Looking for the silver lining as UGA spreads the red

A look at Georgia uniforms of the past. (Heritage Sports Art)

A look at Georgia uniforms of the past. (Heritage Sports Art)

So I return from vacation to find Mark Richt’s Dogs now a Top 20 team with opening-game uniforms that look like something out of a Japanese kiddie show.

Actually, I don’t mind the red on red aspect of Georgia’s Nike Pro Combat uniforms so much but I just don’t like that jersey, especially the black on the sleeves. However, the helmet actually comes close to being pretty cool; I just wish the red stripe wasn’t so wide. I could see those helmets — or a variation — brought back out for a future bowl game or something with our traditional uniforms.

Discussing the Pro Combats over the weekend with several fans, both young and old, I found a recurring theme that most would have preferred something a bit closer to a retro look (silver helmets, red jerseys, silver britches), but throwbacks is not really what the whole Pro Combat thing is about. Still, as my old schoolmate Rusty said on Facebook, “Well, they’re hideous, true. But I can live with them for one game.”

(For a closer look at the poster of the evolution of Georgia’s uniforms, go here. Artwork courtesy of Scott Sillcox. Each of the 15 actual pieces of original watercolor artwork used in the UGA uniforms poster are available for sale here.)

Meanwhile, I have to say I was a little surprised to see Georgia ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press preseason poll — the only team on the list coming off a losing record — but Boise State at No. 5 (making the Broncos the highest-ranked season-opening opponent for the Dogs since 1965) and South Carolina at No. 12 is about what I expected.

As Neil “Hondo” Williamson of the Georgia broadcast team points out, dating back to the first AP poll in 1936, Georgia has never opened the season against two top 20 teams (or top 25 for that matter). So in terms of how highly ranked the opponents are, 2011 will mark the most difficult opening two games in Bulldogs history (though I’ve heard several fans make a good case for the opening tandem in 1982 when Georgia faced defending national champion Clemson and a Steve Young-led BYU team).

Estimations of how the Dogs will weather those first two games and the 10 regular season matches to follow are all over the place, ranging from Phil Steele’s prediction of Georgia winning the SEC East to Sports Illustrated predicting a 6-6 record.

Of course, such predictions are, like the preseason polls, nothing but guesswork, but if there’s anything even sillier, it’s preseason bowl projections. That doesn’t stop various sports media outlets from trotting them out, though, and College Football News has Georgia playing Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in its “way too early” projection, while both of ESPN’s bowl projections have the Dogs in the Capital One Bowl, with Mark Schlabach pitting Georgia against Ohio State and Brad Edwards pegging Nebraska as the opponent.

That’s getting way ahead of all the games, of course, in a season where even die-hard UGA loyalist Loran Smith isn’t sure what sort of team Richt is going to field but is cautiously optimistic, noting, “this team could play really well the first two weeks and begin the season 0-2. The good news is that, in the Butts-Mehre building, you won’t find anybody who believes that will happen.”

Neither do I. How about you?

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217 comments Add your comment

Newman

August 23rd, 2011
11:03 am

Steve Young threw 6 picks that day…

Joey

August 23rd, 2011
11:05 am

I just want to see this Dawgs team hit back when they get punched in the mouth.

Go Dawgs!

Randall "Pink" Floyd

August 23rd, 2011
11:06 am

Don’t need another uniform column.

DawginLex

August 23rd, 2011
11:09 am

That BYU game was the game where we tried for 4th and short and didn’t actually get it but the running back handed the ball to another player further ahead in the pile and got us the 1st down.

Pete

August 23rd, 2011
11:10 am

BSU 55-0

Pups might score in garbage time though, depending if Boise puts their Freshman 3rd stringers in.

DawginLex

August 23rd, 2011
11:12 am

Pete

Give it up son. Even your fellow Tech folks can’t stand you.

chilidawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:18 am

Let’s do this thing!

bdawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:21 am

Gonna start 2-0 baby!!! I think we will stomp boise like we did last time and SC will be close as usual but we win by a FG!!!

DawginLex

August 23rd, 2011
11:21 am

WELCOME BACK BILL

A lot of us thought you went to Aruba and got kidnapped or something

HiramDawgMomma

August 23rd, 2011
11:21 am

Desperately want to believe that we’re gonna have a good season. C’mon Dawgs, make me scream!

1982 BYU and Clemson were not ranked?

August 23rd, 2011
11:22 am

Never knew that.

I believe Vince’s teams won both of those games because we played hard for all eight quarters.

And, we didn’t need new uniforms to help give us some “juice.”

My how things have changed……

Gravy Train

August 23rd, 2011
11:22 am

I can’t wait until you are put out to pasture, Bill. You are more a fan of a bygone era than you are a fan of today’s football Bulldogs. Kids today don’t care about what happened when you were a kid. They don’t care about your opinions either. It’s a travesty that a fossil like you gets to write anything associated with UGA.

Spike

August 23rd, 2011
11:23 am

Let’s get over the uni thing.. A little change of pace is fun, and is not the end of the world. The players seem fired up about it, so what is the down side?

schmeckdawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:24 am

Herschel ran for 124 yards against BYU in a cast. Very close game. Kevin Butler had to kick a late fireld goal to win it for the DAWGS.

At 7:45 p.m. on September 10th, we will be 2-0! On Tuesday September 13th, we will be #6-7 in the country!

VR Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:30 am

We will beat Boise by at least 10 and then win a very close one in Athens in week two…I am sure of the first game, but my second prediction could go either way.

Joey

August 23rd, 2011
11:30 am

I bet that hurt Bill’s feelings, Gravy Brain.

You sure did get here quick to read Bill.

Nitwit . . .

Cobb Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:30 am

If the kids like the uniforms, and the purpose of playing in the Boise game is to get us on the radar of more recruits, then I say it’s okay. But I don’t want us to come off looking like Oregon, even if that’s what Phil Knight is after.

Texas Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:32 am

If the Dogs start 2-0, it will be a very good season. If they start 0-2, it can still be a good season if they hunker down instead of giving up.

Dawgmess

August 23rd, 2011
11:34 am

Gravy Train: The title of Bill’s articles is “Junkyard Blawg”. Write it on a sticky note and put it on your computer screen’ It’ll remind you not to click on it anymore. It should be easy, even for you.

Denver Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:34 am

Gravy Brain, if you are one of the “young, hipster crowd” that can’t relate to Bill, THEN DON’T READ IT! Not everyone is 18 years old and as cool as you…

Michael

August 23rd, 2011
11:35 am

Bill you are becoming a “Energy Vampire”, try to write SOME positive articles !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Russman

August 23rd, 2011
11:38 am

If those uniforms are so great for performance- why not use the fabrics for UGA’s regular gameday uniforms?

TossSweep

August 23rd, 2011
11:38 am

45-31, Georgia wins vs Boise State
31-27, Georgia wins vs South Carolina
Georgia goes 13-1 for the season…Loss against Alabama in the SEC Championship.
I just hope I’m wrong about the loss to Alabama

Preston

August 23rd, 2011
11:38 am

Don’t pay any attention to Gravy Bill. Just some jackass with no respect for tradition or history. Keep up the good work!

Abnerish

August 23rd, 2011
11:41 am

About the uniforms, I think Richt said it best when he said they aren’t normal uniforms but this isn’t a normal game. I could care less what they wear for one game. If this was their new official, every game uniforms, then I’d be upset about it. Frankly, I’m more offended by Nike calling them “combat” uniforms. Who came up with that? Kellen Winslow Jr? Anyone who compares football to war has never experienced war. Most injuries suffered on the football field heal and don’t require a prosthesis. I realize Nike just thinks it sounds cool, but don’t minimize what our true soldiers do for us every day.

Regarding our #19 ranking, I’d just say that ALL preseason rankings are pretty meaningless, whether we are talking about a #1 ranking or #25. The only use is to help TV sell more advertising spots.

Top Row Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:42 am

I think the 5 times we started with South Carolina and Tennessee under Ray Goff were the toughest.

Starting with tennessee, texas A7M and Clemson in 1980 looked rough on paper.

I know these two teams are ranked, but they are not traditional powers of college football. And if we lined the teams up for drafting, I don’t think many of the BS boys make the start at UGA. With the home field both games, with the talent and the fire I see this year, I’m all in.

RAID

August 23rd, 2011
11:43 am

This isn’t a beauty contest people………I dont care if the dawgs come out of the tunnel wearing hot pink……..It’s about the players perfomance on the field………Why are we so concerned about uniforms?……We should be more concerned about the product on the field………Anyways, rest assured that if we win the BSU game the bookstores in Athens and the rest of the state will have empty shelves for all the Dawg fans will snatch them up immediately

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:44 am

SI has to put us at 6-6 to help CMR fit nicely into the “coaches on the hotseat list”. If they couldnt target Richt then who? Nutt? I mean that is just for blog hits no way with the schedule as easy as it is that they go .500.

how2fish

August 23rd, 2011
11:47 am

@Gravy Train a little free advice you don’t like the blog don’t come on the blog. Your a self righteous troll and you always have been. As IF anyone old or young gives a tinkers darn what you think. Bill glad your back less than two weeks till kickoff and it’s time to talk football not uniforms etc.

LHarding Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
11:47 am

The only place I predict scores is in Las Vegas. You can actually put your money where your mouth is there. I do feel better going into this season than I did last season. That being said, it’s why we play the game, no one really knows what is going to happen.

SSIgator

August 23rd, 2011
11:52 am

“opening-game uniforms that look like something out of a Japanese kiddie show”

That is because they play football like a Japanese kiddie show. Might as well dress for the part.

sogadog

August 23rd, 2011
11:55 am

The new uniforms look like Halloween costumes, but if the players like them, beat Florida and win the SEC, let em wear the d@#* things for the bowl game.

Let the new uniforms serve as a reward to the players for winning a championship. (But make the britches silver and the red true UGA red.)

Nub

August 23rd, 2011
11:56 am

Let me summarize …. We have lost 18 of the last 21 games against the gators …. And 8 out of the last 10….. When is the last time we beat USC, Tenn, and UF in the same year… Who really cares about Yeck they are irrelevant to our success both in the SEC and on any other measure ….

King Gator

August 23rd, 2011
11:58 am

Georgia gets treated worse than a Bulldog on a scooter in the SEC….Go Gators!

WDE

August 23rd, 2011
11:59 am

@SSIgator remember we took your bunch to O.T last year with a freshman QB and new D scheme..speaking of new how many wins that new HC of your have again? I heard he closed practice was that to help Brantley’s confidence or so the media and fans wouldn’t see Ol’ Charlie eat the scout team.

Columbus Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
12:01 pm

I believe that from what we have heard from the practices that the Georgia Bulldog Football team has returned to form. Now that being said, the comparisons to Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, and Oregon, some of Boise’s bragging points, well, simply do not compare. The conferences don’t compare, the speed on the defenses don’t compare, the overall team makeups don’t compare. I am glad that the Boise folks have already marked down a “W” by this game, but boy are they gonna be sad sacks when they have to travel back to potato land.

If we have not been scammed on how the Dawg D has improved, then I have to compare the potential to some of the better Defenses of Richt’s tenure. Now the 2005 D was not all that great in my opinion, what with the Auburn fiasco, and the West Virginia Suger Bowl flop, but was more than good enough to stuff Boise’s attack. I know this is a different Boise team, but it will still be smaller and slower than the higher rated SEC players they will face. While it is true that Virginia Tech and Oklahoma would easily hang with the worst team since the Goff days, they flat out would not hang with an up to par UGA defense.

Brag all you want Boise, but the Dome ain’t gonna be friendly to you on the 3rd.

Mad Dog 1

August 23rd, 2011
12:03 pm

welcome back Bill, As for the unis I don’t think they were ment for us older fans. Don’t rember the last time a 50 or 60 year old suited up for a game at UGA. Lets all let the kids have a good time. When was the last time you did something just for the he!! of it. GO DOGS

SSIgator

August 23rd, 2011
12:04 pm

WDE -

That’s right. I guess you are one of the people that would count that as a “moral victory” so this year there will be a won-lost-moral victory football stat sheet. How many “moral victories” does it take to equal a win?

441North

August 23rd, 2011
12:05 pm

I’m OK with the uni’s for one special game. I think we are going to be so strong in the middle defensively with Jenkins, Geathers, Jones, Robinson, and Ogletree, that we are going to be hard to move. Defense should carry us until we can get our running game going.

Old Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
12:05 pm

I’d like a replica of the 1927 jersey. I love old football jerseys, they’re great to wear at games and around town.

King Gator

August 23rd, 2011
12:06 pm

Who needs victories, as long as we get to dance after touchdowns! Go Gators!

Dirty Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
12:07 pm

I wouldn’t go so far as the ‘gravy’ man, Bill, but you could use a bit of updating on your perspective about stuff. It’s great to be nostalgic, and to recall with fond memories good times past, but to not ‘get it’ when it comes to being able to ‘adapt’ to change simply is being stubbornly simple-minded. You remind me of business people that hire high-priced architects or advertising agencies for their success and talent in design and recognizing, or establishing, trends, then nit-pic over the most idiotic stuff…’you don’t like the black on the sleeves’? Jeesh man, as Richt said, ‘get over it’…I mean if the players like it, and it gets ‘em even more fired up, then why not – it ain’t like the football Gods are gonna strike us with lightening or something.

I happen to think that this ‘pro-combat’ look is as good as any I’ve seen, not that I’m interested in making a permanent change mind you, but to not like it because it’s ‘all-red’ is to fail to notice that virtually every school we play – Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and more – have at one time or another used their ‘core’ color for both the jersey and the pants, so what’s the big deal. Trends in style – athletic or otherwise – start with the young. If they like it, then it’ll fly – unless of course, we stink out the place come 9/3, in which case, like the red tops and black pants we used in that Florida game some years back (we looked like the Red Coat Band, and played football like ‘em as well), we won’t be using ‘em again any time soon.

thisGuy

August 23rd, 2011
12:08 pm

can you guys tell us where we could buy one of these new georgia jersey so i can where it to the game? I can’t seem to find them anywhere.

allwehaveishope

August 23rd, 2011
12:08 pm

All dawg fans want to be 2-0 after first two weeks of the season but 1-1 is more realistic. SC game will be the tougher of the two. Of course, beating SC is more impt than beating BSU. Truthfully, no one really knows how good this GA team is this year. They have good key position players and from what we read a lot of potential from younger players. Based on last seasons performance if they can reduce critical turnovers, stop opponents from making big plays, both passing and running, and run the ball, they can be a good team and capable of playing in the dome for the SEC Championship.

Then again, haunted by performance of seasons past, that creeping doubt seems to loom close by. If CMR can do complete turn around from 2010 record he deserves to be SEC coach of the year and contender for national honors. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.

WDE

August 23rd, 2011
12:09 pm

@King Gator If memory serves me well we won the game after we danced, bye the bye what is the exact total of pot related arrests so far for the Gators year to date?

Old Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
12:10 pm

One more thing, the Nike Combat Uniforms stink to high heaven. In fact, all of Nike’s combat uniforms are a disgrace to the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WDE

August 23rd, 2011
12:12 pm

@SSIgator nope no moral victory I just got a little sick of Gator fans talking about beating us last year with your worse team in a decade, like ours wasn’t too. No no I’m really looking forward to this year I’m just hoping both squads are healthy and highly ranked.

Dixie Highway

August 23rd, 2011
12:12 pm

Clown costumes for a clown team. Adios to Richt, and don’t let the door hit your azz on the way out.

AceDawg

August 23rd, 2011
12:15 pm

Assuming there are no critical injuries, if UGA settles for anything less than 2-0 to start the season, they’ve already lost the season. After last year, its fine for fans to be a bit worried, but even in a terrible year, UGA was in range to win each game and not far from having a fairly good year despite everything that went wrong.

No matter how many times Boise St. finishes with a one or zero loss season, I’ll never accept a team like UGA losing to them. The Dawgs have plenty of talent to handle what Boise throws at them, so coaching will be at fault of the Dawgs fail. With South Carolina, Spurrier or not, give me a break that a 9-5 team last year from Columbia is so special that the Dawgs shouldn’t expect to be the better team. South Carolina has indeed gotten better talentwise, but they aren’t some sort of legendary juggernaut. C’mon Dawgs – this can be a big year if you strive for and meet the expecations you should have for yourselves.

Doom in the Dome

August 23rd, 2011
12:15 pm

Boise State over UGA in the humiliating beatdown of the year.

Well, until the Gators lunch on the hapless mutts. :-) :-) :-)