Welcome back. The Power Ranger jersey burning will be held on North Campus at 11 a.m. Please bring your own lighter fluid, or a Todd Grantham game plan, whichever you consider more flammable.
It’s only one game into the season. But I fear Mark Richt is starting to morph into an extra from “Scanners,” a 1980s sci-fi movie in which relative super creeps with telepathic powers (Scanners) are used by an evil corporation to, like, take over the planet. There’s a cool scene when somebody’s head literally explodes. History tells us that prevented Bobby Petrino from getting the Auburn job. Wait, wrong movie.
Anyway, on Tuesday Richt snapped at a reporter when he was asked a second time about the magnitude of this week’s game. On Wednesday, when asked if this was a “must-win” game, he said, “We look at every game like it’s a must-win. So however you want to spin it, you can spin it. You guys spin it any way you want to anyway.”
On Wednesday, Richt launched into a soliloquy (two parts sarcasm, one part edge) when asked if he had lost his temper with players last week: “You all want to see me snap, is that what it is? … If you guys want me to throw a table or something I’ll do that. Maybe smash a camera, if that makes everybody feel better.”
Actually, speaking for the entire media: Hell to the yeah. That would rock. Beats the heck out of cracking jokes after a two-touchdown loss in a home game and a season opener. It’s also better than having his cranium suddenly explode on the sideline.
Called the Boise State game last week. (You will bow now.) Now I’m calling this: upset.
South Carolina is good, but not that good. These games are always close. Dog-day desperation is worth a few points. A couple of guys are back from suspension. Also, Stephen Garcia is a knucklehead.
Take the gift 3. But Dogs win this straight up. (Otherwise, boom.)
NFL Fridge Pack
Falcons at Bears: The Falcons went 0-4 in the preseason. Significance: Jerry Glanville once went 4-0 when it didn’t matter and 5-11 when it did. Chicago finished 30th in offense last season. I’m not sure how much better you get when you add Roy Williams. If the Falcons’ defense doesn’t look good, then 0-4 means something. Birds cover 3.
Colts at Texans: Peyton Manning is Las Vegas. The Colts are Nevada. Welcome to the desert, Indy. Houston covers 8½.
Giants at Redskins: Thirteen years into his ownership, this is what Dan Snyder gets: Rex Grossman beat out John Beck at quarterback. Check? Giants cover 3.
Panthers at Cardinals: Michael Vick phoned Cam Newton to give some advice, and possibly to tell him that Arizona is the closest thing he’ll see to Vanderbilt. Also to not have any friends named P-Funk. Also, the whole fake water bottle thing: Bad idea. Arizona wins but take Carolina and 7.
Lions at Buccaneers: Two early predictions: Matthew Stafford stays upright, and the Lions make the playoffs. Somehow, that exacta makes me feel like I just bet on Poland in 1939. Take Detroit and 2, but also in a straight upset.
I can’t see this enough times: Saturday Night Live’s skit after Michael Vick was detained at the Miami airport for having a fake water bottle that seemed to smell of an herb.
Sis Boom Bah
Georgia Tech at Middle Tenn. St.: Paul Johnson is the only coach I know who can win a game by 42 points (over Western Carolina) and afterward refer to a couple of his players’ mistakes as “boneheaded.” Then again, he was right. Jackets cover 11.
Mississippi State at Auburn: Shouldn’t Cecil Newton be doing the coin flip? Auburn had to scramble to beat Utah State last week and tumbled out of rankings. MSU covers 6½.
Alabama at Penn State: I’m getting a vision of Ali-Holmes, except in this version Nick Saban is asking the ref to stop the game and drive Joe Paterno to Shoney’s for two poached eggs and some dry toast. Tide covers 10.
UAB at Florida: Will Muschamp starts his coaching career with Florida Atlantic (41-3) and Alabama-Birmingham. More marshmallows in your cocoa, sir? Gators cover 22.
Miami doesn’t play this week. I just like this shirt that they were selling at Maryland last week.
“In any bet, there is a fool and a thief.” — Proverb
Last week: 6-1 straight up, 5-2 against the line.
This week: Almost certainly undefeated.
• “Sack Schultz” Update: We had 37 folks went 15-0 last week, and therefore cheated. I went 13-2. Tiebreakers went to “Catmand8r” (national) and “scotmce14” (local). It’s not too late to join and possibly win a trip to Hawaii. Go to AJC.com/go/sack-schultz.
By Jeff Schultz