Heat Check: UGA isn’t exactly the hot choice in Jacksonville

Mark Richt poses with the only Gator coach against whom he has a winning record. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Mark Richt with the only Gator against whom he has a winning record. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

The weekly Heat Check commences with a team that frankly didn’t look so hot Saturday night. But you’ve got to start somewhere.

GEORGIA: Picked in preseason to repeat as SEC East champs, the Bulldogs are a 6 1/2 point underdog to Florida on what is technically a neutral field. This tells us that the Gators have had the more impressive season to date, but you knew that already. Forecast: This doesn’t mean Georgia can’t win. On the contrary, how many times have the Bulldogs gone to Jacksonville with the better-looking team and lost?

FALCONS: Didn’t lose for the seventh consecutive Sunday. (Ha! Little joke!) But now the schedule gets intriguing, if not necessarily untenable. The next four opponents: Philadelphia (3-3), Dallas (3-3), New Orleans (2-4) and Arizona (4-3). Forecast: Win three of those four and the Falcons are looking at the NFC’s No. 1 seed come the playoffs. Win ‘em all and Don Shula and Nick Buoniconti and Mercury Morris get nervous.

GEORGIA TECH: So now we know. It was all Al Groh’s fault. (Kidding again.) Beating Boston College doesn’t prove much, but beats the heck out of not beating Boston College. Forecast: Not trying to get all pie-in-the-sky here, but it now seems the winner of the ACC Coastal will have at least three conference losses. If the Jackets run the conference table, they’ll have three conference losses.

GEORGIA STATE: Alas, the Panthers aren’t apt to run any tables. A week after beating Rhode Island, Georgia State lost to Villanova by 25 points. Of GSU’s seven losses, the closest has been by 21 points. Forecast: There’s a chance we’ve seen the final victory of Bill Curry’s coaching career.

BRAVES: Brian McCann had surgery, which complicates contractual things a bit. (But only a bit.) And the Cardinals, who have suddenly become the Braves’ nemeses, are on the brink of blowing a series in which they led 3-1. Forecast: If you’re the Braves, do you root for or against St. Louis tonight? I’m thinking against, but that might just be me.

HAWKS: They won two exhibition games at home. They’re 3-3 in games that don’t count. Forecast: The Hawks have only one exhibition game remaining — it’s Friday at Detroit — but the regular season doesn’t begin for 11 more days. And you thought the NBA playoffs lasted forever.

Further reading: Why Florida in Jax is a big game for Georgia — and an even bigger one for Georgia’s coach.

By Mark Bradley

203 comments Add your comment

World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party

October 22nd, 2012
9:13 am

World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party

October 22nd, 2012
9:14 am

T-Bone

October 22nd, 2012
9:17 am

cadilac

October 22nd, 2012
9:18 am

not for behind

Mark Bradley

October 22nd, 2012
9:19 am

Kudos, T-Bone.

Mark Bradley

October 22nd, 2012
9:19 am

Kudos for accuracy, cadillac.

Go Dawgs...

October 22nd, 2012
9:20 am

…that’s all I can say on that…

Herschel Talker

October 22nd, 2012
9:21 am

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Mark Bradley

October 22nd, 2012
9:21 am

Whoops! A check of the filter shows a new winner.

Kudos and apologies, WLOCP.

T-Bone

October 22nd, 2012
9:22 am

Now we’re about to find out what kind of team we have in the Falcons. If they can make it through the next 4 with 2+ wins, things are looking up. And as a Tech fan, We may only be favored in 1 game for the rest of the season.

Deep South

October 22nd, 2012
9:27 am

Really don’t see GaTech winning in Chapel Hill.

Ted M

October 22nd, 2012
9:28 am

Vad should have been starting from day 1 this season.

Texas Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
9:37 am

As I text my best friend this last weekend a (Fla Gator) Fla is going to beat us so bad we might as well forfeit now and just save us the embarrassment. His text back was WHATEVER don’t try to play that oh poor as me.
Fla looks good there is not doubt about that. The real reality is this is UGA/Fla. It really does not matter what the record is or how good either team is playing. This is the SEC and I hope UGA remembers that as I will be rooting for them Go Dawgs from Texas.

Destin Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
9:39 am

No Turnovers.. pass the ball vs. a weak pass Dee… Beat Floriduh… win the SEC east Champs.. Go Dawgs !!!

some sense

October 22nd, 2012
9:41 am

Lose this one and it’s Will Muschamp/Kirby Smart time again.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 22nd, 2012
9:42 am

i sure hope our team has some more of those “”FUN”" practices like Richt described they had last week

It really showed in the KY game this past Saturday we really looked like we could beat anyone we played ;)

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 22nd, 2012
9:43 am

Destin Dawg

Stay out of the sun; it can really have an effect on how you percieve reality

Dawgdad (The Original)

October 22nd, 2012
9:46 am

Dawgs are so bi-polar, you never know what you are going to get, but indications are the defense is so bad, we will have to outscore the gators in order to have a chance. I’m not sure the right defensive coordinator in GA was sent packing, maybe both needed to go.

I’m for the Giants, the Cardinals seem to always slip by the opponent, without being impressive. Time for someone to send them home in despair.

The Tigers are probably going to slam either in the WS.

Vince

October 22nd, 2012
9:48 am

Always enjoy going to the site of your matriculation, Mark—it remains a beautiful campus–somewhat miffed about the crowd–where was everyone?

Dawgdad (The Original)

October 22nd, 2012
9:49 am

Muschamp is also a much better coach than Richt, both in preparing and in game day coaching. Last year, Dawg fans were poking fun at UF for hiring him; who is laughing now? He messed up hiring Charlie Weis, but he corrected that mistake, and I wish we had him at UGA.

Dizzy

October 22nd, 2012
9:50 am

Thank goodness UGA is the underdog.

We play so much better when the other team is highly favored.

Mark Bradley

October 22nd, 2012
9:51 am

I think Kentucky fans were deterred, Vince, by having watched Kentucky play this season.

just sayin

October 22nd, 2012
9:53 am

Winning the SEC east is like winning the ACC. It’s irrelevant. UGA’s schedule, not having to play LSU, ALA, is what really helps them to win the division.

And what is their record against UF, 4-12 in the last 16 years? By UGA’s own definition, that is NO rivalry. UF owns UGA.

David Granger

October 22nd, 2012
9:53 am

Enter your comments here

DaculaJones

October 22nd, 2012
9:54 am

WINNING ON THE ROAD IN THE SEC

Hardest thing to do in college football.

Just ask Georgia, LSU and SC.

And Georgia gives up a BIG home game every other season to go get drunk.

Bad Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
9:55 am

Transcript from this week’s UGA-UF Game-planning meeting with CMR, CMB and CTG:

CMR: Sorry I’m late. This whole singing-to-recruits thing is getting out of hand. I just finished singing “Call Me Maybe” to A. Kamara and “Forget You” to D. Henry. I’ve got 16 more requests today alone! Let me ask; do you guys see me as more of a Casey Kasem or a Cousin Brucey? Personally, I love the long-distance dedication….

CMB: Excuse me coach, can we talk about the WLOCP? What’s in the sack anyway?

CMR: Oh that…well, it’s my special “WLOCP Bag O Tricks”. It’s got stuff like end-zone choreography and Halloween-themed uniform gimmicks. I was thinking that this year we could go with the Invisible Man theme because the pollsters clearly don’t appreciate how good we are. What do you think?

CMB: I’ve got 2 names for you: Worley & Henderson!

CMR: Awesome! Who the heck are they?

CMB: 2 dynamic freshmen running backs who, many, many years ago, ran roughshod on then #1 UF, spoiling the Gators’ season.

CMR: Jackpot!! Are they available this weekend?

CMB: No, well, uh, I was drawing a parallel between them and Gurley/Marshall…

CMR: Gotta tell ya’ CMB, I don’t know what you’re talking about half the time, but I love That Thing You Do (CMR stands with air-microphone, begins singing, pointing at CMB) “You…Doing That Thing You Do….”

CTG: Excuse me! Can we talk defense now?

CMR: Oh, of course big fella, sorry bout that! I didn’t see you sitting there behind the Independence Bowl trophy. Fire away…

CTG: I’ve decided that this week, we’re going to just play our base defense, but with a wrinkle! Here’s the really big part…you ready??…I’m going to direct choking gestures at Jeff Driskel the entire game! He will become so un-nerved he will eventually wet himself!

CMR: Fantastic idea! I love Psy-ops, mind-games type stuff! I’ll add that to my “WLOCP Bag O Tricks”! (CMR grabs air-mic again, points at CTG, begins singing AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie) “Let me tell you a story, ‘bout a DC I know, comes to coaching, he steals the show, he ain’t exactly pretty, ain’t exactly small. 35-7! You can’t say we’ve won ‘em all”……..

CTG: We done here??

CMR: Yes, sorry, got carried away. Gotta get to my weekly press briefing anyway. Instead of the usual boring Q&A, I’m going to sing, “Walking on Sunshine”! I’m thinking a little Katrina and the Waves will soothe those fourth-estate savages! See ya’ in Jax fellas!

Innocent Bystander

October 22nd, 2012
9:56 am

Absolutely cheering against the Cardinals. They’d still technically be 4 games back of the Braves as of today.

David Granger

October 22nd, 2012
9:56 am

It’s hard for a Dawg fan to admit this, Mark…but having watched both Georgia and Florida play so far this season, I don’t see any reason Georgia shouldn’t be the underdog. Do you?
(Sorry for the blank post earlier…hit the dang “Enter” key trying to press “Shift”)

kinshin kawakami

October 22nd, 2012
9:59 am

Definitely pulling AGAINST the Cardinals. No one here like the G’ints but after the stupid one game playoff and last year the Braves have been shafted. GO GIANTS!

Cardinal’s fan should be praying that a repeat of 1996 is not at hand.

Dizzy

October 22nd, 2012
9:59 am

aNYONE KNOW OF any uga-uf GAME

WHERE msuchamp was on the winning team

as player? coach?

Bobby Coccyx

October 22nd, 2012
9:59 am

I’d rather see a Giants/Tigers WS than another go ’round of Cardinals/Tigers…

Jeffrey

October 22nd, 2012
9:59 am

Can’t root for st Louis

The Ghost of 1996

October 22nd, 2012
10:01 am

The Ghost of 1996 will be haunting the Cardinals tonight….Several Giants players should change their names to Lopez, McGriff, and Jones. Matt Cain should wear his Glavine jersey… 15-0 will be the final.

Hairy Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
10:02 am

Dawgs is goning down to Jax to lay a beating on Gaytors. We’ll expose Judas Muschump as another Zookster. We just had a bad day against SCar. But that don’t happen twice. Dawgs in a cake walks. Dawgs 38 – Gaytors 13.

Go Dawgs! Sick E’m!

BigJim

October 22nd, 2012
10:05 am

Mark Richt is 2-15 against ranked teams, since 2009! PITIFUL!!!

ELEPHANT SQUASHES (your team's mascot here) EVERYTIME

October 22nd, 2012
10:06 am

i think the AJC should hire BAD DAWG permanently as a UGA blogger. The comments he has posted are some truly terrific and hilarious posts. Keep’em coming BAD DAWG. I sincerely look forward to them amongst all this other garbage and negativity that prevails some predominantly here. You have a gift my friend.

BigJim

October 22nd, 2012
10:06 am

And after the UF game, Richt will be 2-16 against ranked teams, since 2009! Those stats just might get ya a contract extension!

ELEPHANT SQUASHES (your team's mascot here) EVERYTIME

October 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

i = I and some = so Sorry for the mistakes. Too busy still chuckling.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

October 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

Not sure why you people want to move the game from JAX. You don’t think UF can beat UGA down in G’Ville? You don’t think UF can beat UGA over in ATL?
And…you don’t think UF can beat UGA in Sanford….the last time UF was in Athens…UF was up 50-0 at half time…it was a very loooong night.

Dizzy

October 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

UGA controls own destiny.

Beat Fla, like last year

Beat Bama (Richt’s 3-1 vs Bama)

See you in Miami.

BravesFan79

October 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

Last year i was pulling for the Cardinals as underdogs in the playoffs, this year i cant stand them…. Go Giants! Hoping the Detroit Tigers win it all tho.

BigJim

October 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

Mark Richt: 2-15 against ranked teams, since 2009! But he’ll beat the crap out of a DIV II opponent! Heck yeah!

Dizzy

October 22nd, 2012
10:09 am

UGA has won 16 out of the last 17 regular season games

Probably the hottest team in the NCAA right now over that period.

Dizzy

October 22nd, 2012
10:10 am

Richt had a .670 win % vs. top 25 teams in 1st 5 years, better than Saban’s first 5 at Bama.

Muschamp is 2-6 vs. ranked teams.

Dizzy

October 22nd, 2012
10:11 am

UGA is

#12 in ap poll

#11 in coaches poll

#10 in BCS poll

This team is on fire!!!

Dizzy

October 22nd, 2012
10:13 am

Florida will have its’ hands full trying to stop the hottest offense in the SEC.

UGA averages 130 more yards on offense per game than Florida

UGA averages 10 more pts per game than Florida.

Hairy Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
10:13 am

That right Dizzy. We win out and we BCS #1. How many teams coaches done that this late in year like Coach Richt. We have chance to unload a whooping can on Gaytors like they never seen. Time for Dawgs to bow up and show who the real mens is. Dawgs will beat the Gaytors into submissoin. I can’t wait to show it to that bum Musachump that it better to be a Dawg fan than Gaytor coach. Go Dawgs!

Jimmy Crack

October 22nd, 2012
10:14 am

Tech will be lucky to win one more game, and yes that includes Duke.

lkb

October 22nd, 2012
10:16 am

Line should be double digits. Just can not see the Bullpuppies winning this game. Hate it!!

Hairy Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
10:17 am

We did good scheduling to get a week off and then practice game for Gaytors at Kens Tuck. Extra perp time and rest will make difference. Gaytors is beat up tired and slow. No way they win another tough game. Dawgs in a romp!