LIVE Dogs blog: Hail, hail the SEC! (no really, hail)

Two famous statues: Former coach Don Faurot (background) and D. Orlando Ledbetter (in white shirt).

Famous statues: Former coach Don Faurot (background) and D. Orlando Ledbetter (white shirt).

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Welcome to the northern most point of the SEC map. I can honestly say that I never thought I would get pelted by a hail storm the night before a conference opener. (More on that shortly.)

Georgia opens the real season tonight against conference newbie Missouri. I can hang with you for a little while on the blog but eventually will need to shift my focus to the game column. Please play nice. Remember, there are a lot of very fine insults you can hurl at each other that won’t get you banned. (And yes, I will go back and check.)

shakepeares

Shakespeare's sign: "No J-School Parking." Aspiring journalists live at pizza place. Shocking.

Quickly, about the game: As you’ve probably heard, the Bulldogs will still be missing four  suspended defensive starters: safety Bacarri Rambo, linebacker Alec Ogletree, cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser. But they’ll likely will get back cornerback Malcolm Mitchell (ankle), who missed the season opener.

But I still believe the two keys this game will be the play of Georgia’s defensive line, which struggled early against Buffalo, and whether the Missouri defense can stop Georgia’s offense. This will be the Tigers’ first test against an SEC team with a power running game — or, as Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson likes to call it, “old man football.”

What kind of atmosphere should we expect today?

“Not rowdy,” said Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, the former Mizzou star. “But it’ll be a great college atmosphere. They’re excited about this. The fans understand the game. They know when to cheer and all that. But they’re not rowdy.”

Weatherspoon is picking Missouri to win. Can’t blame the guy for going with his school. He also wanted to point out, “When I was in school we never lost to an SEC school. We played Ole Miss, South Carolina and Arkansas, won ‘em all.”

The “not rowdy” assessment isn’t surprising. Wait until you see the welcoming T-shirts I found in the gift shop adjacent to Memorial Stadium.

Here are a few photos from Columbia. And about the hail . . .

hail1So I was in downtown Columbia on Friday after a late lunch at Shakespeare’s Pizza (thanks to Weatherspoon for the culinary tip) and had just started the drive back to Kansas City (my home for the weekend) when the skies opened up. First it rained light. Then it rained heavy. Then came the wind. Then came the hail. This entire evolution took about a minute. News reports called it “quarter-size” hail. But I’d estimate the ice chunks ranged from hail2pennies to silver dollars. I had to pull off to the side on the freeway when it sounded like somebody was throwing baseballs at the car. Sorry for the out-0f-focus shots of hail from the other side of my car window, but I didn’t feel like going outside for a closeup. The hail lasted about 10 minutes and then let up, leading everybody to pull back onto the freeway, then kicked up again so hard that I swear Dorothy’s house flew by. Five minutes later, the hail turned to rain again. Welcome to the SEC expansion zone.

georgiashirt Sheldon Richardson’s comments notwithstanding, Mizzou has a long way to go in the SEC smack talk department. I found these three T-shirts hanging on racks in the gift shop in preparation for the Tigers’ first three SEC home games. For the Georgia game, they have, “Great To Meet You,” with the Georgia “G.” For Alabama: “Always A Pleasure.” For Vanderbilt: “Very Nice To Meet You.” All purchases come with finger sandwiches and a warm smile. (Missouri also plays Kentucky, but everybody knows Kentucky isn’t worth a shirt.)

BamaShirtVandyShirt

OK, found one. This is the closest thing I can find to “threatening.”

newshirt

Here are a few more tailgating scenes, including a private outhouse. Now THAT’S class.

tailgate1tailgate2toytigerbathroominside

That’s it for now. The cyber-venting lines are open.

I’ve predicted a Georgia win. What are your thoughts?

By Jeff Schultz

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1,978 comments Add your comment

william cranman

September 8th, 2012
5:28 pm

Great coverage as always Jeff. Thanks!

Weatherman

September 8th, 2012
5:32 pm

I think that storm is indicative of what’s coming for Georgia’s defense. I hate to say it, but with all those starters missing, it could be a long night.

I hope I’m wrong. Time for the young pups to step up.

Vain Jangling

September 8th, 2012
5:33 pm

Grapefruit the size of hail? And when the train came through it sounded like a tornado? Private outhouses? Where are we, Toto, Auburn?

Bill

September 8th, 2012
5:33 pm

Enjoy the outhouse, Jeff!! Go Dawgs!

Bill

September 8th, 2012
5:34 pm

Enjoy the outhouse, Jeff!! Go Dawgs!

StevoDeg

September 8th, 2012
5:34 pm

I’m excited. I’m looking for the D-line to pick up their game. If our front 7 plays the way we know they can, then Franklin will be on his back a lot. Go Dawgs

Dr J

September 8th, 2012
5:40 pm

The front 7 for UGA is one of the best in the country led by Jarvis Jones and John Jenkins. Blocking those guys will be no easy task. Also having Malcolm Mitchell at corner is going to work wonders for us in the secondary. It’ll be Branden Smith and Malcolm Mitchell at the boundary corners with Damian Swann at nickel where he is better suited. We’ll likely need 4-5 DBs each play back there.

This is our defensive depth chart for this game:

DE: Abry Jones
NG: John Jenkins
DE: Cornelius Washington

OLB: Jarvis Jones
ILB: Mike Gilliard
ILB: Amarlo Hererra
OLB: Ramik Wilson

CB: Branden Smith
FS: Connor Norman
SS: Shawn Williams
CB: Malcolm Mitchell

30326

September 8th, 2012
5:43 pm

Sic’ ‘em DOGS!!!!

Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
5:44 pm

Jeff,

thanks to you i saved a lot of loot not betting heavy on Georgia last week. You seem to believe UGA can cover the 1.5 over Missouri. Might be time to bet heavy.

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Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
5:49 pm

“Welcome to the Zou” Not the most clever line i’ve ever read.

5150 UOAD

September 8th, 2012
6:00 pm

Smoke a fatty and hang in the hotel bar…………

Yellow Fuzz

September 8th, 2012
6:10 pm

Hahaha. Haha. I CAN FEEL THE DOG NATION READY TO EXPLODE! Who ya gonna dump on this week?

The suspended players
The administration for suspending them?
Mary Jane
UGA drug testing committee
Mike Bobo
Mark Richt
Aaron Murray
The O Line
The AJC
Dog posters
Damon Evans
Mike Adams
DawginLex (and other street hustlers)
Buck Belue
Eric Zier
Rodney Garner
Other posters
Jasper Sanks
Washan Ealy
Steve Superior
Lou Holtz
ESPN GameDay
Caleb King
Bill King
The new kicker
Russ
The refs
The clock operator
Missouri fans
Missouri players
Missouri coaches
All of the above

ZinoDawg

September 8th, 2012
6:13 pm

Dawgs 35- Mizzou 21.

GATA!

[...] LIVE Dogs blog: Hail, hail the SEC! (no really, hail) Georgia opens the real season tonight against conference newbie Missouri. I can hang with you for a little while on the blog but eventually will need to shift my focus to the game column. Please play nice. Remember, there are a lot of very fine insults … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

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Delbert D.

September 8th, 2012
6:29 pm

Dorial Green-Beckham may cause problems, along with the other very large WRs.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot now UGA IX

September 8th, 2012
6:37 pm

Jeff, these people are crazy. I got here early and was walking around to familiarize myself with the surroundings and I saw some disturbing images. Grown men were crawling on the ground and growling and barking and lifting their legs. Women with tattoos and missing teeth were singing fight songs and making whistling noises through the gaps in their teeth. That’s when I realized these were our fans and they are all staying at the Econo Lodge close to the stadium. They were cooking on little portable grills out in the motel parking lot and some of them were drinking cheap beer and more of them were drinking out of mason jars. I don’t know if we’re going to fit in here or not but when they see Coach Grantham waddle in we’ll probably find out. I’ll post some more after I go down and set up my house and put some beer on ice.

5150 UOAD

September 8th, 2012
6:39 pm

Gators might have enough players to finish the game.

JB at home

September 8th, 2012
6:41 pm

Yellowduzz…..Don’t you have a nail biter against a div 2 church school this afternoon.

AAAAA Columbia Bail Bonds R Us

September 8th, 2012
6:41 pm

Just a reminder that we’ve opened a temporary office in Columbia to serve the bail bonding needs of the dawg fans and players while they’re in Missouri, especially for those who partake in too many adult beverages or use certain illegal substances.

We’re here for y’all, bless your wretched hearts. :-)

Russa

September 8th, 2012
6:47 pm

lost to Florida? Good luck in that division A&M …….

Jeff Schultz

September 8th, 2012
6:54 pm

Russ, the Temporary Mascot — So let me get this straight: You’re in SEC and you’re not used to obnoxious fans drinking out of mason jars?

JB at home

September 8th, 2012
6:56 pm

What’s the weather Jeff

UGAK9S

September 8th, 2012
6:59 pm

Pfeiff

September 8th, 2012
6:59 pm

Born in Columbia, ATL resident for the last 13 years…Have been psyched for this game since the schedules came out. Been at Faurot (Memorial Stadium for some of the Tigers biggest games). In the last week 2 things that stand out. MU slightly over-hyping, UGA slightly over-looking. Love the fact nothing has gotten too ugly(yet)…I do miss the blood-feud with Kansas though.

Pfeiff

September 8th, 2012
7:00 pm

forgot…MIZ-ZOU

Dr J

September 8th, 2012
7:01 pm

One thing lost in this matchup is Georgia’s O vs. Mizzou’s D. We seem focused on our D vs. Mizzou’s O, but I don’t think Mizzou can handle our O-line and physical style of play. They better be prepared for Gurley because something tells me he gets the bulk of the carries tonight. May even start.

Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
7:03 pm

AAAAA, are you saying Columbia is full of potheads?

JK Sockey

September 8th, 2012
7:03 pm

If you go thru Bogatá, can you pick me up a kilo of blow?

Beast from the East

September 8th, 2012
7:07 pm

Huge come from behind win for my Gators today. Getting our butts kicked at the half but some great adjustments by the players and coaches at halftime enabled a hard fought victory. Whew!

Best of luck tonight, Dawgs! Show ‘em what SEC football is all about!!!!

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Dwag Nation II

September 8th, 2012
7:11 pm

Yellow Fuzz, that’s a very good list, but don’t forget Jan Kemp. Larry Munson always blamed every loss on her.

Pitbull

September 8th, 2012
7:12 pm

Here’s an idea.

Since Missouri and Georgia are both in the SEC East and will play each other every year, as a UGA alum I would like to see Georgia Tech booted off our schedule.

They have no concept of sportsmanship and are bitter hateful people. We do not benefit from playing them and it is time we turned our backs on them for good.

Since Missouri does not have an instate FBS rivalry that I am aware of, I think it would be a good move to have the Georgia Missouri game played as the last game in the season for both schools.

It could really become a big time annual event.

The people at Missouri impress me as classy and I think that Missouri fans will find they are treated well when they come to Athens and Sanford Stadium.

Hope the SEC and Missouri and Georgia will buy into the last game of the season thing.

Its good to begin a healthy rivalry with you guys and may the best team win.

@PITBULL…………………………………….

Whereas the Georgia Institute of Technology withdrew from the SEC to become an independent athletic entity, and because they could not make it on their own, failed to get the needed support for re-admission into the SEC.

Whereas the fan base of the Georgia Institute of Technology has no concept of sportsmanship and are bitter hateful people.

Whereas we do not benefit from playing them

Whereas it is time we turned our backs on the North Ave.”Nasty Nerds” for good.

Whereas the fan base of the Missouri Tigers are gracious, classy, honorable people and its institution is a welcomed addition to the SEC.

Motion is hereby made to replace The Georgia Institute of Technology, and their spot on our football schedule, with the University of Missouri as our last game of each season.

Pitbull seconds the motion:

All in favor:

Dr J

September 8th, 2012
7:17 pm

I’m in favor of completely removing GT from our schedule for good. There’s no more competition there and we both know that with UGA having the clear upper hand. Plus their fans are bitter and aren’t classy whatsoever. Mizzou fans are. Let’s do it.

45ACP

September 8th, 2012
7:22 pm

What channel are the yellow jackets and blue stocking on?

Jefferson Davis Hogg

September 8th, 2012
7:22 pm

i don’t know why but for once I was glad to see the Gators win…That’s probably a first. Also glad to see the Barn get burned. …..Sure hope my Dawgs don’t lay down tonight…..To me this game is a toss up either way. Jeff, yell out a couple of barks for us tonight if you got it in ya and put those Missouri redlegs in their place!….Keep up the good work sir and don’t let this blog get out of hand by the by the fray we saw last week.

UGAjock

September 8th, 2012
7:25 pm

All the Dawg fans,Vote Aaron Murray for the Davey O’Brien QB Award! Aaron and James Franklin of Mizzou are this week’s Marquee Match-up!http://www.voteobrien.org/

Trandall19705

September 8th, 2012
7:25 pm

This is a tough game to predict a winner. My guess is that if there’s a team that could win by 21 it would be UGA. For this reason, I think UGA will pull it off. I’m certainly not predicting a 3 TD win but I believe we pull it off. On another note, I do not like these late starts.

Jeff Schultz

September 8th, 2012
7:27 pm

JB at home — Weather is perfect. Sunny, slight breeze and no hail.

Jeff Schultz

September 8th, 2012
7:27 pm

JB at home — Weather is perfect. Sunny, slight breeze and no hail.

Tater Tot

September 8th, 2012
7:29 pm

Any of this game on ESPN or whatnot fella’s ?

45ACP

September 8th, 2012
7:29 pm

Heard you the first time Jeff. lol…

Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
7:30 pm

so are you saying its a hail of a good night for football?

Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
7:30 pm

so are you saying its a hail of a good night for football?

10-2 is a good year! Right?

September 8th, 2012
7:31 pm

Look at them uniforms!!!! Are we watching a football game or the Mizzou theater department’s production of “Cats”?

zing!

Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
7:31 pm

the blog is being haunted by bad server tonight

Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
7:31 pm

the blog is being haunted by bad server tonight

Fair Weather Fan

September 8th, 2012
7:33 pm

there’s an echo here

JK Sockey

September 8th, 2012
7:35 pm

UGA fans commenting on another fanbases’ class? Now that’s funny!