Fan talk: Which UGA home game are you most looking forward to?

Is there a game other than South Carolina that you're really looking forward to? (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Is there a game other than South Carolina that you're really looking forward to? (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Time to answer some Junkyard Mail …

Paul Jackson writes: I seem to recall you doing a blog last summer about which of Georgia’s home games you were most looking forward to attending. What about this year? Is South Carolina a lock for the most anticipated game?

I look forward to all Georgia home games, but, yeah, I’d say the home opener with Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks is by far the game I’m most eagerly anticipating in a home schedule that, frankly, is pretty blah. As we’ve discussed here before, the South Carolina game is probably the most important one on the schedule this year because a win there would give the Dogs the edge in the SEC East race. Georgia-South Carolina is usually a pretty close contest, too, so it should be one of those games where everyone stays to the end.

Beyond that, the only other game on the home schedule that’s likely to get anyone excited is Auburn, and that’s just because they’re one of our traditional rivals and there’s some residual bad feeling from last year’s game against the eventual national champions. Unless Gene Chizik comes up with the coaching performance of the year, the Tigers are expected to be a bit down this year.

The other two SEC opponents coming to Athens, Mississippi State and Kentucky, are by no means guaranteed wins for Georgia, and some fans worry the State game could be a “trap” for the Dogs. But neither game is going to generate a lot of fan excitement.

And then you’ve got Coastal Carolina and New Mexico State, where the tailgate parties probably will be the day’s high point.

Michael Parsa writes: I am going into my third year at Albany Law School (after graduating from UGA I decided to head up to school here having never set foot in NY in my life). Down in NYC for the summer interning though. Anyways, last year I remember reading an article posted by you or another AJC employee concerning the Dawgs. It was a cover of an Orlando Sentinel article which had us pre-seasoned ranked in the 60s(ish I think). Any chance of you comparing THIS year’s team to LAST year’s team based on various papers’ rankings of us? Just a thought. Thanks!

Hope you’re sporting plenty of Red and Black while you’re up there! As for the preseason rankings, we won’t know where the Dogs rank in the AP and coaches polls until August, but Georgia so far have been all over the place, topped by Phil Steele having the Dawgs at No. 9 and Athlon Sports putting them at No. 14. Both see Georgia winning the SEC East. At the other extreme, the Sporting News has Georgia at No. 33 in its preseason ranking. More typical are rankings in the low teens: Lindy’s has Georgia at No. 16 and ESPN’s Mark Schlabach pegs the Dogs at No. 17. The Orlando Sentinel, which drew a lot of attention last year for ranking Georgia 64th in the country, has UGA at No. 18 this year. And Sports Illustrated has Georgia ranked at No. 21. I’d say low teens sounds about right, based strictly on the infusion of new talent.

What about you? Where do you think Georgia should be ranked?

Bruce Hendley writes: Hey Bill, what are your thoughts of Athens doing the same thing that Gainesville, Fla., approved for home games? [The Gainesville City Commission approved a charity's proposal to hold street festivals the night before the University of Florida's home football games similar to the decade-old Downtown Getdown that lures vendors, alumni and fans to Tallahassee's Adams Street near FSU's campus.] Since Dawg fans can’t tailgate on campus until 5 hours before a game, many are staying home. This will get fans to town Friday night for a game and also help downtown Athens economically. Everybody wins.

The idea sounds appealing, though I’m not sure how many more folks downtown Athens could easily accommodate on a Friday night. The place is already pretty packed because of all the bars and nightclubs. But that does tend to be a late crowd and something a bit more family-oriented early in the evening might be a big plus for both fans and Athens merchants.

Would you attend a Friday night street festival in Athens? Anyone in the Classic City want to weigh in on this?

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224 comments Add your comment

Inlet Dawg

July 23rd, 2011
11:13 am

South Carolina hands down if we don’t win that one the rest of the year is a catch up game at best.

Coop

July 23rd, 2011
11:15 am

I don’t put any stock in Steele or Athlon’s ranking’s since a) they’re trying to sell magazines and there are a lot of Georgia fans out there b) they were both high on Gergia last season and they were both about 40 spots off. Sports Illustrated seems to have a good read on Georgia, last year was unranked there among top 25, and ended up out of top 25 again. ESPN’s poll of 38 experts doesn’t have Georgia in their top 25, that’s a good cross section. Orlando paper gives me hope because they were right on the money on Georgia last year. You’d hope you start out top 25, otherwise you really have no shot climibing the polls. I’m hoping for a top 25 start, but after facing 2 top 10 ranked teams to start the season in Boise & SC, I think we’ll drop out of the top 25 by Sept 10. Might climb back if you beat 3 top 25 ranked teams and go 9-3.

gavelar

July 23rd, 2011
11:15 am

gavelar

July 23rd, 2011
11:16 am

third I guess. Oh well. Not a great home slate this year

Augustadawg

July 23rd, 2011
11:17 am

Enter your comments here

Bobo, Bobo, a Pirate's Life for Me

July 23rd, 2011
11:18 am

yes, friday’s would be tough to get everyone to fit into dt athens

Bullseye

July 23rd, 2011
11:20 am

Coastal Carolina….hahahahhahahahaa
New Mexico?…hahahahahahahah
Joke State!!!!

iowa dog

July 23rd, 2011
11:20 am

any ga football game is great if you are a die hard fan.preseason ranking has no merit whatsoever.

iowa dog

July 23rd, 2011
11:21 am

Enter your comments here

Bullseye

July 23rd, 2011
11:25 am

Dogs fighting to break into the top 100.

Coop

July 23rd, 2011
11:26 am

To finish in the top 25, we gotta go 9-3. Does anyone see only 3 losses here between Boise, SC, Miss St, Tenn, Kent, Florida, Auburn, G Tech? That’s 8 tough games, 5 against ranked teams, 3 against teams that finished with the same 6-7 record as us. Probably asking for a lot. If you start out 2-0, this will be a dangerous team that believes in their coach and team leaders, top 25 lock. Start out 0-2, and that’s a 5-7 season.

Coop

July 23rd, 2011
11:39 am

We better beat Florida this year. 2 coaches installing their new systems on offense & defense without personel to run them. Also, Florida will be coming off 3 games of Alabama, LSU & Auburn. So I think we take Florida this year, but we have to win that 2nd game too to lock the East up.

UGA_2001

July 23rd, 2011
11:44 am

I don’t think Athens needs a street festival, to be honest.

The fans who are in town know the restaurants they want to go t and the younger fans will come out later for the bar scene.

This is what makes Athens Athens – a much better downtown scene than Gainesville or Tallahassee.

UGA Alumnus

July 23rd, 2011
12:23 pm

The Boise State game. Come on guys. It’s a home game.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

July 23rd, 2011
12:38 pm

The college chancelors and professors dont care about the American economy Bill come on they have been teaching anti-capitalistic ideals for decades now.

They would celebrate if the economy of Athens went banqrupt

George Stein

July 23rd, 2011
12:56 pm

I’m amazed none of y’all have said Georgia Tech yet.

I’m a Tech fan but I can certainly enjoy a good joke at my team’s expense. Pick it, Dawgs!

Sugar Hill Dawg

July 23rd, 2011
1:10 pm

George Stein – this year’s Tech – UGA game is at the Joke. Of course, every time I’ve seen the Dawgs play at Grant Field it sure looked and sounded like a UGA home game! I have to boys at Auburn, so I guess y’all can figure out which one I’m looking forward to the most!

Sugar Hill Dawg

July 23rd, 2011
1:13 pm

Dooohhhh! Two, not to!

allwehaveishope

July 23rd, 2011
1:19 pm

Toss up between Boise or SC. Boise game in Atl so might as well be considered a home game.

Rankings? With each of the departing players lost since beginning of April our chances of being ranked in top 25 slowly erodes to ???

Just hope the remaining starters and backups remain healthy. Spurrier has right idea of easing up on tackling and hitting during preseason workouts and practice. Why risk injury to an already thin OL and RB’s.

The Boise game will be a good yard stick to measure Ga’s chances vs SC. Lose to Boise and Ga’s chances look slim against SC and the other SEC teams on our schedule excluding Vandy and KY.

George Stein

July 23rd, 2011
1:21 pm

Making a joke at Tech’s expense, Sugar Hill Dawg.

I’m sure you tried everything you could to raise your kids right. Sometimes there’s just so much you can do!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

July 23rd, 2011
1:28 pm

The Dream Team will win the national championship this year

Damn proud Dawg!

July 23rd, 2011
1:30 pm

Enough with the uniform changes

July 23rd, 2011
1:40 pm

I thought we were through with this crap….Don’t mess with perfection…Keep the TRADITIONAL uniforms….We have no desire to be U. of Nike, I mean Oregon.

Joey

July 23rd, 2011
1:41 pm

Auburn.

We need some payback for the late hits on Murray by that scum Fairley, who also went after his knee after a play was whistled dead.

There’s gonna be more hate in that game than the Tech game.

Joey

July 23rd, 2011
1:47 pm

George Stein, I expect PJ to use this probation thing to have his boys play like their hair is on fire all year. Tech should have a really good season.

Destin Dawg

July 23rd, 2011
1:51 pm

S.C. Need to win this one 1st then and Awlbarn like Joey says late hits.. bad blood.. we need to run up a BIG score.. take no prisoners .. Go Dawgs !!!

Joey

July 23rd, 2011
1:52 pm

“Where do you think Georgia should be ranked?”
*******************************
Bill, until the Dawgs beat a good team, which we’ve done 1 time since 2008, we don’t deserve a ranking.

Richt better have them ready to play. After the second game, the schedule is favorable.

Enough with the uniform changes

July 23rd, 2011
1:53 pm

Does Mark Richt feel it is neccesary to once AGAIN give cheezy “motivational” introductions of uniform changes? Didn’t we put a stop to that after the AL debacle? Damon Evans said no more, what’s your deal McGarrity? It’s the same darn premise.
If it’s about an influx in marketing, we’ve got more money than God. Our fans are gonna buy our traditional’s just as much. I feel like we’re seeing a “New Coke” campaign every 2 or 3 years. Enough.
And it would be nice if we could get a new company to pay us and outfit our teams other than that sleazy Nike. Boycotted them ever since kids were getting killed over their sneakers. And their crappy marketing to the lowest ghetto denominator.

Destin Dawg

July 23rd, 2011
1:56 pm

Love Athens downtown scene !! Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large State University education, plus Bigtime sports ” in beautiful Athens, Ga… Go dawgs !!

DIT

July 23rd, 2011
2:08 pm

Wasn’t this same article done about 1 month ago? Think of something new.

DIT

July 23rd, 2011
2:15 pm

OK, you got me…… SC. That could be the make or break of UGA’s season and CMR! Go Dawgs!

UGA FRIEND

July 23rd, 2011
2:47 pm

UGA fans are a piece of work. Some think the sun only rises and sets in Athens, Ga. Some think their team should win every game they play. Frankly, the players and coaches should receive endurance medals just for putting up with all the crap from the fans.

Rick from Arizona

July 23rd, 2011
2:52 pm

I am looking forward to the Home Game, that isn’t against a directional college, that we actually WIN for a change.

Spurrier still owns Richt & UGA.

Have fun in the ACC next year, Mark!

Boiby Bowden

July 23rd, 2011
3:06 pm

Would you attend a Friday night street festival in Athens? Only if hell is frozen over and there is a miles long line for the men’s room.

S. GA Swamp Dog

July 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

I was wondering what association of brain-dead people requires them to write on blogs (any blog),“ENTER YOUR COMMENTS HERE”?

SABAN > Richt

July 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

For those of us who vacation with Nick Saban, or “Rick from Arizona” as he likes to call himself, he is not that intimidating at all.

He is a fun guy and even let us film him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVtEX1J7tXQ

trupert

July 23rd, 2011
4:18 pm

South Carolina is the most important and I’ll go with that as the one I’m most looking forward to.

Auburn comes in a close second. I’m looking forward to this game because it will be the win that puts Ga in the SECCG and because those cheating dirty playing Tigers have it coming. Go dawgs!!!

That Guy

July 23rd, 2011
4:27 pm

As far as the last comment about the street festivals the night before games, as I walk amongst the tailgaters, I hear a lot of discussion about high school football. I would venture to guess that a lot of folks are die hards for their local schools as well which would prevent them from coming into town on Friday nights.

Dawgs > sc

July 23rd, 2011
4:29 pm

South Carolina—game of the year. UGA wins that game and coasts to the SEC East title. Florida and tennessee will be terrible this year—GA should win both of those games easy!! Dawgs beat SC—book it!

7576DAWG

July 23rd, 2011
4:55 pm

UGA Alumnus
I agree the Boise State game is like a home game, Atlanta is not very far . . Isn’t that the about the same distant from Gaineville to Jacksonville. What does that tell you as to whether Florida players and fans think the GA-FLA game is a home game for them.
One day we will wake up and stop living in the past and realize that the Florida game is way too hard to give them any advantage at all.
So, the game that I look forward to as a home game the most is the GA-FLA on a regular basis.

Ben

July 23rd, 2011
5:38 pm

For anyone thinking this years schedule is bad, take a look at next years.

BLECH.

Mobile Dawg

July 23rd, 2011
5:41 pm

If you’re Mark Richt and you want to continue your employment with the University of Georgia then every game will be important. To me, it all starts with Boise, lose that game and you have to live with it all year. South Carolina is huge, first it’s a rival, second, the winner gets the leg up in the East, third, it will be a momentum builder, or killer. The first two games are both important for different but equal reasons. Win them both, we may be off for a “cinderella” season, lose them both and we’re probably in trouble. We could recover, or sink. Split them and you still don’t know what to think. In the big picture the USC game is more important.

Don't paint me...for I am Russ the mascot

July 23rd, 2011
5:49 pm

Mr. King,

I think you need to look again. The Orlando Sentinel has UGA ranked 28th in their pre-season poll. The hometown UCF Knights are ranked 25th by the Sentinel. It’s hard being a dawg in this town after the Liberty Bowl deal, these folks think UCF is the next National Champion down here. Lord help me!

RedandBlackDAWG

July 23rd, 2011
5:54 pm

S.C. is the most important home game UGA will play this year. Win that game and the SEC East looks a lot easier to win.
As far as the rankings go; They will take care of themselves if UGA does it job this year.

GO DAWGS

NOBODYYOUKNOW

July 23rd, 2011
6:05 pm

I’m tired of the July heat, and August heat. And tired of all the speculation. Its interesting to read it but I want some FOOTBALL. After listening to CMR on ESPN talk about the new uniforms, I’m thinking “oh no here we go again”. The red jersey and white pants, or silver pants, with the red head gear and big “G” is a tradition at UGA. I’m from the old school. I don’t like change. New uniforms or the old ones. Dammit kick some ass this season!

H8T Awbarn Buzzards

July 23rd, 2011
6:32 pm

I’m looking forward to the game when the redneck Plains Boys come to town. No store bought QB this year or late-hitting thug nose guard. They’re gone and so is the season for Tiggers. Cheezdik will leave Athens very, very angry. Payback time!!!!!

JR

July 23rd, 2011
6:39 pm

Orlando Sentinel before Ealey left, had Georgia at #18. BUT, 50% of their comments were based on Ealey coming back. And of course Caleb King left too. So, I’d imagine it would be about #35 now.

Here’s where they had Georgia before Ealey transferred & King left the team:
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-01-11/sports/os-2011-preseason-top-25-college-foot20110110_1_college-football-preseason-rankings-buzz-defensive-front/2

GA Rolls

July 23rd, 2011
6:46 pm

Boise st? Get real–that’s an easy win for the Dawgs. Murray and Crowell will light up their weak D for huge yards and points. The game is USC—Ga can beat them. Hopefully, garcia is suspended again for something, but the Dawgs can win anyway. SC’s d is not that good—fsu ran all over them in the bowl game.

JR

July 23rd, 2011
6:50 pm

Found the latest ranking form Orlando Sentinel that reflected the loss of Ealey. Had em at #28, instead of #18. Had Florida at #24. These guys pegged Georgia last year, so if they’re right, looking at 8-5 type of season, finishing just outside of the top 25.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college/2011/07/college-football-countdown-georgia.html

JR

July 23rd, 2011
6:51 pm

Boise State isn’t a home game, it’s in the Dome.