Less than a week before kickoff. Still time to bask in the preseason #1 ranking. Lots of nuggets floating around the interwebs the last couple couple of days:
SI's Stewart Mandel makes an unprecedented drop of UGA in his "Power Rankings." (Normally, they mirror his AP vote. In which he had UGA #1. However, after Sturdivant went down, he petitioned his editors to allow him to drop the Dawgs to #3 for this week only, after which he will recalibrate and publish his Power Rankings in tandem with his AP ballot).
Nonsensical Raving: I know Mandel gets a lot of shit from fellow Dawgs, but I've typically found him fair-minded and a good writer -- with the notable exception of his whole "Kings and Barons" bullshit. And honestly, if the injury had happened BEFORE all the ballots were cast, I think most voters would react similarly. No matter how good the replacements, this is a big injury, and yet another thing -- in addition to a flaming gasoline bath of a schedule -- for the Dawgs to overcome this year. Also, I'll be reading his book by the pool on Friday and on the flight back to the motherland.
The Big Lead discusses #1 UGA. Not "picking" UGA, but pulling for them.
Nonsensical Raving: Hey, we need all the help we can get.
ESPN Experts weigh in with preseason predictions. Highlights and Lowlights: 5 pick UGA to win the East. 5 pick UGA to win the SEC. 5 pick UGA to reach the national title game. 2 pick UGA to win the national title.
Nonsensical Raving: Much love for Schlabach and Maisel. Fuck you Cowherd, Davie, Davis (et tu, Rece? I always liked you), Donnan (settlement money's run out, eh?), Feldman (who are you?), McShay (Kiper wannabe, sans hair) and Ware (couldn't beat out Rodney Peete or Erik Kramer -- and listed by his employer as "biggest Heisman flop of all time").
ESPN's resident Ken doll, Kirk Herbstreit, awards his "Herbies."
Nonsensical Raving: Knowshon behind Beanie Wells? Maybe we'll see 'em head to head in January. No Caleb King in the "Next Wave?" We'll see about that next year. No Dawgs in "Best Wide Receiver?" Uh, hard to argue that. Let's hope MoMass steps up and AJ Green is everything he's purported to be. Best QB, "Old School" dropback: There's #7 at #1. "Sack Masters?" Lomax, who hasn't gotten a lot of the preseason pub, gets a nice mention at #3. Same with Atkins at #4 on "D Tackles." Ellerbe makes an appearance at #5 for "Inside Linebacker." AJ Green tops the list of "Top True Freshmen -- From High School To The Big Time." He puts Bobo as #4 on the list of "Top Playcallers," (behind 3 "spread freaks" from Oregon, Mizzou and yes, the Jorts). Willie Martinez (remember when we were all wanting his scalp a couple of years ago?) shows up at #2 in "Top Defenses And The Geniuses Behind Them." CMR is #4 on the list of "Coaches Whose Teams Will Shine." Behind the usual douchebags at 1 - 3 (but of course, admittedly, they all have rings). How can UGA not make the list of "Best Student Sections?" Maybe the frat boys are more interested in getting drunk and laid? (Not that I would know anything about that, of course). The "All-Uni Team -- What A College Football Team Should Look Like" is a misnomer, since it's NOT about the unis. Some of those things are football and sartorial disasters. Hey, at least Herbie puts us #1 someplace: "Sites "GameDay" Must Get To (I'm not quitting until we visit)" 1. Georgia Enough is enough. Can we please get to Athens? We haven't been there since 1998. That's WAY too long.
Speaking of ESPN, resident Dawg-Hater Extraordinaire and Mister Potato Head blowhard, Mark May, just picked USC to beat Florida in the national title game. He managed to get out his prediction while snowballing Tebow. (and his partner in crime, Lou Holthz, didn't pick an SEC school to get to the title game, either).
Who needs a stinking network that we'd have to fight Cable companies to carry? CBS and ESPN ponying up $205 million per year, for the next 15 years? Yowza. Rightfully, Westerdawg compares those numbers to the recent Big 10 deal, and those folks who take orders from the dude in the funny hat in Rome.
Nonsensical Raving: Good for the SEC, which gets all the money (and probably more) that they would have gotten from a startup network, with none of the production cost and hassle, and even more widespread and consistent exposure. Which is good for recruiting and national profile (stick that in your "Barons and Bishops" pipe and smoke it). And also good for people exiled to the hinterlands, who don't want to listen an internet radio connection on those rare, previously untelevised games.
Sporting News "Two Minute Drill" on UGA.
Orson Swindle on Deadspin, welcoming Tebow's throbbing jackhammer of pure christian love into his tender poopshoot of sycophancy for another year. And he moves UGA up to "most hated rival" status.
Nonsensical Raving: In all honesty, after the last couple of decades, it's nice to be hated again, even by the fan base that looks most forward to the "cock" in the "Cocktail Party."
Barnhart is continuing with the AJC through the CF season. Good news for football fans. Even better? He picks the Dawgs to win it all.