Archive for June, 2011

Dogs could make or break Boise State’s season

The opening game could be everything for Boise State's national title hopes.

The opening game could be everything for Boise State's national title hopes.

We all know what’s in it for the Dogs in opening against Boise State in the Georgia Dome. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a “Hey, remember us?” game, a chance for Mark Richt’s program to make a statement that it’s still relevant on the national scene. Win or lose, at least UGA will be in the spotlight.

But as College Football News notes in its 2011 Boise State preview, the game could mean a whole lot more to the Broncos, who’ve spent the past few seasons trying to convince the college football world they routinely belong in the national championship conversation.

As CFN puts it, “The opening day battle with Georgia in Atlanta means everything” for Boise State. “Win that, and it’ll be another year of talking about whether or not the Broncos belong in the national title chase considering they’ll almost certainly be the favorites in the rest of the 11 games. … If they beat Georgia in the opener the …

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Preseason picks for Richt’s Dawgs all over the place

Phil Steele is picking Georgia to win the SEC East.

Phil Steele is picking Georgia to win the SEC East.

Seems like we get another preseason prediction or poll every couple of days, and so far there’s absolutely no consensus at all when it comes to Mark Richt’s 2011 Georgia Bulldogs.

Just in the past few days we’ve had the SEC’s sports information directors picking the Dogs to finish third in the SEC East behind South Carolina and Florida and Sporting News doing likewise. Georgia didn’t even crack the SN preseason Top 25.

And then there’s Phil Steele, one of the most respected college football analysts, who has Georgia as his upset pick to win the SEC East and ranks the Dogs No. 9 nationally.

On paper, considering the favorable conference schedule Georgia has, Steele’s prediction doesn’t look that unrealistic. But then you think back to the way Richt’s teams have underperformed the past couple of years and ponder all the question marks still hanging over this team and you can’t really fault the SIDs and Sporting News for their …

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Favorite or least favorite college football traditions?

The Mississippi State cowbells: Tradition or annoyance? (Associated Press)

The Mississippi State cowbells: Tradition or annoyance? (Associated Press)

“When does a tradition become an annoyance?”

That was LSU chancellor Michael Martin talking this week about Mississippi State fans’ penchant for clanging cowbells during football games.

The obvious answer, as MrSEC.com noted, is when it’s someone else’s tradition.

When it comes to the cowbells, few folks outside Mississippi see the quaint tradition’s charm. To most folks, it’s no different than those incessant vuvuzelas African soccer fans blow or those air horns that some idiot always blows at graduation — both of which are banned at SEC games.

But the cowbells, one of the SEC’s more controversial traditions, got a reprieve Friday when the conference presidents approved a one-year extension of an exception for MSU to the rule that bans artificial noisemakers in conference stadiums. The Other Bulldogs can keep their cowbells, but the league will come down harder on them if they don’t confine their …

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Advice for a Bulldog dad trying to overcome marriage to a Gator

Time to answer some Junkyard Mail …

Get there early for a good view at the Dawg Walk (AJC file)

Get there early for a good view at the Dawg Walk (AJC file)

Heath Schoenfeld of Vero Beach, Fla., writes: Hey Bill, I’ve gone and done it. I have season tickets for the first time! I live in South Florida and I’ve been to a couple of games here and there since 1997, but now I’ve got 4 seats for each home game and I can’t wait. What would be the best game day routine for my family? Where should we be for the Dawg Walk, when should we get into the stadium, etc.? I am doing my best to make sure my 4-year-old twin sons are Dawgs. You see, my wife and her family are Gators. She went to UF, her sisters when to UF, her parents have season tickets, etc. But at least she’s pretty! Thanks for the great work.

Congratulations, Heath! And kudos for your determination not to let their mother’s blue-and-orange past scar your boys for life.

I’ve written before about my game day routine and favorite game day traditions in Athens, but basically how you …

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Amid SEC numbers game, Richt lets his heart rule

I don’t pretend to understand all the nuances involved in SEC Commissioner Mike Slive’s attempt to come up with league legislation dealing with “roster management.”

I’ll admit, though, that my gut instinct is that anything Nick Saban, Houston Nutt and Gene Chizik howl about is probably a good idea.

And despite that howling, predominantly from the SEC’s wild West, I also have a feeling that Slive is enough of a politician that he wouldn’t have put the issue up for discussion if he wasn’t pretty sure the conference’s presidents will give him at least an approximation of what he wants.

I think Tennessee’s Derek Dooley’s stance might be indicative of what will come out of the conference gathering in Destin: The number of new signees each academic year might not be reduced from 28 to 25, but some of the loopholes being used by Steve Spurrier and others likely will be closed. As Dooley said, it’s not fair to the kids to let them enroll in summer school, see how they do in workouts, …

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