Hello from Cobb County, Ga. I mention my location so we’re clear: I am not in Fayetteville, Ark. Though I have been to Fayetteville, Ark., which is a nice enough place but kind of remote. When I went, I flew into Tulsa, which is in Oklahoma and which was the home of Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing.
But enough about that Bob. We can go no further without speaking of Bob Petrino, popularly known as Bobby. He’s popular the moment in Arkansas, less so in Georgia. Perhaps you remember him passing through.
Petrino is in Year 2 at his latest stop, and this is being hailed as a breakthrough game for Travelin’ Bob. It reminds me a bit of a road game Georgia played in 2007 — at Tuscaloosa in late September at a time when Alabama was unbeaten Saban Mania was at its most maniacal. But the Bulldogs won that night in OT on Matthew Stafford’s pass to Mikey Henderson, and that edition of the Tide promptly went in the tank.
I’m not saying the same thing is going to happen to Arkansas when — oops, meant to say, “if” — it loses tonight, but I do think the game might be too big for these Hogs, same as that 2007 game was too big for Bama. (The Tide, as we know, has since toughened up.)
Do I think this Georgia team is as good as the 2007 edition, which finished No. 2 in the land? Uh, no. But I think these Bulldogs grew up a bit last Saturday night against South Carolina, and I think they’ve been toughened by their schedule — two weeks, two difficult opponents — in a way Arkansas hasn’t.
I know the Hogs have had two weeks to prepare. I don’t care. I know Petrino is a good coach. (Bad guy, but a good coach.) But Mark Richt is pretty good, too, and he’s really good on the road. I’ve already tipped my hand about a half-dozen times, but I see Georgia winning a close game — let’s call it 23-20 — and positioning itself nicely for what comes next. Which is Arizona State in Athens.
But now I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll be here all night to comment and crack wise on the doings from Hogland, and I’d be indebted if you’d join me.
Oh, and one thing more: Tell me again why Pete Carroll is such a great coach.