Following a couple of games in which the Georgia Bulldogs looked semi-vulnerable, Kirby Smart’s team put it on now No. 24 Kentucky to the tune of 51-13. It was such a lopsided victory that it left UK coach Mark Stoops with an aftertaste no amount of Listerine will wash out. While I understand his frustration, I’d just like to ask that he please refrain from giving the reigning champs added motivation. Georgia has looked a little sleepy at times early in the season, and the only hope of ending their 23-game win streak is by catching them off guard.
So, my condolences to Vanderbilt on Saturday’s loss, because UGA is once again engaged.
“I can promise you — Georgia, they bought some pretty good players,” Stoops said on his weekly radio show Monday. “You’re allowed to these days, and we could use some help. That’s what they look like, you know what I mean, when you have 85 of ‘em. I encourage anybody that’s disgruntled to pony up some more.”
I don’t know if Stoops follows the blogs, so who knows if he saw the UK columnist who wrote Georgia looks “more vulnerable” than in years past, but that’s the exact kind of headline Smart is searching for even if said writer iterated that the No. 1 ranking is merited.
If Stoops really wanted to inflame the UK-Florida rivalry, he would’ve waited a couple weeks and sounded off before the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, but alas the Commodores get the privilege of facing a recently disrespected Georgia team that thought it just reeled back the appropriate fear of a two-time defending champ.
A season ago, Georgia pawed at lesser opponents — think Missouri, and oddly enough Kentucky — and then absolutely mauled teams on the national radar. Hell, the Bulldogs almost dropped the College Football Playoff semifinal because they saw no reason to get up for an Ohio State team that pundits spent a month decrying.
At first glance, South Carolina and Auburn might feel more prestigious than Mizzou and Kentucky, but the Gamecocks and Wildcats are a combined 5-5 on the season, and in no way should’ve been within 7 to 10 points of Georgia. While I’m sure fans in Athens attributed those close-ish calls to growing pains for new starter Carson Beck, Smart’s on the Nick Saban-Greg McElroy quarterback program, and needs little more than a game manager to get the ball to Dawg playmakers.
If Brock Bowers caught passes from Caleb Williams, he’d lead the FBS in receiving. I’m serious. The performance Bowers put on, as a tight end, to close out that Auburn game made NFL scouts faint like a hen house watching the Swooner Crooner (cartoon rooster Frank Sintra). As long as the All-American goes out of state in the draft (free Kyle Pitts), I expect him to have a long, and illustrious NFL career.
Do you see what I’m doing, college football beat writers of the SEC? Kill Georgia with kindness, and the team you cover might cover the spread. However, detract from UGA’s accomplishments over the past two and a half seasons in any way, and you risk getting discarded like Charmin.
I know it’s difficult for old rivals to roll over and show their bellies like a Chihuahua when approached by a Rottweiler, but trust me, it’s a lot smarter than growling and baring your teeth.