Ever get the feeling you’ve backed the wrong Cowboy?

I’m on record as having picked Oklahoma State over Georgia. I did it in May — beat the rush, I always say — and again in August. And I’m not changing now. I’d rather be wrong once than waffle and be wrong twice. (Got that?) That said …

Were I picking today, I don’t know that I’d take the Cowboys. I think OSU is a team on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In the past few days, Oklahoma State has seen:

• Sugar daddy T. Boone Pickens pick his ‘Boys by 363 points;

• Nutjob coach Mike Gundy put players off-limits to the media for 12 days;

• Starting tight end Jamal Mosley quit the squad after a woman filed a “protective order” — since dropped by a judge — against him;

• Gundy fret about a pregame riot touched off by, of all things, a handshake, though in my view there’s a better chance of a brawl breaking out at Gundy’s postgame press conference;

• Rumors of apparent grievous injury, promptly debunked, rise around quarterback Zac Robinson.

All that’s needed is for Eddie Sutton or somebody to say Georgia isn’t “man enough” for OSU and we’d have us a perfect dust storm.

Say what you want about Mark Richt, but there’s an equanimity about Georgia, especially when the Bulldogs venture on the road. (Jacksonville, Fla., is another matter, but let’s hold that thought.) I know Georgia can handle a big road game. I’m not sure OSU will even find Boone Pickens Stadium come Saturday.

As I say, I made my pick and I’ll have to live with it. But if I’d known in May what I know now, I might not have picked the team with the coach from Arkham Asylum.

273 comments Add your comment

Scout Dawg

September 3rd, 2009
1:37 pm

Enough talk, let’s get to it! Junkyard Dawgs lay the wood old school style. Go Dawgs, GATA, and I pity the nerds.

Dang, Mark...

September 3rd, 2009
1:42 pm

… this may be your best column yet!

Spike

September 3rd, 2009
1:42 pm

First? Gundy “I’M forty, I’m a man!” is losing it. They better get ready to be beaten like a rented mule.

Knight Rider

September 3rd, 2009
1:43 pm

“Save a horse ride a cowboy”

Panties in a wad

September 3rd, 2009
1:46 pm

Way to stand by your convictions even when they’re silly and misguided.

kurula

September 3rd, 2009
1:47 pm

nothing like off the field issues and practice injuries to ruin a perfectly good preseason ranking.

dwf

September 3rd, 2009
1:49 pm

I think you’ve learned a valuable lesson Mark: Maybe time to ease off the premature predictions?
May is way too early to be predicting results.

Paul H

September 3rd, 2009
1:49 pm

You picked the wrong team Mark, but hey, it was a logical pick at the time. UGA had lost it’s best players to draft, etc.

Knight Rider

September 3rd, 2009
1:50 pm

Does it seem to anyone else that Stillwater seems alot like Athens last year

Paul H

September 3rd, 2009
1:51 pm

…However, once again, I’m going to remind everyone of something:

Mark Richt’s opening game recorded: UNDEFEATED.
March Richt’s non-conference road record: 34-3.
March Richt’s road record period: BEST.
2003: UGA 30, Clemson 0
2005: UGA 45, Boise 21
2007: UGA 35, OSU 14

RxDawg

September 3rd, 2009
1:52 pm

We’ll were all human sometimes.

DirtyDawg

September 3rd, 2009
1:53 pm

Frankly I wish all you guys – Mark, Jeff, Tony, et. al.- would just lay off the Dogs. We were doing just fine below that proverbial radar, now everybody’s thinking that if we lose it’ll be an upset. Thank goodness for some no-name guy (at least to me) on ESPN that predicted that OKSt’s receiver would have a breakout day in a big win over Georgia. At least he’s sticking to the conventional wisdom and going with the ‘pokes’.

Thanks, Paul H...

September 3rd, 2009
1:53 pm

…I see a pattern here – 2003(W), 2005(W), 2007(W), 2009?????

That's what Mark's wife said...

September 3rd, 2009
1:55 pm

…that it was time to lay off the premature – oh, nevermind!

Jamaaliver

September 3rd, 2009
1:55 pm

Did Mark just make a DC Comics reference? And a fairly esoteric one at that.

81Dog

September 3rd, 2009
1:59 pm

H.L. Mencken once said “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” George Custer once exhibited a stubborn willingness to bet on the Cowboys, and we all recall how THAT ended up.

But, I respect your willingness to go down with the chuck wagon, so to speak.

Brian

September 3rd, 2009
2:00 pm

You’re basically saying you think Georgia will win without “officially” changing your pick, right? Is that not the definition of waffling?

Paul H

September 3rd, 2009
2:01 pm

And let’s also not forget how well UGA always does on opening weekends against teams everything thinks will beat us. Let UGA and Richt be underestimated all year long. We always play better that way.

SGTBILKO

September 3rd, 2009
2:01 pm

This is called hedging your bet. Come on Mark, you’re better than this. We may not always agree with you, but stand by your convictions. Loved your Greg Norton blog, too.

GeoffDawg

September 3rd, 2009
2:14 pm

If this sports writing thing doesn’t pan out, you’ve definitely got a future in politics.

GeoffDawg

September 3rd, 2009
2:15 pm

Let me just say that I think Georgia’s going to win this game but if they don’t, then you heard it here first.

Reality Check

September 3rd, 2009
2:27 pm

Anddddddddddddddddddd he starts back peddling. I can’t wait for your column after Saturday’s win.

GeoffDawg

September 3rd, 2009
2:29 pm

I wonder how Mark Bradley would go with warm butter and Vermont maple syrup?

BugKiller

September 3rd, 2009
2:31 pm

DUDE!!!

You are now the GREATEST SPORTSWRITER IN THE HISTORY OF HISTORY!!!

A Batman reference in a sports column?

I had to double check the website to make sure it wasn’t ESPN.com and the byline to make sure it didn’t say Bill Simmons.

Frakking AWESOME!!!

Rock Preston

September 3rd, 2009
2:31 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=283652483

Check out what Oregon State did to the Pokes in the holiday bowl last year! We know UGA plays defense and runs the ball.

Vince Dooley

September 3rd, 2009
2:31 pm

I think Oklahoma State is the best football team in the nation today. I fully expect them to win the big 12 championship and then the national championship. They may have the best starting lineup of any team in the history of college football.

I just hope our team can find it within themselves to rise up to the occasion and play with an intensity that will make Bulldogs everywhere proud.

(A blog entry to take you back to those wonderful years of yesterday when Coach Dooley could make the upcoming opponent look like Lombardi’s packers. remember when he was preparing his team to play Oregon State and fretted that they were the best onside kicking team in the nation? I love coach Richt, but do miss Coach Dooley’s pregame worry comments. – Pitbull)

OUFan

September 3rd, 2009
2:38 pm

I’d pick OSU, but as an OU fan who’s watched OSU for years, I have to say that OSU can lose games better than any team in the country. Even ones where they’re supposed to win. UGA will probably win just because of that.

AceDawg

September 3rd, 2009
2:42 pm

Gundy looks almost exactly what OSU looks like compared to Oklahoma – a wannabee copycat. That said, I hate Stoops and Oklahoma whereas am indifferent about OSU except when we play them and when I hear the new OSU song “Coyboys Forever,” sung by the ever famous Backstreet Cowboys.

AceDawg

September 3rd, 2009
2:43 pm

didn’t finish thought clearly…

Gundy : Stoops :: Ok State : Oklahmoma.

He’s got the same aggressive out there personality.

Brandon

September 3rd, 2009
2:44 pm

Please for the love of God don’t say what you were going to say but didn’t say, because you didn’t change your mind. Next, if you are not going to waffle, please base it on facts of the game. Stats, players, etc… Not on this soap opera drama bs that you are talking about Oklahoma State. They are both good teams, with good players. I’m sure in your opinion, one of them will win and you will be right.

JJ

September 3rd, 2009
2:50 pm

A writer on Okie State’s Rivals page the other day was warning the Dawgs of “the dangers between the black pads” of Boone Pickens Stadium.

Ha, ha…we’re SCURRED of that! Because we’ve never gone to Death Valley (both of them), Bryant-Denny, General Neyland’s place, Jordan-Hare, Williams-Brice, or any of these other SEC zoos and won! My god! A road game?

SHAKE IN YOUR DAMN BOOTS, DAWG FANS! WE HAVE TO GO ON THE ROAD!

Dooley's Cardiologist

September 3rd, 2009
2:50 pm

If Ok. St. keeps losing players, UGA might not even have to make the trip up there.

Joey

September 3rd, 2009
2:50 pm

Whew! Thanks Mark. I was worried that you might change your pick and take UGA. And we all know that would be worse than the SI cover jinx!

PMC

September 3rd, 2009
2:52 pm

I’m glad you are showing testicular fortitude Mark… however you are wrong about this one though I’m sure you’ll own up to it.

OSU has quite a bit of offensive talent, but they had all of it last year and they lost 4 games.

Georgia’s defense is vastly better than they were last year. You will see the defense people thought they were going to see prior to all the injuries and also the effect that a truely great left tackle makes for a QB and a running game just like Okung did for OSU last season.

Dawg Foot

September 3rd, 2009
2:54 pm

You went on record to say tech NERDS beat UGA too. There is something wrong with your brain.

paul h is not very smart

September 3rd, 2009
2:59 pm

“And let’s also not forget how well UGA always does on opening weekends against teams everything thinks will beat us. Let UGA and Richt be underestimated all year long. We always play better that way.”

uga hasn’t played one team opening weekend that was a favorite. oklahoma state, boise state, and clemson all were at least 6.5 point underdogs. nice try though man. wouldnt expect anything more from a uga fan

T. Boone Pickens

September 3rd, 2009
3:00 pm

I want my freakin’ money back — with interest! I should’ve listened to Al Gore and invested in wind mills instead.

JJ

September 3rd, 2009
3:01 pm

Actually, we’re a 6.5 point dog (as of a few days ago) to Okie State, “paul h is not very smart”. I don’t remember off the top of my head but I’m willing to bet that Clemson was probably a touchdown favorite in ‘03. We were favored slightly over Boise because that was at Sanford.

So…lesson we’ve learned here kids? Do your research before trying to make someone else look dumb.

dee

September 3rd, 2009
3:02 pm

You’re an idiot Bradley. Go move to Oklahoma!

Miami Dawg

September 3rd, 2009
3:03 pm

For some reason CMR gets the Dawgs most focused when they are playing away from Sanford. Who knows why (and that’s a totally different and lengthy question) but they always are up for these kind of games. Can’t wait for Saturday…

http://collegefootballsaturday.blogspot.com/

Billy

September 3rd, 2009
3:05 pm

Dawg fans are delusional if they think that they’re going to go to Stillwater and win.

how2fish

September 3rd, 2009
3:06 pm

I think UGA can “man” up and win this one ..wait maybe OSU won’t implode..wait maybe they will….drat I had the answer..what was the question again???…..all that aside great article and welcome to the 2009 college football season Mark it will be a WILD ride of that I’m for certain and for sure….

Dawg Fan

September 3rd, 2009
3:07 pm

I hope Georgia runs the ball 50+ times for 400+ yards.

If they do they hold the ball for approx 45 minutes.

OSU can’t score if their offense is standing on the sideline.

That’s why I love the run and ball control football.

to JJ

September 3rd, 2009
3:08 pm

actually, i did my research. uga was favored in the clemson game by 6.5. they were also favored in the boise state game. i know that uga was the dog in this weekends game, but i never said otherwise. paul h was trying to say richt had won 3 opening games being the underdog. that fact is incorrect. nice try though d bag

Mark Bradley

September 3rd, 2009
3:12 pm

Yes, a Batman reference, Bugkiller. I always preferred Marvel, but I read DC, too. (I still have my button proclaiming me a member of the “Merry Marvel Marching Society.”)

how2fish

September 3rd, 2009
3:12 pm

Hey Billy myself and a gazillion Bulldog fans do think exactly that…even MB does deep in his heart…GATA Go Dawgs!

tony

September 3rd, 2009
3:13 pm

Didn’t we lose our starting TE and DE due to suspension for this game? Poor excuse if you are trying to say that the cowboys are going into this game short handed. The dogs should win this game, but Mark Richt poor play calling could give the cowboys a victory.

GT Heavyweight

September 3rd, 2009
3:14 pm

Im a Tech fan, but i think you’re spot on with this. You forgot that 2 starting players are out due to injury.

how2fish

September 3rd, 2009
3:18 pm

Tony CMR’s “poor” play calling has netted him a 34-3 road record..I think we will keep letting him do what he clearly does so well…

dan

September 3rd, 2009
3:19 pm

Personally, I think OKST has the better team. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to win. I think it’s going to be a fun game to watch. I’m going to take the same approach with UGA that I took with the Falcons last year. I’ll expect them to have a rebuilding year and keep my expectations low. That way I’ll be surprised when they exceed my expectations. Granted that’s not what most passionate fans would say, but it’s how I feel nonetheless. Last season was a kick in the balls for UGA fans, and we may be in for a few crotch shots this year. But as long as the Dawgs take a ” Back to Basics” approach and have a little fun in the process, then I’ll enjoy watching them play.