You didn't think I'd forgotten about The List did you? I mean don't get me wrong, I know it's been a while, but we're less than four days from kickoff, friends. That means The List is back and it's ready to rock your face off.
So, with that in mind, here's this week's List, which is Five Things I Expect to See (and Five Things I Expect Not to See) Out of This Year's Team:
Things I Expect NOT to See:
10. A New "Soulja Boy" -- Often imitated but never duplicated. Last year's Soulja Boy phenomenon will forever be ingrained in UGA history as one of those "things" unique to the season. However, Soulja Boy has gone the way of the Seminole Rap and don't expect to see anything even remotely resembling that. Richt himself said that the Soulja Boy dance during the Blackout was a "special moment in time" and it wouldn't happen again. Also, the lack of a new dance for players to go crazy over hurts as well. It's not like "I Kissed a Girl" gets you fired up...unless you play for Georgia Tech, of course.
9. More Than Two Losses on the Schedule -- Come January, this team could be 14-0 or it could be 12-2, but I don't see anything worse than the latter. We are absolutely loaded from top to bottom and as tough as our schedule is, I still don't see it translating into three losses. I might get chastised for this, but I could see Florida, Auburn and LSU all being potential losses on the schedule, but you can't convince me that we'll lose to all three. Past that, we're either more talented or have more to prove against every other team on the schedule (see: UT and SCu). Besides, it's my belief that while our Offense is the talk of the town, our Defense is what's going to keep us in a lot of games this year.
8. Love from the Media --
Look, half of the pundits out there have already said we're destined for a loss or two even though they believe we may be the most talented team in the country. Hell, some of them *cough* Mandel *cough*
didn't list Trinton Sturdivant as a player of note until he got hurt, and then all of a sudden, he's an All-American type guy and we can't win without him. The media hates to be one thing, and only one thing
, and that's being wrong. They'll do anything they can to argue a point to death, and not own up to it until they absolutely have to (see: LSU last year). Needless to say, I believe we'll be viewed like Ohio State from a few years ago (I believe it was 2002 or 2003) when the media said over and over again that the team was lucky and would definitely take a loss. Week in and week out it was that same song and dance, and the next thing you know, tOSU is in the MNC. Unless we win, and win BIG, don't expect any love from anyone behind a microphone.
7. An Auburn 2004 Screwjob -- This is easy to predict. If we go undefeated this year, we have to be the best team in the land. Period. The SEC is universally thought of as the toughest conference, so don't expect any kind of screwjob from the system or the media. If we go 13-0, we're playing a week later than 117 other teams at the end of the season.
6. A Heisman Trophy Winner -- Sorry, but we're too loaded at too many positions to have one guy be responsible for an entire season. Knowshon will not be allowed to carry the rock as many times as he would like because opposing D's will key in on him, and Stafford will not be able to throw as much as he likes because he has Knowshon Moreno to hand the ball off to. Call me crazy, but I don't see a Heisman in the future for UGA unless Stafford comes back for 2009.
Things I Expect to See:
5. The Largest WLOCP EVAH! -- As it stands right now, Florida is building their season around beating us on November 1. While that may translate into a couple of losses for them elsewhere (see: UGA vs. LSU 2004 and then the next week against UT), we had better match their intensity if we're going to walk out of there with a "W." It's not completely out of the question to see both teams march into Jacksonville sporting undefeated records and if that happens, you can expect a USC vs. tOSU type matchup. On top of that, the SEC will get MAD love from CBS and ESPN (in terms of hype, not respect) to boost ratings in the wake of the new billion-dollar deals.
4. An Alabama Blackout -- I've debated this one over and over again and the Alabama game screams "BLACKOUT!!!1!!11!!" Did you just ask me why? Ok, good. Now I can explain my reasoning. While I personally would rather see a WLOCP Blackout, I don't believe it will happen. At that point in the season, we should already be where we need to be in regards to our schedule and, on paper, we shouldn't need a Blackout to lead us to victory. Besides, a Blackout should be reserved for night games and CBS has already slid the WLOCP into a 3:30 slot. Speaking of which, did you know we played Alabama at night? Did you also know that ESPN is the network that the game will be on? Did you also know that because of the two previous points, it makes sense to show an intensity for UGA football like no other on a national stage? Oh, and did you know that some of our top recruits will be in town for that game? Well, now you do. Besides, we're either coming off an emotional win or a devastating loss from the week before against Arizona State. The Blackout may be the charge needed to keep our game against 'Bama from being the dreaded "trap game" that most people fear it to be.
3. Total Domination of Georgia Tech -- OK, so I'm one of those "crazy people" that think Georgia Tech shouldn't be taken lightly because it's 1) Georgia Tech and 2) Those games are usually closer than they should be. However, if we are having the season I predict us to be having, that mean's we'll be 9-2 at worst going into the Tech game. If that's the case; with our faster-than-lightening Defense and our you-couldn't-touch-me-if-you-tried Offense, we should hang 50+ on them, just like in 2002. Oh, and trust me, if we don't take them to the woodshed, let them go, and bring them back one more time for good measure, you can bet all you're going to hear from any Tech fan is how Paul Johnson with less talent than UGA kept his team in the game. I'd rather kiss you square on the ass and give you 30 minutes to draw a crowd beforehand than to put up with one more whiny Tech fan and their pipe dreams.
2. A Youth Movement that Rivals No Other -- We'll have so many young kids doing the dirty work this year in getting wins that it'll make Barack Obama jealous as hell. Not to say that we're thin in the upper class because you can't discount guys like Allen, Lomax, Stafford, Ellerbe, etc., but we're so talented at such a young age, it's almost scary. When you think about guys like Green, the two Kings, Samuel, C. Thomas, Curran (he's only a sophomore folks), Rambo, Glenn, B. Jones, Dowtin and a whole host of other guys that redshirted last year or are brand new this year, you're looking down the barrel of a .45 with Dirty Harry on the trigger. It's downright unreal how young and how talented we are. Half of the guys running over people, road-grading defensive linemen, laying mean licks on ball carriers and catching the fade won't even know what it's like to have ever had a LEGAL drink of alcohol. Wrap your head around that for a second...I hope you got your shades on.
1. Dawgs as SEC Champs -- This one should be a no-brainer, but apparently it's not. The schedule is tough, but not armageddon like a lot of pundits think. We should be good enough to win the games we need to win and maybe drop one or two that are toss ups. While I'd love to say the Dawgs will be in the MNC, it's a damn tough call to make right now, but I really see the possibility of us as SEC Champs a real one. In my opinion, we should be facing a talented-on-defense LSU squad in Atlanta, with Alabama as a possible sleeper contender. Regardless, if we're not sizing up conference championship rings by the middle of December, I'll be really surprised.
So, what do you think? Am I way off base here?
Until next time kids.
Labels: College Football, The List, UGA Football