahead of Cox against the Gamecocks. Cox starts. Gray plays. Georgia wins because it HAS to with a trip to Arkansas coming up next week. Georgia 17, South Carolina 10.

 

2. Mississippi State at Auburn: Auburn and its new coaching staff got a solid test against Louisiana Tech while Mississippi State was picking on Jackson State. The good news is that a rookie head coach gets to say he is 1-0 in the SEC. That will be Auburn’s Gene Chizik. Auburn 35, Miss. State 17.

 

3. Vanderbilt at LSU: LSU had better hope the 478 yards its defense gave up at Washington was not a sign of things to come. This will be closer than the experts think. LSU 28, Vanderbilt 20.

 

4. UCLA at Tennessee: Tennessee takes a significant jump in class after pounding a bad Western Kentucky team. The goal is the same: Establish the run to make QB Jonathan Crompton comfortable. This is all about getting ready for the Mighty Gators next week. Tennessee 31, UCLA 17.

 

5. Troy at Florida: I thought Troy might have enough athletes to at least make this competitive for a half. But the Trojans lost their opener to Bowling Green. We do know that Troy is better than Charleston Southern. Florida 45, Troy 14.

 

6. FIU at Alabama: Coach Nick Saban told everybody—players, managers, media, and fans—that we are not allowed to overlook FIU. The Golden Panthers, who were 1-23 in 2006 and 2007, rolled to an impressive 5-7 last season. Okay coach, whatever you say. This game is about working on the offensive line and making QB Greg McElroy even more comfortable. Alabama 42, FIU 3.

 

7. TCU at Virginia: After losing to Bill & Mary last week, things don’t look good for the Cavaliers of Al Groh as TCU comes to town. Every time a Mountain West team plays an ACC team it wants to make a statement: We deserve an automatic BCS bid, not you guys. TCU 28, Virginia 17.

 

8. Jacksonville State at Florida State: Bobby Bowden has had a lot of gut wrenching losses to Miami. Given the time and place in his career, Monday night’s 38-34 defeat to the Hurricanes has to be right up there with the worst. The Seminoles bounce back and get ready for a trip to BYU. Florida State 45, Jacksonville State 14.

 

9. Notre Dame at Michigan: The fan bases at these two schools began the season in a bad mood. Both were calmed down a bit when Notre Dame beat Nevada (35-0) and Michigan beat Western Michigan (31-7). If Notre Dame loses, then the Urban Meyer rumors start again. If Michigan loses the heat gets turned back up on Rich Rodriguez. Notre Dame has more athletes and a veteran quarterback (Jimmy Clausen). Notre Dame 31, Michigan 27.

 

10. USC at Ohio State: USC has won eight straight non-conference games on the road. The Trojans will play a true freshman quarterback (Matt Barkley) making his first start on the road. Ohio State’s Terrell Pryor is just a sophomore and will have to play well for the Buckeyes to have a shot in the Horseshoe. USC has too much speed. USC 28, Ohio State 20.

 

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300 comments Add your comment

JB

September 11th, 2009
9:49 am

Damn Next 13, i’m glad you can’t come through the screen. Just Google Strength of Schedule for college football and take a look. I’m not staring a war, just that For Bama to make it all the way, The AD needs to Beef up that schedule. yea, I said VT was great Start. Yea I said we have also been guilty of that, but we are trying to upgrade. I know as a Bama fan you would rather show up to see Bama play a quality team Vs. a patsy.

Dawg Reflections

September 11th, 2009
9:50 am

Mark this down…As long as Joe Cox starts and plays significant time as our QB, we are going to struggle on offense. Do you think that the “play calling” and no Moreno has suddenly taken us from a 30+ point average offense to this disgrace? I don’t. The receiving core sure hasn’t fallen off save some experience. Furthermore, the Spring Game was a preview to just how awful this offense was going to be. CMR said he thought the problem last week was “execution”. That means “players”, and I agree. Counting the Spring scrimmage, this offense has produced exactly 2 touchdowns in 8 quarters of play. One of those of course was garbage time, last 30 seconds of the Spring Game sprint by C. Thomas. So really one legit drive and TD. Primary problem is no down the field passing threat. 3rd down and longer than 7 yards and you might as well bring on the punting unit. Maybe we can work on a trick play, fake punt?? Work for the Techies…We’re sure gonna need something because I don’t think this unit can muster a TD drive against a legit SEC defense. Correction, I don’t think this “Joe Cox led unit” can muster a TD drive against a legit SEC defense. He’s got the heart, and maybe the moxy, but the arm’s not there and you can’t fix that with coaching.

Tide4u2c

September 11th, 2009
9:50 am

I’m pulling for Michigan against Notre Dame.

benadawg

September 11th, 2009
9:51 am

It looks to me to be a coaching staff that is nowhere near cohesive, Fabris would kick the ball deep for me or he would join the unemployment line, my god what does it take to get this point accross, short field=points..i am starting to doubt the recruiting judgement is caleb King the next Jasper Sanks? Are we choosing speed over smarts and toughness? If CMR doesn’t challenge an obvious forward spot in a crucial time of the game, who is advising him from the booth… All that said i have had my confidence shaken, prove me wrong dawgs. I appreciate the fact Joe Cox has been waiting for his chance, but with no wheels and No arm, time is not on his side. stay in the pocket, use your weapons, or sit on the sidelines with a really good view of the game.

Saint Simons

September 11th, 2009
9:53 am

24 – 10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Randyt

September 11th, 2009
9:55 am

I’m a Vol but this SC/UGA game is compelling because frankly both offenses looked anemic and both defenses were at least adwquate last week. The question is which team has actually had some real soul searching this week because neither seemed to play with any heart last week. One has to wonder if Dark Visor has lost his passion.

Close game but I give the edge by a field goal to the Dawgs because I think they will have more energy/heart than SC which has developed a losing mentality (but I will root for SC just to tick off my GA coworkers ;-) .

reservoirDAWG

September 11th, 2009
9:57 am

I threw GT a bone and picked them to cover last night. It won’t happen again. I don’t know what to think about tomorrow’s game other than I have to go to a couple’s shower. If it wasn’t family I would be in section 131.

JB

September 11th, 2009
9:59 am

Dawg reflection……….Very few of us on here have the guts to say what you just did……WE DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE IT…………………………………………………………………….You’re on the mark. no running or passing game = trouble…………Even it the D is great, this will be hard to overcome……..My prayer is they prove us wrong………i’ll gladly salt and pepper my words and eat them

Eric

September 11th, 2009
10:01 am

War Eagle!!!

Da truth

September 11th, 2009
10:03 am

Yep, JB….GA has picked up their OOC recently. Running the table in the SEC means winning the conf. championship game, which will put any undefeated SEC team in the BS game. Unfortunately, the big 10 and pac 10 get a free ride…which hurts SEC teams chances if there is 1 loss.

Bow Wow

September 11th, 2009
10:03 am

Richt’s in game coaching strategy consists of yelling at the referees and looking bewildered.

Tim

September 11th, 2009
10:04 am

As long as any SEC team plays one conference top 20 team they should be good for strength of schedule. They have to play 7 tough league games and the conference campionship (which is likely a top 10 team). If they don’t make it to the championshion game then strength of schedule is really not important.

shards1967

September 11th, 2009
10:05 am

The SC ( not USC, as that is University of Southern Cal ) game will tell us all what we have or do not have.

It will reveal the ability or not to rev up player emotions ( home gae at night) Alamo mentality and the recollection of Bama last year. PRIDE should be the main factor. That comes from caring about your school and the program. That is a player thing. Do they have this??? UGA is 2-3 in our last 5 games folks. Not a good trend. Florida is the only good team that we were defeated by in this ugly 5 game run. OSU will end up in the top 17-20 only and a minor, minor bowl game.

It will tell us what Jumpin Joe Cox has or does not have. This is key, as they ( SC ) will be coming and he must be able to get his roller skates on and spiint out side looking down field to hit somebody. Can he do this? THIS factoid will be Joe’s achilles heel. He is small but slow.

Can UGA play special teams? Can we return punts w.o. a block in the back??? Are we gonna run the ball out from deep in the end zone???

Can we handle the ball on an easy pic? Can he hit w.o. a flag? See Reshad Jones and his history of cheap shots that lead to scores deep in our territory. Enough of that gang.

Can SC come in here and embarrass UGA? If this is SS last year, he will remember UGA by this one game. Can we forge his memory for years and years???

UGA, class of 73

Will

September 11th, 2009
10:06 am

Big Tone,

As I sit here in my office getting ready to head to Athens this afternoon, I am totally and utterly nervous about my dawgs tomorrow. What if we come out and lay another egg? What if we make a stupid penalty and get beat by 1 or 2? The fans are already getting angry at the coaching staff and a bad loss could really make things ugly in Athens. I was at the Auburn game in the 90’s when the entire stadium booed the team at halftime for poor play and poor coaching. I don’t ever want that to happen again.

CMR has to win this game and has to win this game impressively. RX Dawg said it well….When was the last time our dawgs played a good or complete game? Many will say Michigan State but we looked like crap the first half. I can’t remember the last game my dawgs looked really good. Do you? That question is very disturbing to me and many other UGA fans and a loss this week would really turn the heat up on this coaching staff. Not to mention we could be looking at a 3-9 season dead in the face. Also, one thing I am going to watch is the alleged fighting between the coaching staff during the game. If the coaching staff is fighting then we truly have problems on the team. If the coaches are not on the same page how do you expect the players to be? I am not predicting the game this week, because I have no earthly idea.

Fred

September 11th, 2009
10:07 am

Even if they win this weekend the dawgs look way overrated at 15. It will be fun hearing all the whinning this year. I bet we also stop hearing what a great guy Richt is as well…

Tennessee FatJoe

September 11th, 2009
10:08 am

Georgia will win because it has to win? Good lord Tony, didn’t have time to really disect this one? Wouldn’t matter anyway….you’re always a homer when it comes to your alma mater.

Well lets see, I was right last night….said Tech would win but wouldn’t cover.

As for Saturday….first prediction, UGA scores 21 (however, thats over the next three games with SC)

SC 16
UGA 10

gdawginkalamazoo

September 11th, 2009
10:09 am

SOS will definitely have his hate visor on this week. Always had and always will. If there is any trickery or straight up smashmouth to this game SOS will be pumping his players for it. He has a hateful passion for UGA like nobody. If he could do a half a hundred again that would make his season. Won’t happen but don’t think for a minute he smiles everytime he thinks about that one. I would like to see a visor that is filthy from being thrown to the ground. Go Dawgs!

DawginLex

September 11th, 2009
10:10 am

The last complete butt whipping we put on someone was Hawaii in 2007. Other than that, it would be the SECCG in 2005 when DJ completely destroyed LSU.

Are we due a game like that?

Yes, in 2010.

Tomorrow will be ugly. I’m gonna watch but I believe we will lose.

I agree with all of Tony’s picks except for my own school.

SC 20
UGA 16

I HOPE I’M WRONG.

FRED

September 11th, 2009
10:15 am

IF WE LOOSE TO USC DO WE GET A NEW COACHING STAFF.

Vince

September 11th, 2009
10:19 am

Fred-

Yup. But the biggest tthing ya’ll need is a new, more intellectual fan base.

shards1967

September 11th, 2009
10:19 am

When has UGA really looked good in a game? Answer ……………..Jax vs Florida in 2007 and since then, we have just played the game w.o. emotions. Maybe the Hawaii bowl game BUT as a Bulldog, I know that they were absolutley horrible and so vastly over rated then. They were pitiful. That bowl game does not count. The national writers were in love with the Rainbows. They would lose 10 games per year in the SEC and defeat Tech only.

2008 was a UGA disaster. We should have lost one or two games ………Bama and Florida. Tech? we laid down folks. went to sleep and that is the players and coaches fault. We also lacked a tough ass attitude toward Bama and partied all week prior to that game and we got blown out and deservedly so. Sabin take care of biz.

This year? SC will tell us everything that we need to know. We will be in one, tough, hard fought game with tons and tons of Norwood bringing it and we had better be ready for one physical game or else. Could be the beginning of the end for most of the UGA staf and they know it.

UGA , class of 73

FLA DAWG

September 11th, 2009
10:20 am

Fred,
I’m with you on your feelings about all of the coaching changes except Richt. Think back to when he first came here. He called the Offensive Plays and Muschamp then Van Gorder were our DCs. With less Blue Chip talent we played better, more intense, smarter ball.
Now we have better talent but Bobo & Martinez (and Fabris) calling all the shots.
Yeah, I know it’s Richt’s responsibility to have recognized this and made the changes necessary. As a matter of fact I blogged about it last year and was heavily criticized. I’m a ‘79 alum and want only the best for UGA and The Dawgs. If Richt would call the O plays and we could get a firebreathing dragon DC then all would change for the better. But Richt will have wasted yet another season at the expense of the players, school and fans.

DR

September 11th, 2009
10:21 am

I agree. The endzone celebration was nothing compared to some of the unsportsmanlike crap FL pulls each and every week, along with their jerk hole coach. We ran into the endzone… get over it already. Go Dawgs! As far as the other games, I can only hope that USC (the real USC) kicks the snot out of of Ohio State. I am tired of hearing a team that is mediocre at best year after year, go on and on about how they should be ranked in the top five. They BARELY beat Navy last week, for crying out loud.

DR

September 11th, 2009
10:22 am

I agree with every word that FL Dawg said.

BBR5

September 11th, 2009
10:24 am

FL Dawg and Will… couldn’t agree with you more!!!

Rabun Dawg

September 11th, 2009
10:27 am

Tony, yes the Dogs have to win, not just because of the trip to Arky next week,but to try to salvage a season. However, on the flip side, I think USC East feels the same way. The Evil one needs a win to finally keep his program out of the “gutter” of the SEC. I am guessing this one will not be a thing of beauty to watch,Offensively, that is, but if I had to put money on who out coaches whom, I’d have to go with the guy with the visor! It pains me to say this, but I need to be shown that CMR and his band of coaches can truly out coach someone.JMHO

TommyP

September 11th, 2009
10:27 am

Two things you can always expect from this column: picks your grandmother could make (”Chalk” Barnhart) and Tony trying to validate his losses from the week before.

10 picks, 10 favorites. Well done, Tony.

AP

September 11th, 2009
10:29 am

Crackolina 13 Georgia 12 And the meltdown will intensify! Hope I’m wrong. I have little confidence in this coaching staffs ability to motivate! Hope the crowd does it for them. And the losing streak ends this weekend for the other “lesser” DAWGS on the West Coast— UW big! They actually do refer to themselves as the dawgs. One other thing, Rocky Top better be ready for UCLA. Upset special! Have a great weekend, I’m off to Seattle.

Tide4u2c

September 11th, 2009
10:29 am

Even if Georgia beats South Carolina especially if it is a close grind it out type game you dawg fans will still be worried about Arkansas,Arizona St and LSU coming up.

#2 BAMA FAN

September 11th, 2009
10:30 am

GO UCLA BRUINS AND MISS. ST DAWGS AND THE REAL DAWGS AND FINALLY THE CRIMSON TIDE OF ALABAMA!!

ELISTONED

September 11th, 2009
10:30 am

THE DOOLEY TEAMS PLAYED WITH TOUGHNESS AND EMOTION. IT SEEMS THAT CMR RELIES ON EXECUTION AND TECHNIQUE , IT IS HARD TO ARGUE WITH CMR RECORD ; HE IS 34 &5 ON THE ROAD. HOWEVER, THE I’M GOING RUN THE BALL DOWN YOUR THROAT ATTITUDE AND POLLACK LIKE EMOTION IS THE X FACTOR IN ANY GAME. FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER , THE TIME IN TEXAS IS ALWAYS 10 to 9.

Reality Check

September 11th, 2009
10:31 am

Tony – Don’t pick against the Big 12 anymore.

reservoirDAWG

September 11th, 2009
10:33 am

I’m not worried about SC. They have a good D and no offense.

Rabun Dawg

September 11th, 2009
10:36 am

On another matter, did I hear correctly that whoever it is that coaches the receivers did not even know that Brown and Wooten did not get in the game last week? He, (whoever it is), has two supposedly great young receivers at his disposal, and he doesn’t even know whether they got in the game or not? Kinda lame, me thinks! And, why did the coaches not insist the kick returner take a knee deep in the end zone rather than try to run it out. Maybe once, but repeatedly? Wow, no wonder we can keep a coaching staff together. Nobody else wants them!

dan

September 11th, 2009
10:41 am

I’m worried more about the Dawgs mental state than anything else. Can the beat Carolina by a TD or more? Yes they can. But how will they respond to the adversity of losing to a ranked opponent on the road? That I can’t answer. I think we’re going to find out what kind of character this team has, for better or for worse, in the next few weeks. When they get it in the mouth, will they pick themselves off the mat and get ready for round 2? Or will they feel sorry for themselves? Again I can’t answer that.

But I do know this: somebody needs to take command in that huddle. And it bothers me a little bit that Joe Cox flew out seperately from the team. I know he was sick, but I think that the team was a little discombobulated by that. And then I here reports that he was banged up this week, but should be good to go? What’s that about? A QB in a fragile mental state is a bad thing!

gatorman770

September 11th, 2009
10:43 am

“….was nothing compared to some of the unsportsmanlike crap FL pulls each and every week, along with their jerk hole coach.”
Sounds like a verse from a country song titled “Poor-mouth Song of the Loser” or a example of “projection” in a college psychology class.

dan

September 11th, 2009
10:43 am

I’m worried more about the Dawgs mental state than anything else. Can they beat Carolina by a TD or more? Yes they can. But how will they respond to the adversity of losing to a ranked opponent on the road? That I can’t answer. I think we’re going to find out what kind of character this team has, for better or for worse, in the next few weeks. When they get hit in the mouth, will they pick themselves off the mat and get ready for round 2? Or will they feel sorry for themselves? Again I can’t answer that.

But I do know this: somebody needs to take command in that huddle. And it bothers me a little bit that Joe Cox flew out separately from the team. I know he was sick, but I think that the team was a little discombobulated by that. And then I hear reports that he was banged up this week, but should be good to go? What’s that about? A QB in a fragile mental state is a bad thing!

Matt

September 11th, 2009
10:47 am

Michigan over Notre Lame
OSU over USC
UCLA over UT
Dawgs have to show me something before I believe

Miles

September 11th, 2009
10:48 am

I like all of Mr. Barhart’s picks, except one, i.e., the Bulldogs will lose in Columbia.

4tix4dogs4cokes

September 11th, 2009
10:50 am

DawginLex — The 52 points laid down on the Tigers in Baton Rouge (defending National Champs) last year did not qualify as a “complete butt whipping”?

AceDawg

September 11th, 2009
10:50 am

Play like champs dawgs. Richt – stand up for your team. Don’t stand on sidelines when you should challenge a spot at the goalline. Don’t stand on the sidelines when your safety crushes a receiver legally and OSU gets 15 free yards for it. Lose a headset. Make the Dawgs perform at their best.

dan

September 11th, 2009
10:52 am

Gatorman 770

I personally have had no problem when Florida used to ring up the score on opponents in the past, including my beloved Dawgs. If a team is going to play like crap then they deserve it as far as I’m concerned. But I thought it was pretty hypocritical for Gator fans to cry foul during that endzone dance. If it bothered the team so much, then why didn’t they do something about it during the game? Yeah the endzone dance was a punch in the balls, and maybe it bit the Dawgs in the ass during that 49-10 loss last year( even though I thought the Gators won because they played better not because of some revenge factor). But the Gators have done the same thing to opponents over the years. You can’t cry foul when someone returns the favor. It’s the way karma works in football.

4tix4dogs4cokes

September 11th, 2009
10:56 am

Tony — Picking games straight up is easy (especially in CFB), so don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. If you want to prove you have some chops, pick based on handicaps and you will be doing something if you are above .500 — otherwise, anything less than .750 is not so impressive.

Tide4u2c

September 11th, 2009
10:57 am

Is there a team in the east that can give Florida some competition?We over here in the west seem to have atleast 2 teams Alabama and maybe LSU(if they have fixed their defense).It looks like Alabama is the only other team in the SEC that cannot only give Florida competition but can even beat them.

Barry Jay

September 11th, 2009
10:58 am

A few comments:

On the Tech game…fully enjoyed seeing Clemson come back on them. The gimmicks of PJ will only go so far. I think Clemson’s performance is a highlight of things to come against Tech.

Ohio State Fan: Richt didn’t tell his whole team to leave the bench. Without that…the incident was no different than any other teams players getting a celebration penalty. The point is Richt didn’t instruct anything. He apologized immediately to the SEC and the officials. He made it clear. Why should he have to continue to answer for it for a year? No other coach does when his players commit penalties. Urban Cryer didn’t and Timmy didn’t for the willful lack of sportsmanship they displayed when they played UGA last year.

On UGA-SC: We are going to lose if we don’t expand the playbook and play every down as if it is the last desperation gasp. I have come to believe that Richt is holding Bobo back…making Bobo coach they way Richt would. Richt needs to tell Bobo to open the playbook. I think we win if we make this game our SEC championship game and play with fire and intensity.

hsf

September 11th, 2009
11:05 am

Every other year, doesn’t Alabama lose to a Louisiana-Monroe, Southern Miss, or Little Sisters of the Poor? They didn’t last year, so this is the year!

Kendawg

September 11th, 2009
11:10 am

It will be hard for the Dawgs to lose in Columbia since the game is being played in Athens.

1eyedJack

September 11th, 2009
11:11 am

It seems the cup is half-empty.

DAWGS 17 USCe 10.

DawgBack

September 11th, 2009
11:12 am

Mark it down–the dawgs come back big and beat South carolina bad!!! Cox throws 3 TDs and UGA’s D gets a pick 6. Ga 34 USC 16

SOOHSO

September 11th, 2009
11:13 am

If CMR loses to SC we will love him but also miss him.