With tickets still available to Georgia’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette, I asked someone who follows the Dogs religiously but only goes to the occasional game whether he was considering taking in the home opener.
“Naw,” he said. “Noon kickoff. Too hot. I’ll watch it on TV.”
I asked another fan, who has season tickets, whether he’d be there on Sept. 4. Nope, he said. “I’m going to let a friend take my seats. I just can’t see sitting there in that heat for Louisiana-Lafayette.”
Let’s face it, as home openers go, this year’s isn’t particularly compelling. While I expect the game eventually will be an official sell-out, there’ll probably be some empty seats — just as there usually are for games against weak opponents.
And yet a year ago when the Dogs opened on the road against the highly touted Oklahoma State Cowboys, fans (and Mark Richt) were complaining that Georgia’s nonconference schedule was too tough with three BCS schools.
Personally, I prefer an opener against a “name” opponent, and if you look at the Dogs’ opening games in the Richt era, their best years have started out with what was at least nominally more of a challenge: Clemson in 2002 and 2003, Boise State in 2005, Okie State in 2007. Last year, also opening with the Pokes, was the exception, but that was on the road.
Of course, given the consistency of Richt’s tenure, the years they’ve opened against Arkansas State, Georgia Southern and Western Kentucky, the Dogs haven’t exactly had bad seasons. Just not their best.
So what are your feelings about opening opponents? Do you like essentially buying a win against a no-name as the Dogs get ready for the conference opener against South Carolina, or do you prefer the years with Georgia puts it on the line from the start? And what about this year, will you be in the sweltering throng in Athens watching the Dogs vs. the Ragin’ Cajuns or will you watch this one on the SEC Network?
SEC POWER RANKINGS
Georgia has made a move in the latest preseason SEC power rankings compiled by Chris Low of ESPN.com. Coming out of spring practice, Low had Georgia at No. 6, but in his latest list UGA has jumped up to No. 3, behind Alabama and Florida.
Explains Low: “The Bulldogs’ returning experience on the offensive line, their playmakers on offense and some of the best special teams in the country was what separated them from Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and South Carolina.” He adds, though, that “There’s not a lot of difference in the third best team and eighth best team, which should make for an intriguing fall.”
Do you agree the Dogs look like the third-best team in the conference at this point?
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