Live from hot Jax: Only 30 (of 32) writers pick the Gators!

This is not what it seems. The sweater is orange. It's a Gator dog. (Photo by M. Bradley)

This is not as it seems. The sweater is orange. It is, of all things, a Gator dog. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Jacksonville — It was raining when I boarded the plane at Hartsfield-Jackson at 7:45 a.m. It is not raining here, unless you count sweat beads. Here it’s hot. Here it’s hot even by Florida standards. And, speaking of sweat …

Your genius correspondent managed to leave his glasses in Tim Tucker’s rental car at the stadium, necessitating another walk to/from distant Lot P. This marks the second time in 13 months I’ve left my glasses in a rental car, and the first was in Tempe, Ariz., where it was only 97 degrees and we were parked even farther away.

But enough about this perspiring writer. Let’s talk about other writers. The Florida Times-Union asked 32 writers, some of whom might actually have seen Georgia play in the past five years, for a prediction. (None of the 32 were from the AJC, you should know.) Thirty picked the Gators. The two exceptions: Matt Hayes of Sporting News and Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle.

By tradition the Georgia-Florida crowd is split down the middle, but there seem many, many more Gators here this time. Perhaps Georgia fans are keeping a lower profile. Perhaps they sold their ducats. Perhaps they’re using the proceeds from that windfall to buy out Willie Martinez.

And I have to tell you, it has been a long time since I arrived at a stadium (with or without glasses) feeling as I do. I don’t see a way Georgia can win. I suppose Florida could fumble 10 times, but I can’t really see Florida doing that. And I can’t see the team with the better offense and better defense not winning.

But I have, as we know, been wrong before. I covered the Super Bowl between the Rams and the Patriots, in which St. Louis entered with the better offense and defense. I picked the Patriots to lose 42-3. They won 20-17. So I guess stranger things have happened. But not many, I submit.

With that, the floor is open for your comments and observations and contributions to the Free Willie Fund. I’ll be here all day, unless I feel the need to walk back across the parking lot and sweat through my shirt again.

3,111 comments Add your comment

patrick

October 31st, 2009
2:11 pm

Preydawg

October 31st, 2009
2:14 pm

No way is it impossible for Ga to win. Are you saying Ga is markedly worse than Miss. State? They nearly beat these GAtors a week ago. There is also not a huge talent difference. What there is is a huge discipline difference. The Dawgs turn the ball over way too much. That more than Martinez and his D is where Georgia has lost control of games. Now granted the play in the trenches on both sides of the ball had been hugely dissapointing. But Georgia has players.

If the Dawgs play clean for a change and get their best effort from the big men. They could very coceivably pull the upset.

Redding Rogers

October 31st, 2009
2:14 pm

My money is on Florida to beat the Dogs.

dawgstephen

October 31st, 2009
2:15 pm

Thanks for the update Mark. and thanks for the great job you do. I will return AFTER the game because i cannot stomach the unmoderated comments of the lunatic fringe complaining that someone should be fired for every first down the opponent gets.

I know that there is no way on paper that Georgia should win today, so a loss will not upset me as much, unless it involves Penn Wagers and his henchmen. Im a dawg and support CMR REGARDLESS of what happens today. Go dawgs.

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

patrick

October 31st, 2009
2:16 pm

“Bueller? …Bueller? …Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?”

UGA ALL THE WAY

October 31st, 2009
2:18 pm

C’mon Mark, you gotta at LEAST say UGA may have some veeerrrry slight yet hopeful chance today. These teams are known for either losing terribly or winning gracefully. Maybe this time it’ll be a close game with a UGA UPSET… you said, stranger things have happened and im willing to bet today maybe be the day…

UGA ALL THE WAY

October 31st, 2009
2:19 pm

I here that dawgshephen, maybe we will all be shocked today, hopefully more for us DAWG FANS. GO DAWGS!!!!!

Preydawg

October 31st, 2009
2:20 pm

I’m telling you guys. The key to the game is holding onto the ball and line play. defensive and offensive lines are critical. We have enough skill players on both sides to win.

willie martinez

October 31st, 2009
2:21 pm

bradley, i havent heard anything about a buyout for me. do you know something i dont??>

Mike Slive

October 31st, 2009
2:21 pm

I know Florida will beat Georgia and the beauty of the thing is if the coaches complain about my refs then I suspend them.

It’s a better scam than taking candy from a baby. I just hope th NCAA and the other conferences don’t catch on.

We have got to have the money and recognition from a No1 Florida VS No 2 Alabama in the SEC CG and the winner in the BCS CG.

Preydawg

October 31st, 2009
2:21 pm

By the way Mark. How hot is hot? Is this going to affect the Dawgs? Have they been practicing in cooler climes? I am in Kentucky. It has been cool here.

UGA ALL THE WAY

October 31st, 2009
2:23 pm

If Joe Cox can have a game like S.C. or Arkansas with A.J. doin his thing, as usual, and SOMEONE steps up to RUN the ball and NO INT. or stupid penalties…. IT WILL BE A GREAT GAME!!!

boozinbuzz

October 31st, 2009
2:23 pm

Can we please get this game over with so all of the Atlanta area sports folks can quit pretending like UGA has a chance to win this.

Penn Wagers

October 31st, 2009
2:23 pm

Has anybody seen my flag? It’s yellow.

Mark Bradley

October 31st, 2009
2:24 pm

It’s 84 degrees with 56 percent humidity, Preydawg.

dawgstephen

October 31st, 2009
2:25 pm

Hey all the way…..I will be chatting live on my blog and on yahoo messenger during the game if you want to join…. come and lets enjoy it!!!

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

Yellow Fuzz

October 31st, 2009
2:25 pm

Go Gators. Put another nail in the coffin!

dawgstephen

October 31st, 2009
2:25 pm

Mark!!! Can you let us know who might be officiating the game today??? Penn Wagers has done the last 2 i know…please tell us its NOT him

Wow

October 31st, 2009
2:27 pm

Anyone watching the iowa ind game? the refs just took away a def td from ind. the call on the field was a td. they are doing all they can to keep iowa undefeated. i guess for the tv ratings for the big showdown at night against osu. iowa loses and it loses it’s luster and is not a night game. what a joke. big 10 as bad as the sec. these officials have got to go.

Saint Augustine

October 31st, 2009
2:27 pm

((((( 49-10 ))))) Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

NC Dawg

October 31st, 2009
2:27 pm

“Defense?, defense?, has anyone seen the defense?”

Jeff

October 31st, 2009
2:29 pm

Big 10 refs a joke like the sec. Ind just scored a td. The call on the field was a td. The replay confirmed it. The announcers say it’s a td. And they overturn it. What a joke. Guess they gotta keep the osu showdown at night for tv. These refs have to go. It’s becoming a joke.

UGA ALL THE WAY

October 31st, 2009
2:30 pm

Sounds game dawg… im stuck at work having to cheer on my dawgs on the computer. Wish i could take it as far as to bein able to watch it on ESPN360, but i cant do that at a business… man i want to tho… but yeah ill be switchin in and out to yours and AJC, gotta read what Marks got to say if UGA starts looking good at some point

UGA ALL THE WAY

October 31st, 2009
2:32 pm

meant sounds good, dawgstephen.

Seth

October 31st, 2009
2:32 pm

Big 10 refs are a joke.

Preydawg

October 31st, 2009
2:33 pm

Dont you Tech pukes have something to do with your own little team instead of hanging around on a UGA blog and being pests? Go search for tickets to the Car Quest bowl or something. After the Dawgs pull the upset today and then put you back in your proper place, we will still be at a better bowl than you.

Seth

October 31st, 2009
2:33 pm

They took away a td from Ind. Just as bad as the sec. Trying to preserve Iowa’s undefeated record for the showdown with Osu.

swimdawg68

October 31st, 2009
2:35 pm

I want us to win, but I don’t want a victory to be a reason to keep Martinez and Bobo. We need some fresh minds on both sides of the ball. I hope CMR realizes that if he dosen’t I predict next year will be CMR’s last. We could bring in Kirby Smart as Head Coach, at least we would get back to good defense.

If we play the CWM soft 4-3 defense with zone with the DB’s we will be killed today. If we fail to put heat on Tebow he will kill us. Hopefully we will see some 5 and 6 man fronts with some stunts and blitzes, without that aggressive defense we will lose big.

Keith

October 31st, 2009
2:35 pm

Prey
Surely you jest. I see 20 x more posts by ga fans mocking and ridiculing GT than I see on here. Ever heard of just ignoring someone???

Mark Bradley

October 31st, 2009
2:35 pm

As we know, there’s a conspiracy afoot to get the Hawkeyes to Pasadena.

Seth

October 31st, 2009
2:37 pm

Mark
1 horrible obvious call takes away a td which would have made it 28-14. Then another questionable td call and a personal foul that was shady. Even the announcers are laughing at it.

Shady Kraft

October 31st, 2009
2:37 pm

ha ha ,Mark. At least in Arizona it’s a dry heat….be safe! If the Bulldogs can finsd all the potential and a couple lucky bounces of the ball and the Dawgs only lose by 14?

Seth

October 31st, 2009
2:38 pm

I can’t wait to watch the wonderful referees today! They are so good at their job. Especially the ones in the replay booth! They must flip a coin and decide who gets what.

[...] Can the Dawgs pull it off? [...]

jimmy

October 31st, 2009
2:39 pm

saint simons, come outta your troll hole in ….3….2….1

Preydawg

October 31st, 2009
2:39 pm

I dont see that 20X Keith because I dont waste my time looking at Tech stuff. Besides, it’s okay for us to mock them. It’s only wrong for them to mock us. Why….because I say so.

Pitbull

October 31st, 2009
2:39 pm

Hey fellow Dawg fans. Please do not be delusional.

There is no way that the SEC refs are going to allow Georgia to win this game. If by the Grace of God the score is close at the end and Georgia manages a major play to put it in position to win, you can be sure an SEC ref’s flag will be thrown to negate the play and put Florida in position to win.

You don’t believe it? Just watch the game. The SEC is now as fixed as World Wide Wrestling.

Mark Bradley

October 31st, 2009
2:39 pm

I confess, Seth, that the IU-Iowa game is on the TV next to me but I haven’t watched a play. I have had wireless issues and have been too busy cursing.

Seth

October 31st, 2009
2:40 pm

Oh and Mark iowa returned an int for a int. The ball ricocheted (sp?) 4 times off players and landed in an iowa players hands in the backfield. It was at the iowa 15. Ind is dominating them but they are still in it with that lucky play along with the refs. It really should be 35-7.

Preydawg

October 31st, 2009
2:40 pm

Just jerking a few chains Keith. Stirrin the ol poop. Dont get ticked off.

Seth

October 31st, 2009
2:41 pm

All I have to say is Virginia beat Ind 47-7. The big 10 is a joke.

Keith

October 31st, 2009
2:43 pm

Prey
Ticked off? I am pulling for you guys. I just think complaining about a couple of stupid posts is a waste of cyber space. And like I said…iggy.

swimdawg68

October 31st, 2009
2:43 pm

Penn Wagers is doing the Auburn game. They have already made a big mistake on an interception call. The review booth said the ball hit the ground to angle shown indicated a reason to overturn the ruling on the field. What is going on with these SEC Refs? The league office needs to upgrade the officals instead of fining coaches for calling out bad officiating.

La Jolla Dawg

October 31st, 2009
2:43 pm

Penn Wagers in in Auburn today–I am watching that game right now on DirecTV.

willie martinez

October 31st, 2009
2:46 pm

game’s in the bag folks. just gave my defense my win one for the willie speech. works every time.

willie martinez

October 31st, 2009
2:47 pm

bradley, this time after the game keep your d— tape recorder on so you’ll remember all the praise CMR will have for me.

Preydawg

October 31st, 2009
2:47 pm

Noted Keith. But it is never a waste when one can gig an insect. Besides its pregame. This is the time AND the place for that very sort of thing. Now I am off to turn my wings on the grill. Lemon Pepper today. They will be ready when toe meets leather. Then I will get down to the serious bidness of cheering (hopefully not crying) for the Dawgs.

Cuz

October 31st, 2009
2:48 pm

Mark did the weather forcast predict any natural disasters such as an earthquake to swallow up the Florida D. If that happens I like the Dawgs chances. How about a Tidal Wave coming up the St. Johns?

Cuz

October 31st, 2009
2:49 pm

I got the ribs on the grill, Prey. Time to add the gamecocks.

Keith

October 31st, 2009
2:49 pm

Keep in mind I am an insect. But I only sting when provoked!