SEC Championship week: Relax, Bulldog Nation, and savor the moment

2012 SECchamp FootballThere’s been an inordinate amount of attention paid in the media this week to who’s talking (Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo and Sanders Commings, Alabama’s Kenyan Drake) and to who’s not (Aaron Murray).

Really, though, I think Mark Richt struck the right tone on this issue when talking about the bravado displayed by some of his defensive players in advance of the SEC Championship Game: “You know what? They’re all young and excited, and they say what they want to say sometimes. And I don’t think it’s going to matter much what everybody says before the game. I think it’s going to matter what happens when we kick it off. So I’m not too worried about that.”

Let’s be honest, at this stage of the season giving the other team so-called “bulletin board material” isn’t really a major concern. This is ultimate big-time college football, and a bit of swagger is pretty much expected.

Bacarri Rambo is confident, and Georgia fans should just enjoy the ride. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Bacarri Rambo is confident, and Georgia fans should just enjoy the ride. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Both teams know they can move the football and score points. And on defense, as usual, Alabama knows it’s good. I think the Georgia defense lost a bit of its mojo amid suspensions and position changes earlier in the fall but has finally caught up with its offseason hype.

As Amarlo Herrera said in backing up Rambo’s assertion that the Bulldogs have the best defense, “I haven’t seen anyone play better than us the second half of the season.”

Added Damian Swann: “This team is way more confident and has way more swagger than last year. That is what’s going to help us this weekend, because we’ve got to play like we’re the best team on the field.”

“I think both teams have confidence,” Todd Grantham said. “It’s going to come down to who executes and plays on the field, and we all understand that.”

And with this being essentially a BCS national championship semi-final, the stakes have never been bigger for the Georgia Bulldogs. “It’s all or nothing,” as Herrera put it.

The eyes of the football nation will be on the Georgia Dome Saturday. Heck, football is even back on the front page of the AJC!

Naturally, this has Bulldogs fandom pretty wired. Many UGA fans are fretting about how well the Dogs will stand up in the spotlight, considering Georgia teams have been known to wilt in situations not quite approaching the intensity of this one.

“I’m finding this whole week nerve-wracking,” is how one fan summed it up to me this week. “I just want it over with.”

To which I say: Relax. Enjoy it. Moments like this don’t come around all that often — well, unless you’re a Crimson Tide fan.

As Bama’s Drake, who sounds more than a bit jaded, noted on Twitter, the Crimson Tide does this stuff just about every year. But it’s been three decades since the Georgia Bulldogs were in the national championship conversation this late in the season.

Savor it!

Big “Motel 6,” John Jenkins, has the right attitude.

“I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.” Jenkins said in talking with the Athens Banner-Herald about all the hype surrounding this game. “You’ve always got to think about the journey. It was a long journey here. A lot of people took us out when we lost to South Carolina and now we’re in one of the biggest shows in America right now, close to the Super Bowl.”

Win or lose, the Dogs are a major player this season in college football. And if they manage to beat Bama, the hype is only going to get bigger and more intense.

The journey isn’t quite over yet. Let’s have fun while we’re still on it!

Got some thoughts on the upcoming game with Alabama or  a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

56 comments Add your comment

mike addington

November 28th, 2012
10:13 am

If I knew A Murray would show up, I would

mike addington

November 28th, 2012
10:16 am

Our D is a monster. I’m not even confident that Richt realizes that Murray needs help calming down N big games. Not after watching CMR go years watching receivers drop more balls than the caught. After years of horrible defnse before hiring TG. Just dont know about CMR. Like him, but ? If Murray does show up, I think we wll blow them out.

HUH?????

November 28th, 2012
10:19 am

Where is DawgInLex?

Jessie

November 28th, 2012
10:27 am

Almost everybody in the college football world doesn’t give the Dawgs a chance in this one. Unlike the week before the South Carolina game, I have a better feeling about this one. I think it will be a very close game if Georgia does win and at this point, can go either way. As in most big games, whichever team commits the most turnovers will most likely loose it.

piermontdawgny

November 28th, 2012
10:28 am

Dawgs win a nail biter…24-23

Malinda

November 28th, 2012
10:52 am

I am beyond excited!! Whatever the final score… I will be so proud of our players, coaches, and staff. I enjoy every moment sitting in Sanford Stadium. It truly is a “magical” time!!

Fridawg

November 28th, 2012
10:53 am

I’m trying to enjoy it too. We’ve got a lot to play for, and I expect a competitive game.

Mike Addington: I think Richt deserves some respect by now. He has pulled the team back from mediocrity to the championship scene. Let’s win this week!

Ty

November 28th, 2012
11:06 am

What ever they do….Please act as if you have been there. Getting ahead and going crazy is not the thing to do. Get ahead and control your emotions. There will be plenty of time to “Let it all hang out” after the game. Or if you get kicked in the face early like in SC do not fret. Regroup and comeback and win. Bama has been there. The dawgs need to have an emotionally high controlled atmosphere. Do not do crazy things like in the last Bama game in Athens.
Again “Act if you have been there”.

Dawg Fud

November 28th, 2012
11:09 am

Hard to enjoy it when you are so close yet so far away.

SimpleDawg

November 28th, 2012
11:30 am

Ours is not to wonder how or why, only to do……. or cry.

Now is the most opportune time to PUT UP or SHUT UP.

Let all see the measure of our resolve.

Go Dawgs. GATA.

TakeDog2

November 28th, 2012
11:44 am

The Dog D will control this game—Alabama will not be able to deal with Jarvis and Bacarri. Dogs win easy: 23-10—-onto the BCS.

WDE

November 28th, 2012
11:59 am

Indeed enjoy it while we can and lets play hard,fast and smart from the opening whistle ! Go Dogs !

Columbus Dawg

November 28th, 2012
12:12 pm

This is Georgia Bulldog Football’s finest hour. Everyone needs to get behind the players, coaches and everyone else who makes UGA Football happen. There was criticism of Dooley back in the day as well, he had not made it to the big show, he did not ever pass the ball, ect,ect. I actually think that Richt DOES know what the hell he’s doing, though maybe not so much at the end of last season. Everyone just knows that after all of the studs on D are gone the team will have to build back up to be able to contend again. It just seems that this has been the case for about thirty years. All that said, it sure seems that the stars have aligned, and I’m not so sure that they aligned just so that Bama could go back and get more glory, what with the mulligan the BCS, and ESPN gave them last year.

BamaGirl

November 28th, 2012
12:29 pm

Bama is going to win. They won during the so-called “black out” that turned out to be the dawgs funeral and they have 22 SEC Championships already not to mention 14 National Championships. The dawgs have been riding the coattails of that 1980 National Championship all these years and it’s getting a little thread-bare. Like everybody has been saying, Bama has been here before. They know what they’re doing. They made Tebow cry. And they’re gonna make Murray cry. ROLL TIDE!

Sammy

November 28th, 2012
12:33 pm

It’s hard to focus on anythng but football this week if you’re a UGA fan. UGA is in the only division with two teams in the BCS top 5, and UGA won that division, the toughest conference division in the nation.

Beating Florida, in hindsight, was a HUGE win. Florida went on to beat 4 different top 15 ranked teams. Their only loss? UGA. Florida is a GREAT team. UGA deserves the accolades for beating them, and winnin gthe nation’s only division with two BCS top 5 ranked teams.

Once our guys got back from suspensions, and got their reps in, and got in synch, it’s been all downhill after that.

SC beat us with:
a running Qb (Bama doesn’t have)
great punt returner (Bama doesn’t have)
great dlineman in Clowney (Bama doesn’t have)
going deep on Rambo in his 1st game back( Bama won’t have that luxury as UGA won’t make that mistake again and Rambo is in the groove now)

First 4 games, we got through them 4-0, a great start consideing all the suspensions and all the inexperience at so many key positions.

Then we lost to South Carolina, I don’t think our players felt it was a must win conidering the way SC always loses a few games.

Then UGA showed up against Florida, and Jarvis Jones and Gurley took over the game. Rambo had a nice pick. Murray had a great drive in the 4th quarter. We won that game somehow, forcing a boatload of turnovers.

Then Michael Bennett went down for the season, then Marlon Brown, and we still found a way to win the last several games without the top 2 WR’s at the time.

Had a lot of pressure games:
Mizzou, without so many starters
Florida, in a must win game
Games to win the East
Games to clinch a spot in the SEC Championship
Games to maintain the top 3 ranking

And now comes Alabama. What a ride.

Alabama is the team you want to beat if you want to be called the best.

Matt

November 28th, 2012
12:43 pm

Bama isn’t playing their best football, UGA is. UGA has a QB who will show up this week, its “signature win” time. CMR is hitting the peak of his career, if this team doesn’t win the National Championship, none will. They know that. We know that. Georgia wins 27 to 17. Take it to the bank.

Visor

November 28th, 2012
12:45 pm

South Carolina is never a “must win” for Georgia.

That should be pretty obvious by now… ;)

BamaGirl

November 28th, 2012
12:51 pm

Hey Columbus Dawg, your protologist called. He found your head!

Matt

November 28th, 2012
12:58 pm

BamaGirl- what is protologist? Nice try.

BamaGirl

November 28th, 2012
1:01 pm

Matt, so I left out a letter. So freakin’ what? Dawg fans are so immature.

USC Jimi

November 28th, 2012
1:04 pm

South Carolina has played better defense than Georgia has this year. Good luck to the Dawgs, play your best and win! Sick and tired of a buch of Bammers!

Strat Cat Dawg

November 28th, 2012
1:05 pm

One thing I’ve appreciated this season is the combination of passion and maturity the players have demonstrated with the media. Freshmen Gurley and Marshall have been especially impressive as have Jarvis, John Jenkins, Christian Robinson, T King to name a few. The statements by Rambo and his pals on defense come across to me as confident, not arrogant. These guys know Bama is the real deal and I look for them to come out ready for warfare. Maybe this time we’ll be looser and hungrier than Nick’s well-disciplined troops. I wonder which of our many defensive stars will make the big plays we’re all envisioning?

BamaGirl

November 28th, 2012
1:07 pm

And another thing, apparently ya’ll are just po’ed because I had the audacity to point out what a great team Bama is and what a not so great team the dawgs have been and still are. Been 32, yes boys and girls, 32 years since the dawgs have had a National Championship. Bama has had 2 in the last 3 years and 14 total. And the team that had the National Championship between Bama’s last 2, well, that team comes from the great state of ALABAMA. Hurts don’t it?! Bama will win, and Visor, you can take that to the bank.

CHDawg

November 28th, 2012
1:08 pm

I thought it was pretty funny that our senior DBs are just young and excited and can’t stop talking, and Bama’s freshman TB is bored! Let’s hope their whole team is bored with being in the big house again this year! Go Dawgs.

Visor

November 28th, 2012
1:17 pm

Bama owns the Dome. This is a home game for the Tide.

gordonguy1969

November 28th, 2012
1:25 pm

BamaGirl: Let me get this straight, you tell ColumbusDawg that he has his head up his rear, misspelling a word in the process. Then, when someone calls you on the mistake, you accuse others of being “immature.” Just what would you consider telling someone they have their head up their rear, a pithy and droll comment? I’m thinking “immature” fits you like a glove.

DawgVoiceofReason

November 28th, 2012
1:26 pm

How bizarre that a bama fan would use auburn’s nc to try to rile up the Dawg fans. We all know abt bama’s record. Someone must be insecure. That state of alabama inferiority complex is showing through…

OrlandoDawg

November 28th, 2012
1:37 pm

@BamaGirl, don’t be so thin skinned, if you come on our site expect to be Biotched Slapped like the trailer tramp you are Dawgs 35 Elephants 14

OrlandoDawg

November 28th, 2012
1:40 pm

@BamaGirl….inferiority complex…go see a Braves game or Hawks game sometime, get out of Alabama…but go back soon…Go Dawgs!

steelerDawg

November 28th, 2012
1:42 pm

ENJOY THIS! God, it’s been over 30 years since UGA has controlled their own destiny and they will beat Alabama and close this horrible chapter started with the blackout. Then we get to wake up our own echoes by beating Notre Dame just like in 1980.

Fittingly, the Hershel role is being played by multiple players. “Run Gurshel run! My god, they’re freshmen!”

'94 UGA Alumnus

November 28th, 2012
1:46 pm

I still think our players needed to follow Murray’s lead and shut the heck up. Personally, I don’t believe that it is just a mere coincidence that the same players that are talking smack are the ones that were suspended at the beginning of the year.

dUmB DaWg

November 28th, 2012
1:52 pm

Rumbo needs to shut his pie hole period. South Carolina has the best Defense.

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 28th, 2012
1:57 pm

“Moments like this don’t come around all that often — well, unless you’re a Crimson Tide fan.”

Thats because Bama and their fanbase expects to win championships.

UGA and most of its fanbase are fine with flopping in big games so long as we win 9-10 ballgames and beating Div III level GT

Honey Badger Has the Munchies

November 28th, 2012
2:06 pm

I-95…I beg to differ wiht your statement that “most of UGA fanbase is fine flopping in big games as long as we win -10 ballgames.”

Maybe some fans are okay with that, but I don’t think “most” are fine with that. I for one am not fine with that. I want the SEC crown AND a BCS Championship. GO DAWGS! Please pay no mind to some folks on here that are satisfied with the 9 and 10 win seasons. It is something to be proud of, however, a lot of want more that Outback and Capital One Bowls.

jb5295

November 28th, 2012
2:11 pm

Bama wins 33 – 10. Dawgs D is marginal at best, entire team underachieves and cannot handle the pressure of playing the defending national champs.

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 28th, 2012
2:24 pm

Enter your comments here

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 28th, 2012
2:25 pm

Honey Badger

Obviously you dont come on these blogs much cause most of our fanbase doesnt live in reality as you have probably already read with all the trash talk about beating a team that knows how to win

I get slammed when I bring up the fact that this coaching staff has only beaten 1 top 20 team in 4 yrs yet Im not a fan and I should go pull for someone else because I bring facts to the table

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 28th, 2012
2:29 pm

If we lose the kool-aid drinkers will say this was a great season even though we lost another big game

joe jenkins

November 28th, 2012
2:48 pm

I think the defense will come uphuge in this game. watch grantham find a way to get jarvis free. I think we will have 5 sacks in this game. jones 2 tree 1 jordan jenkins 1 G.smith 1

Spanky

November 28th, 2012
3:49 pm

Has anyone pointed out that CMR is 3-1 against Saban? Okay, I just did!! Also, I can’t thank Shawn Williams enough for verbally waking up this D!! It’s Great..to be..a Georgia Bulldawg!!

Paul is a Johnson

November 28th, 2012
3:51 pm

@BamaGirl – unless they are going to spot Alabama some points based on your successful history your previous NC and SEC title stats won’t be a factor in this one. The fact is deep down neither AL or UGA fans can be real confident coming into this one. We are pretty evenly matched and it could go either way. All UGA fans are worried if Murray will have a big game. AL fans are hoping the team that played LSU and A&M doesn’t show up. Here is hoping we can win the next two so we can put all these “you haven’t won a title in 30 years” to rest. Jarvis, Rambo, and several others skipped out on the NFL for unfinished business. AL and ND are their unfinished business.

Spanky

November 28th, 2012
3:51 pm

Joe Jenkins- really glad you brought up Jordan Jenkins!! This kid has really come up, big-time!

AltamahaDawg

November 28th, 2012
4:01 pm

Well put, Bill.

AltamahaDawg

November 28th, 2012
4:07 pm

Clearly, Bamagirl is somebody doing a parody of a Bama fan.

SatillaDawg

November 28th, 2012
6:17 pm

Go Dawgs!

Beat Bama!

Jona

November 28th, 2012
6:38 pm

AltamahaDawg

I sure hope so. My wife is from that state. Scary

Destin Dawg

November 28th, 2012
6:45 pm

UGA 24 Bama 20 Can’t wait till Sat.. Go Dawgs !!

Independent voter

November 28th, 2012
6:47 pm

Bama girl is a gay Tech fan in drag ????

tsunamidogtankbuster

November 28th, 2012
9:37 pm

seems all the news in tuscaloosa is right on target, whose gonna get fired after the game, someone will be blamed for any loss….so who gets the blame!!!!! on the Ga. side its has always been a Bobo thing (but he’s up for an award)…can’t be russ he’s untouchable. guess its time for the team managers to consider a occupation change if a loss come the wrong way. Other big news from the castle in the heavens is get murray. Seems the prescription for success is…kill the shy, unprotected kid from plant city fla, I mean hightower vs. brantley type of carreer ending game which ruins health insurance companies along the line of the B P oil spill. We’re talking taking the leather oval and replacing hemoroids type of D rush that just sucks the air outta lungs and leaves pro carreers in traction. Yep, I’m talkin bounty Ball times a hundred. the kinda stuff being saved in kirby smart’s vault for anyone from auburn and “Mr. Johnny Football” next meeting..nuclear solution football. the only solution i see is for Aaron to borrow about five thou large from each lineman and hope they wanna collect the principal sometime in February. Otherwise, its gonna be adding a new understanding of “run forest run”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZUUUUUUUUUUUS bring your A game boys

HollySpringsDawg

November 29th, 2012
7:41 am

Bamagirl, the QB in this game with a history of crying is your boy AJ. A&M is the Auburn of 2010 with 1 great player. UGA has great players on both sides of the ball. I am not saying there will be a blowout, but it is time for Saban and the Tide to take a backseat to Richt and the Dawgs. UGA wins close 17-13 and AJ cries just like he did against LSU. The only difference is his whole team will be losers instead of just him. Bank on it BamaLittleGirl!