Nashville – First off, it’s chilly. Forty-three degrees and overcast at present (9:23 Central Time). The few Georgia fans who gathered for the Dawg Walk were wearing coats, scarves, gloves and stocking caps. And they still didn’t look warm.
Speaking of cold … Vanderbilt has the nation’s 108th-best (or, put another way, 13th-worst) passing offense. Lucky for the Commodores that a truckload of magic elixir has just pulled into town. The top passing performance by an SEC quarterback this season was Ryan Mallett of Arkansas on Sept. 19. The third-best was by Stephen Garcia of South Carolina on Sept. 12. The fourth-best was by Jonathan Crompton of Tennessee last week. Guess the common denominator.
You got it. Willie Martinez and his defense.
Say this for Willie: He has single-handedly rearranged the standings of every SEC fantasy league. If you simply drafted the quarterback playing against Georgia in any given week, you’ve clinched first place. (And it’s only midseason!)
OK, enough about Willie. (Really, though, can we ever say too much about Willie?) If ever a game versus Vandy can be said to be a big game, this is it. This is the difference between being 4-3 headed to Jacksonville or looking at a season of 6-6 or (shudder) worse.
Me, I think Georgia wins by two touchdowns. But I thought Georgia would win when last it traveled to the Volunteer state, and we know how that turned out. No matter what happens here today, I’ll be available for observations, bon mots (or, more accurately, bon nots) and song requests. So join me, won’t you?