Live from the Dome: Favored Bama meets hungry Dogs!

That famous jokester Nick Saban leaves Mark Richt in stitches. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

That famous jokester Nick Saban leaves Mark Richt in stitches Friday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

At the SEC Coaches’ Luncheon at the Hyatt on Friday, emcee Dave Neal asked Nick Saban if it was easier to keep a team motivated as a favorite, or if being an underdog was preferable. Whereupon Mark Richt said, “What does he know about being an underdog?”

Saban’s Crimson Tide is favored today by eight points over Richt’s Bulldogs, but an awful lot of folks — this correspondent included — are picking Georgia. Still, this matchup couldn’t have caught Saban unaware.

“Last summer I was at the lake (Burton, where every  big-name college football coach has a summer house) and I was fooling around in the yard, and two guys rode up on JetSkis,” Saban told Richt at the luncheon. “One of them was your quarterback Aaron Murray and the other was your center (David Andrews). And they said, ‘We’ll see you in the SEC championship game.’ ”

And here both teams are, Alabama ranked No. 2 to Georgia’s No. 2, Alabama favored but not nearly a lock, Georgia trying to seize its biggest football moment in three decades. But you knew all that already. So enough of me talking.

I’ll be here until someone is the 2012 SEC champ, and I’d appreciate it if you’d join the fun and frolic. And I thank you, as ever, in advance.

By Mark Bradley

2,729 comments Add your comment

Birdhair

December 1st, 2012
2:15 pm

Strat Cat Dawg

December 1st, 2012
2:16 pm

Hi, Mark, you’re the best- Go Dawgs!

Cbsdawgfan

December 1st, 2012
2:17 pm

First, 24-17 DAWGS

bobby whitaker

December 1st, 2012
2:17 pm

always enjoy your work mark…keep it up!!!

Brian

December 1st, 2012
2:18 pm

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spartacus

December 1st, 2012
2:19 pm

Gonna be a great game with a lot of tense moments, me thinks! I’m picking the dawgs in a nail-biter!

Brian

December 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

Mark close game or a UGA blowout to avenge last years loss?

Roy

December 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

Dawgs will win because they are the hungrier team. Bama has won 2 of the past 3 national titles and yes they may want to win, but it’s human nature not to have that same hunger you once had after you’ve won it before. Georgia is hungrier, they want to prove that they are good enough. I think UGA wins by 10.

The Real Hairy Dawg

December 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

Is the head ref a Bama grad? Could be worse…he could be a GT grad! Go Dawgs!

Jason

December 1st, 2012
2:23 pm

Great, now Saban will have NCAA investigators looking into how Murray got a JetSki, which will end with him being retroactively declared ineligible in 2024, which will mean we’ll have to vacate our wins from this year.

And we call Spurrier the Evil Genius?

Roy

December 1st, 2012
2:23 pm

Remember, last year in the SEC title game, Georgia dominated LSU in the 1st half…they held LSU to no first downs and like 12 yards total offense in the 1st half…2nd half got away from them due to turnovers and Tyrann Mathieu’s punt returns, one for a touchdown. Georgia just needs to finish this time around. Alabama doesn’t have a dynamic pass rusher, they don’t have that one guy on defense that really makes you say “Wow, we gotta make sure we get rid of him!”…Bama is a great team, but they can be beat.

Tndawg

December 1st, 2012
2:24 pm

Mark, what is your take on continuing the SEC championship once the playoffs get started?

Roy

December 1st, 2012
2:26 pm

Last year’s LSU defense is much better than this year’s Alabama defense. LSU’s defense last year had Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Matheiu, Michael Brockers, Montgomery, Mingo, Minter, Simon, Ryan Baker, Bennie Logan, etc….all star type players…Bama doesn’t really have that much firepower on their defense. If not for two dropped balls by UGA receivers, UGA could have gone up 21-0 on LSU in a heartbeat and who knows? So not giving UGA a chance in this game is a huge mistake.

Doodaddy

December 1st, 2012
2:30 pm

That’d be Lake Burton, not Oconee…..

TheWad

December 1st, 2012
2:32 pm

Aaron Murray is by far the better qb. 2 years ago he had a terrible line and zero running game. So any production from the O was all on him as a 1st time starter redshirt freshman. also the D was barnd new with people who didn`t know where to go or what to do IF they got there. Last year he was a 2nd year starter with a bad line and again NO Running Game! Again everything was on him to produce when his best reciever was a true freshman. He has not been blessed with the Ala line,RB,D, etc for all his years until now. But now his recievers have been marginal for a good part of the year with the best on the sidelines injured. McCarron hasn`t had to carry his offense even one time as a starter. McCarron can`t even begin to compare careers as a starter. With help from a strong supporting cast Murray will win today…..just like every other college qb has to have to become champion.

Dumpster fire

December 1st, 2012
2:33 pm

Is there another team from the state of Georgia playing today??? Ga state? Georgia southern? Oh well
Go Dawgs

Bigger fish to fry!

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2012
2:33 pm

UGA 27, Alabama 20.

KilroyDawg

December 1st, 2012
2:33 pm

Murray must use his legs to pick up critical 3rd down conversions when the receivers are covered or he is pressured out of the pocket. Keep moving the chains on offense and let our defense keep us in the game. G.A.T.A. GO DAWGS!!

Live from Camp Bastion Afg

December 1st, 2012
2:35 pm

In less than two hours the big dawgs will eat……MARK IT DOWN, take a picture do whatever because it is coming!

Strat Cat Dawg

December 1st, 2012
2:35 pm

Did I mention you’re the best, Mark? Georgia has the right stuff if they bring their A game. I think they’re hungrier than the Tide, because they know this is their chance and it only comes once.

Roy

December 1st, 2012
2:38 pm

Nick Saban knows it’s coming…I could sense it in his speeches throughout the week. He knows what UGA brings to the table. 7-8 NFL potential NFL draft picks on defense…great rushing attack led by the best RB in the SEC in Todd Gurley (1,138 yards and 15 touchdowns, 1 on kick off return)…and Keith Marshall who is no slouch himself with 720 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns. The #1 QB in the nation in passing efficiency…and an O-line that while it may not be the most dominant, has improved throughout the season.

Midway Ga Dawg

December 1st, 2012
2:39 pm

Georgia Is SOFT!

Now that i have said that…………..Do you Hairy Dawgs! make this a night to remember so i can walk around tomorrow and say……..

HOW BOUT THEM BULLDOGS….HOW BOUT THEM BULLDOGS!

chase

December 1st, 2012
2:41 pm

Let me try this again and GOOOO DAWGS….the video is to Al Pacino’s Any Given Sunday speech! enjoy
Here is a video I cut for all the Dawg fans out there GATA
http://youtu.be/tMWjvDNSuZk

SatillaDawg

December 1st, 2012
2:42 pm

David Pollock = Biggest Bulldawg Nation TRAITOR in history!

Dawgs WILL WIN today, David “I’m going with Bama” Pollock, and you, traitor-boy, will be a pariah for life to all UGA players, coaches, alumni, fans and friends. You oughta be ashamed.

GO DAWGS! SIC ‘EM! WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!

mike addington

December 1st, 2012
2:42 pm

If Murray just doesn’t completely blow it, we’ll win. I think the D is going 2 B playing out of their minds. Especially Tree, Williams, and both JJs. Jarvis just might win the thing by himself. well him and Rambo. Gurshall them to death. I’m prayin hard 4 Murray

GFJacket

December 1st, 2012
2:43 pm

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is over. Go Tech. Go Dogs. Let’s bring the ACC and SEC title’s home to Georgia.

Reservoir Dawg

December 1st, 2012
2:44 pm

Let the Big Dawg Eat!

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2012
2:45 pm

Thanks, Stray Cat. But I’m not the best. Just another also-ran.

Whopper Dawg

December 1st, 2012
2:45 pm

Taping my ankles

Coffee Bluff DAWG

December 1st, 2012
2:45 pm

I wonder if the ole ball coach is happy now that UGA meets AL later today?

All he did this yr was complain about how easy UGAs schedule was compared to USCe.

Paul in NH

December 1st, 2012
2:45 pm

Did Saban insist that the coaches’ photo be taken sitting down so we couldn’t see the height disparity with Richt?

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2012
2:46 pm

And I would keep the conference championships, tnDawg.. This is too good an event to lose, ever.

CHDawg

December 1st, 2012
2:47 pm

Mark, you are pretty lonely in thinking the Dawgs will win. Everyone on ESPN picked the Tide…just like Florida. The fact that you called UGA to win it all before the season began makes you look like a genius….if we win!

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2012
2:48 pm

Everyone on ESPN, huh? Did not know that.

Don’t much care.

GFJacket

December 1st, 2012
2:49 pm

UGA needs to strike quick and follow that with a ground pounding drive.

Paul in NH

December 1st, 2012
2:49 pm

I don’t understand the line on this game or that there has been no movement in it all week. UGA +8 is free money. I expect ALA to win, but 2 scores is a heck of a spread.

chase

December 1st, 2012
2:50 pm

Dawgs have more talent at almost every position or position group on the field….

Destiny is in their hands….it is meant to be…1980 Rematch w/the Irish…..This is it! The year of the Dawg….Not sure Bama will know what hit them…

Dawgs by at least 7….

CHDawg

December 1st, 2012
2:50 pm

GF Jacket, I agree! Go Dawgs and Jackets.

chase

December 1st, 2012
2:52 pm

ESPN hates all things GEORGIA including the Falcons and the Braves…those big city north easterners fear the biggest city and best state in the South.not gonna keep us down!

Roy

December 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

If the Dawgs lose, we’ve had a great year….won 11 games, possibly 12 wins this year with a win in the bowl game..can’t ask for better than that…great season with a great team…most of the defense will be gone next year, and we’re going to miss those guys…but I think we get it done today.

ROLL TIDE

December 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

Whatever, you just wait until you see the talent that Bama has. Georgia has played two good SEC teams. They barely beat Florida and South Carolina DEMOLISHED them. You guys almost lost to Kentucky. KENTUCKY??? FOR REAL?? The Tide will Roll as usuall. And if you think that Bama is content becuase of their past success, you don’t know Coach Saban or the rest of the Bama coaches or players. This will be a great game, but Bama will pound and pound and pound Georgia and break the game open in the fourth quarter. ROLL TIDE BABY!!!

SatillaDawg

December 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

Yeah, Mark….every one of the ESPN losers (including David Pollock, i.e. Traitor Boy), picked Bama.

Congratulations on your astute analysis, and for standing up for your beliefs.

Keep up the good work…and GOOOOOO DAWGS!

Fred ™

December 1st, 2012
2:54 pm

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2012
2:33 pm

UGA 27, Alabama 20.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

Great, now it’s official, Dawgs LOSE due to the Bradley curse, he picked them to win. Thanks for nothing pal……………. lol :mrgreen:

CHDawg

December 1st, 2012
2:54 pm

Well they made the same call in Jax….Dawgs have a point to prove. David Pollack and Matt Ryan voted Tide…Ryan even said he was rooting for the Tide, and gave it a Roll Tide. At least David said his heart is with the Dawgs.

chase

December 1st, 2012
2:55 pm

Mark Bradley,

thanks for having the GUTS to step out and pick UGA…..everyone on the 4-letter network and across the country seems to think what has happened 2 or 3 years ago will decide this game and that Georgia has apparently never played in a “big game” in their history and somehow Florida just kindly gave Georgia the win in Jacksonville…

The biased and talking heads are nothing but lemmings and it has been killing me all week…I say the Dawgs “shut them up…HARD”…and you will get to smile and say I told you so!

chase

December 1st, 2012
2:57 pm

ROLL TIDE

Bama didnt have to play UGA, SCAR, or Florida out of the East and your “big games” were A&M and LSU and you lost one and got ran over in the other before pulling it out in the last seconds….so I don’t want to hear it buddy

Paul in NH

December 1st, 2012
2:58 pm

NEWSFLASH
David Pollack is trying to be a professional. He picked Alabama because he honestly thinks they will win. If you really want to see someone with homer predictions tune in to Lou Holtz.

ARdawg

December 1st, 2012
2:59 pm

The only 4 letter network talking head to pick UGA was all of folks, Holtz

Jeffrey

December 1st, 2012
3:00 pm

First off, can anyone tell me why I can’t post from my iPhone? My old droid worked. This is more frustrating than buying Clapton tickets on ticketmaster. Hate ticketmaster!!!!

Ok, when we won this game dj and Greene were the Mvps So if Murray can do it the dawgs can. The only other scenario I see is Jarvis being a one man wrecking machine and making people say Matthieu was a little girley man.

Uga 24 guys with numbers on their hats 14.

Alex

December 1st, 2012
3:01 pm

I’m a Tech fan and even though I can’t stand how much I’ve had to hear both the AJC and national media talk this week about how great UGA is, I have to admit that I will be pulling for them against Bama. I’m tired of Alabama winning and I can’t stand Nick Saban. Not to mention it might finally shut up all those idiot pup fans who call for Richt’s head every season. He’s a good coach and a stand-up guy.