The scariest word in college football has been pinned to the Georgia Bulldogs. That word: Shreveport.
To play in the Independence Bowl is the worst of all fates, worse even than playing in no bowl at all. Because a team has to pretend to be excited about a trip to Shreveport, whereas a bowl-less team can just slink off under cover of winter. And now we turn to ESPN’s bowl projections and we see Bruce Feldman’s chilling forecast:
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Georgia vs. Missouri. Yikes.
(Then again, Georgia could wear its black helmets, which would make things confusing. Because Missouri also wears black helmets.)
(Oh, and for those among us who have never heard of AdvoCare — I hadn’t — here’s its Web site.)
Serving as the Shana Alexander to Feldman’s James Kilpatrick, esteemed former colleague Mark Schlabach sees the Bulldogs as bound for Nashville and the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl against Florida State. And that would beat the heck out of Shreveport. But I must also report that EFC Schlabach and I once covered Georgia in the MCB, and it was a mighty bleak tableau itself.
It was cold and rainy. The stadium wasn’t nearly full. And Georgia lost to Boston College despite being the more talented team. That was in Mark Richt’s first season, when it was clear he was just getting started. But to wind up back there in Year 9 would be just another reminder that this proud program has lost its way.
For its part, CBSsports.com has Georgia ticketed for Memphis to play Houston in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. And that’s a bad one, too: It comes after New Year’s Day and isn’t a BCS game, which means nobody will watch the thing. But at least Memphis offers Graceland and the Sun Recording Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Museum as places to visit. Shreveport has none of the above.
Then again, there’s no guarantee Georgia is going anywhere. It still has to win two more games. It should, given that it still has Tennessee Tech and Kentucky on the docket. And I, being a Kentucky alum, have never yet seen a Kentucky-Georgia game I figured Georgia wouldn’t win. (Not even in 1977, when the Cats beat the Dogs 33-0 at Sanford Stadium before James Brown and Prince Charles.)
But here, just to show I’m not such a Gloomy Gus, is the annual pick-me-up. Rivals.com rates Georgia as having compiled the eighth-best recruiting class in the land.