The Georgia team is headed back to Athens tonight. The Georgia athletic director will wait until the morning. Said Greg McGarity, speaking Friday afternoon: “When we lose, I like to get out of town. When we win, I like to hang around and soak it in.”
Can we therefore assume McGarity believes his Bulldogs will win? “Yeah, I do,” he said.
As noted, I do, too. But now you’re asking: Doesn’t Utah State’s near-miss at Auburn today bode ill for Georgia’s chances tonight? (Utah State being a member of the WAC, which Boise State was until just the other day.)
Not really. Auburn isn’t nearly the same Auburn that won the BCS title. You might have heard this already, but Cam Newton and Nick Fairley are ensconced in the NFL. And Auburn did beat USU, albeit only just.
Georgia won’t suffer a national championship hangover, having not won of those since Jan. 1, 1981. Georgia doesn’t have a new quarterback. Georgia won’t be overlooking Boise State. (Kind of hard to overlook a team that’s favored to beat you.) The belief here is that the Bulldogs will play as hard and well tonight as they have at any time since the blackout night against Auburn in 2007. The belief here …
Well, you know what the belief here is. I like Georgia’s chances not just in this game but in this season. And it doesn’t hurt that Boise will withhold three players, two of them starters, from tonight’s tilt due to some sort of eligibility kerfuffle.
In a way, that shows how far Boise has come. The cuddly little Broncos just canned their AD because they’ve been charged with NCAA violations in five different sports, football included. And here we thought only BCS-level programs ran afoul of the governing body.
OK, enough fol-de-rol. I like Georgia tonight because I think Isaiah Crowell will go for 100 yards. (Which, to be technical, even Herschel Walker didn’t do in his debut against Tennessee. Herschel, who didn’t start, had 84 yards. And he did trample Bill Bates. And Herschel is here tonight to deliver the game ball.) I think the defense will pressure Kellen Moore enough to make him less precise than usual. I think Aaron Murry will win his first really big game.
Then again, I’m often wrong.
And with that, the floor is open for predictions, observations and jokes about blue turf. My only responsibility tonight is to interact with you fine folks — I don’t have print duty, in other words — and I’ll be here until this one ends and Georgia has won 34-24. (Actually, I’ll be here all night even if Boise State wins 41-0. But I’m not expecting that.) Join me, won’t you? And I thank you, as ever, in advance.
By Mark Bradley