Posted: 3:07 pm Saturday, June 28th, 2014

UGA vs. Notre Dame? Check. Now, bring on Texas! 

By Bill King

Gerogia Texas HelmetsWith the long-rumored Georgia-Notre Dame home-and-home football scheduling deal finally a reality this week, a lot of UGA supporters are already planning on trying to be among the 8,000 Bulldog fans who’ll get tickets to the Sept. 9, 2017, game in South Bend.

With the two schools only having played once before (and that resulting in a national championship for the Bulldogs), a regular season pairing of Georgia and Notre Dame is a dream matchup.

And while it’s true such big-time scheduling deals offer enough complications (mainly loss of one home game) that you’re not likely to see them on an every-season basis even if the SEC sticks with eight conference games, there’s no denying adding a storied name like Notre Dame to your schedule provides a bump to a program. It gets players and coaches excited. It gets fans and the media excited.

Wanna bet the Hartman Fund priority point cutoff score for season tickets gets goosed a bit in advance of the 2019 home schedule featuring the Fighting Irish Between the Hedges?

We’ve done the cupcake debate here before, noting the pluses and minuses — and, to a point, the necessity — of scheduling the likes of Charleston Southern and ULM in Athens, but Greg McGarity has said a couple of times recently that he “periodically” wants the Dogs to play a second tough elite-level out-of-conference opponent. And it’s worth noting that, despite all those cupcakes, in recent years Georgia still has played the SEC’s most challenging nonconference schedule.

Many of us would love to see that trend continue. There’s no doubt that opening with Clemson this season, like last, will be a challenge for the coaching staff and players — especially because Georgia’s strict disciplinary policies usually mean a few players are suspended for the first game or two — but with strength of schedule likely to be a big factor in determining how many SEC schools can crack the four-team College Football Playoff from here on, I’m hoping that the Notre Dame deal is just the first of some high-profile schedule additions we can look forward to.

Who should be next? Well, a few weeks back, after it had been confirmed that Georgia and Notre Dame were talking, I put that question to Blawg readers, asking what other big-name programs UGA should go after. And, by far, the marquee opponent that readers most would like to see added to Georgia’s schedule was Texas, named by nearly 1 out of 5 fans responding.

Others named included Southern Cal, Ohio State, Michigan and FSU, but a home-and-home deal with the Longhorns offers some of the same sort of special circumstances that make Georgia-Notre Dame such an enticing match. Georgia and Texas have only ever played four times in football, and the most recent time, in the Jan. 2, 1984, Cotton Bowl Classic, is one of those games that still resonates with both fan bases.

John Lastinger led Georgia to a victory over Texas the last time the two schools met in football. (Associated Press)

John Lastinger led Georgia to a victory over Texas the last time the two schools met in football. (Associated Press)

That year, minus Herschel Walker, the Dawgs weren’t really in contention for a national title, but the Longhorns were, as they entered the game undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country while UGA was No. 7. Given the fact that the No. 1 team, Nebraska, lost its bowl game, Texas could have clinched a national championship against Georgia — only it didn’t work out as planned, with a muffed punt by the Longhorns leading to Bulldogs QB John Lastinger’s 17-yard run for a touchdown and a 10-9 Georgia win.

It was an unexpected and sweet victory for Georgia, and, to this day, you’re likely to hear many variations on the joke about you not needing to check your watch in Texas, because it’s still 10 to 9 …

But the game also still is talked about by Texas fans, who can’t believe they lost. In 2005, the Dallas Morning News ran a lengthy piece looking at the life-altering impact of that play on Craig Curry, the Texas player who muffed the punt, which was recovered by Georgia’s Gary Moss at the Longhorns’ 23, giving Georgia its chance to win. In 1999, the story said, Curry’s drop topped the Austin American-Statesman’s list of 25 most heart-wrenching moments in a century of Texas sports, ahead of Houston’s loss to North Carolina State in the 1983 NCAA basketball final and the Cowboys’ 1967 Ice Bowl loss to Green Bay.

So, yeah, you can bet Texas fans would be just as hot for a rematch with Georgia as Bulldog fans are!

Now, let’s get to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail, which starts off also on the subject of scheduling. …

Jim P. writes: Bill, The Notre Dame games got me thinking about future schedules. Our home schedules in particular. The quirk of playing Auburn at their stadium the last two seasons has put our odd-year home schedules in a more unattractive position. Now, Auburn, Tennessee and Tech, (and Vandy) are away games in odd years. While South Carolina, Missouri, (and Kentucky) come to Athens. The rotating West team will also be on our home schedule in odd years. But, depending on who that is, we might be lucky to have two compelling home games in odd years. ND helps in 2019. But, unless we schedule more attractive out of conference home games, our home schedule has taken a hit in odd years. What do you think?

I agree that it’s a problem that the home games against Auburn and Georgia Tech are now in the same year, but aside from getting Tech to agree to play two straight years in Athens (or Georgia agreeing to play two years in a row in Atlanta), both of which are unlikely, I don’t see any way of getting that back on track. So, you’re right, unless Georgia ups its game in nonconference scheduling above the abysmal 2015 lineup (Southern, ULM and Georgia Southern), the attractiveness of the home schedule will depend in large part on the visiting SEC teams. Thankfully, in 2015 the Gamecocks will be in Athens and the Western rotation brings Alabama to town. But in 2017 it’s Mississippi State, plus Georgia will give up a home game to play in South Bend, so if the two remaining nonconference games (other than road games at Notre Dame and Tech) are cupcakes, that will be a pretty poor home schedule. More argument for adding at least some mid-majors, if not marquee schools, to the nonconference schedule, I’d say.

John McRee writes: Regarding your question of what improvements Sanford Stadium needs: This is really outside the stadium but handicap and elderly access is awful. There is no close-by handicap parking and the special shuttle buses for the handicapped require a half mile walk to reach the shuttle stop followed by that much more from the drop off spot to seats. Then, after the game, do it again. My 92-year-old Dad would love to go to some games, but this much walking is not possible for him. I doubt UGA meets the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

John, I’m no expert on ADA requirements, but I’d bet UGA does meet them. The federally mandated requirements are just inadequate for your needs. UGA’s Gameday Gameplan site says: “In accordance with federal law, two percent of all parking spaces on the UGA campus are set aside for the handicapped and disabled parking. Every lot has a certain number of handicapped and disabled parking spaces. It is recommended to park at the East Campus parking deck next to the Ramsey Center and take the free shuttle to Gate 6 at Sanford Stadium.” However, from what you’re saying it sounds like, even with the shuttle letting out at Gate 6, it’s still too long a walk. I hate it that your dad is otherwise able and interested in going and is stymied by the walk to and from the shuttle, but I’m not sure there’s anything the athletic association could do about that. There’s certainly not enough room in the concourses for any sort of golf-cart shuttles like you find at the airport. If you’d like to discuss it further with the parking folks, however, you can call 706-542-PARK or go to the Parking Services website.

Should Mark Richt be judged by his lack of recent championships? (Dan Evans / UGA)

Should Mark Richt be judged by his lack of recent championships? (Dan Evans / UGA)

AttyColo writes: Bill, I would love to get your take on Russ Mitchell’s June 18, 2014, article on College Football News entitled “The Underachieving Georgia Bulldogs.” Despite a few bright moments over the past six years, the Dawgs have, overall, been a major disappointment, and the blame has to be put at Mark Richt’s feet. We have grossly underachieved despite an embarrassment of riches in terms of talent and resources. But, we are afraid that we cannot find a better coach than Richt and we will end up like Tennessee if we try, so we are content with sticking with mediocrity. I have given up hope that we will consistently compete for, and WIN, championships with Mark Richt as coach. My question to you — do you believe that the Georgia Bulldogs will consistently compete for and win championships with Mark Richt as coach? (And whatever you do, please don’t preface your answer by telling me what a great human he is. Maybe he is, but that’s irrelevant to my question.)

Do I believe the Dogs are capable, under Richt, of competing for an SEC Championship and a place in the College Football Playoffs? Yes, I certainly do. Do I agree that Georgia had underperformed somewhat in recent years relative to its talent level? Yeah, up to a point. To me, the most damning stat cited in Mitchell’s piece is that in the past six college football seasons, Georgia has faced 17 SEC teams that finished the season above .500 in conference play, and won only four times. That’s not good. But I think Mitchell’s complaints about Georgia “backing into” the conference championship game is a cheap shot. That’s the way it works. Georgia might lose to South Carolina, but if the Gamecocks then go and lose elsewhere, the Dogs benefit. And it’s worth noting that SB Nation recently looked at college football’s winningest teams since 2003, and Georgia placed 10th, right behind Alabama and ahead of TCU, Wisconsin, Florida, FSU and Auburn. That’s certainly not mediocre. Some of Georgia’s underperformance in recent years is a result of coaching — particularly on defense — and, yes, ultimately that falls on Richt’s shoulders. He hires the defensive coordinator. Some if it has been just pure bad luck, the bounce of the ball, which can happen to anyone.

Bottom line: I don’t think UGA keeps Richt simply because it doesn’t have a better candidate. He’s a good coach and his program is consistently competitive, despite the relative underperforming in recent seasons. He recruits at a very high level, even if some of the kids end up playing elsewhere because they refuse to follow the rules, which Georgia applies a bit more stringently than some other programs. All in all, the ingredients of a championship program are there and the lack of trophies does fall on Richt. But, as I’ve said before, it’s not just about championships. Of course, that gets into all that other stuff you don’t want me to bring up.

Along those lines, Nelson Goss Turner writes: Mark Richt gives players every possibility to grow into a responsible adult as a player and person but does not and should not put up with arrogant trouble makers who disrupt the other players, the team as a whole, the coaches and discredit the school and the sport. I don’t believe the only good players are thugs but, if they were, I wouldn’t want to watch a “prison team” play wearing the Red and Black and would accept a damn good Dawg team playing without great players but with character. Seems to me the 1980 Championship team didn’t have many great stars except for Herschel but had character and won it all …

Let’s just say I’m glad Georgia hasn’t become one of the go-to schools for players kicked out of other programs for disciplinary problems. And I hope it never does!

I’ll be on vacation the next two weeks but the Blawg will be back just in time to comment on whatever comes out of SEC Media Days. Take care until then!

Go Dogs!

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Email junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

347 comments
HotDawg
HotDawg

A note for those with Comcast. Talked to an employee today who said they've got the SEC Network. Just working out details on which cable TV packages have to be purchased to receive. Hopefully an announcement will be made soon.

BillKing
BillKing moderator

Hey, everyone!

Just back from vacation and have started digging through emails and catching up on news from the two weeks in was in the U.K., where I actually had a great Georgia Bulldog encounter I'll tell you about soon.

Good to be back.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Way to go Brian Harmon.....another Dawg PGA winner!

HotDawg
HotDawg

Hello fellow Dawgs!

Had a great trip and now it's time to start getting serious about upcoming season.

Media days are here, Countdown to Kickoff hosted by the Stinchcombe brothers and D. Greene, picture day, and Fall practice, and the opening game in beautiful Sanford stadium are all in the near future.

IT'S GREAT TO BE A GEORGIA BULLDOG!

Dog4Life
Dog4Life

Fox has finally landed a true Point Guard.  We now need at least one true big presence with skill in the low post and a shooter on the wing.  If he gets these needs UGA basketball will be a force to reckon with.  I know most are looking forward to Football, but i love and keep up with all things UGA---Go Dawgs!!!!

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

41 people aren't listening to much tonight...............or is it me?

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

I pointed out several L I E S  in this particular blog so check them out and since you   N E V E R    post anything original I won't bother to check the other blogs  but I love your Plagiarist a$$ anyway!!!!!!!!

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

I've been listening to the chatter, and I must say DawginCO and Snagglepuss are Damn Good Dawgs.............You guys keep my spirits up ! you don't tire easily of these "Little Debbie Downers"..................I'm sick of hearing their BS.............But then I see you guys defending the honor of the University of Georgia Football program and coach Mark Richt, and all seems well. Keep up the good work friends, don't let a fool steal the joy of your day................Best Regards, RED

DawginCO
DawginCO

If anybody checks in over here, go to Chip Towers blog on Chris Conley's Stars Wars fan fiction movie.  It's really good.  Sure there are some cheesy spots but he didn't take himself to seriously either.  Great stuff.  We need to play this on jumbotron before games...at least the trailer.

NoAxeToGrind
NoAxeToGrind

AttyColo: One doesn't have to hire STUPID like UT.  One can hire smart. Of course, it requires effort, which I haven't seen much coming out of these days from  those who call the shots at UGA.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

I am really tired of the negatives espoused by those purporting to be a member of DawgNation (aka AttyColo) criticizing CMR because of  N O T  having won big every year. No team could sustain the injuries suffered by UGA last year and not suffer huge setbacks.


UGA  and  CMR came within an incomplete pass to almost assuredly winning the NC in 2012 and also could have  V E R Y   E A S I L Y  having a 10-3  or  11-2  record   I N    S P I T E    O F   A L L     I N J U R I E S   

T O   K  E Y    P E R S O NE L!!!!!!!!!!!!  Clemson could have easily been a win had CMR not  suspended a bunch of  clowns that couldn't adhere to team rules. UGA had the BARN  game won until a tipped pass that came off a last second Hail Mary desperation pass.  The winning TD against Nebraska was dropped in the endzone so looking at the    F A C T S    "AttyColo" is of the opinion that if your team doesn't win a NC fairly frequently the coach should be fired.


Not only has CMR provided a competitive team on a frequent basis he has had    O N L Y    O N E(5-6)  

L O S I N G     S E A S O N    I N  13 years and is in the Top  10  winningest percentage among active coaches

while playing in the T O U G H E S T ( undisputably) Conference in College Football.


Most importantly,   N E L S O N    G O S S    T U R N E R   hit the nail on the head with his statements in the paragraph immediately following that  "AttyColo" and Bill's response to AttyColo  who does a grave disservice

to DawgNation in general. AttyColo is either a troll, losing money betting on football or hasn't the slightest clue what College Football is all about.


What   M O R E   does   A N Y B O DY   expect out of a coach that is in the current T O P   10 winningest out  of over 120+  schools and 2nd winningest in the current SEC(CMR was the Top winningest  in the SEC prior to 2013).


As requested of Bill by AttyColo I will leave off all the extras CMR brings as a G R E A T   builder of young men and putting them back on the right path in life. There is no way one can put a price on how much the deeds and activities by CMR has saved the nation by helping these young men!!!!!!!

Dawg350
Dawg350

We will beat the bloody pulp out of SC....we have an off week before we play them....a rest healthy gurley is dangerous beast baby!!! Let's get dawgs!

HotDawg
HotDawg

Welcome home Bill. Looking forward to next column.

Dog4Life
Dog4Life

@BillKing  I understand.  I was in Prague (Czech republic).  My wife and I were walking into the Jewish ghetto and I heard a loud cry--"How 'bout dem Dawgs!!!"  Even in Eastern Europe, UGA was known.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@RED DOG 77 


AW you are just saying that BECAUSE IT  IS  TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks Red!!!


No bigger DawgFan than I am but this is mostly fun and games to me until somebody/anybody starts spouting lying negative crap about anything DawgNation related(Think  FAT  TIRE, Slawdog,Randy Hall and their ilk)!!!!!!!


Posters of other schools are entitled to their opinion although many are just trying to rile up anything DogNation related much like I do to them.


I love UGA Football but it is far from being the most important thing on our planet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Snagglepuss  competitive team against who? North Texas, Georgia Southern and lousy SEC teams that can't post an above 500 record for the season

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

The references to 10-3, 11-2 seasons are meant to refer to the UGA 2013 season!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@Dawg350 I would agree this year may well be a beat-down in Columbia, our guys are tired of close games with Spurriers Cluckers and ready to flat-out kick some Butt..........and yes, week-off, high from our win against Clemson..............Yup, the Big Dawgs Gonna EAT

DawginCO
DawginCO

@Dawg350 Not sure it will be a beating but I went back and watched what we did to them at the end of the game last year when Gurley and Marshall were healthy and they brought in Douglass to spell Gurley at the end.  We were ripping off 5 yards a pop on them.  And they were cheating guys up into the box.  Murray could have tossed TD pass at any point after we got the across the fifty.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Meet quite a few alumni and fans traveling around. When out of town, If i wear a UGA shirt or hat, I'm bound to have someone mention their UGA ties to me.

A gate agent in St.Louis' airport wouldn't let me get to my next flight before yelling a "How 'Bout Them Dawgs" and asking me a bunch of questions on upcoming team. I was literally walking about 50 feet away and he was still yelling out questions. I tried to keep moving as I answered him, for the people behind me. Last thing I heard was a "Go Dawgs"! and I replied in kind.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Snagglepuss   why dont you stop with the name calling and please show me where I lied

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire @Snagglepuss 


HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Which SEC team(other than BARN)  lost  EVERY  SINGLE   SEC  GAME in one season


Regards,


PUSS

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire(aka Whining Bitching Negative Baby) @Snagglepuss 


I don't make the schedules but since you are "S P O T   P I C K I N G " your illustrative examples  he was very competitive in 2013(Despite all the injuries to many key players)and was within    T W O flukes   of being 11 - 2 and he beat LSU and USCe while they both werte in the   T O P  10.  In 2012 he was within 5 yds of winning the MNC but I/m confident you will find M A N YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY,  M A N Y  things to keep your sorry negatives alive!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Well maybe I went over board with my prediction.lol. Well I'm hoping for a blow out. My heart can't take many more close games,lol.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Skokie....here's some advice...why don't you go pull for tech....then you can enjoy a 4-8 season this year.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire @Snagglepuss 


You lie consistently because you are extremely repetitive in  99% of  ALL YOUR  POSTS when you criticize ANYTHING regarding UGA coaches and players. They are LIES  because you are (I hate to admit this) intelligent enough to operate a computer so that means you are intelligent enough to know you are lying when you post your negatives!!


I will compromise!!!!!!  I will give you a choice!!!!!! You can agree that you are a lying negative UGA Fan, agree you are just an anti-UGA Troll  or agree you really aren't composing your own posts because you are an  IDIOT!!!!!


I will try my best to respect which ever choice you agree to!!!!!!!!!

DawginCO
DawginCO

@Snagglepuss   It's useless SnagglePuss.  The doom crew are addicted to their mantra.  "We will never win a national championship while Mark Richt is our coach".  They are brainwashed with their own BS.  They are negative people, they delight in it.  They believe that what has happened is the only predictor of the the future.  Notice the negative statistics.  They worship that stuff.

Ignore them.  I am not allowing anyone to drag me down.  This is football.  I love football.  But it's not life and death.  It's entertainment and when you allow entertainment to effect you that way, you have a big problem.


So ignore them and keep right on cheering the Dawgs on, no matter what happens.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Snagglepuss 5 yds?  We were up by 11 points towards the end of the 3rd qtr and still lost by 4 points.  Also had the field goal been made earlier in the game we would have just needed a field goal to win.  Bottom line we lost like we do against the majority of good teams;

4-17 against teams that finished above 500 in the SEC the last 6 years and

6-17 vs the top 25 in the last 5 years is not competitive football 

LSU has beaten 20 top 25 teams in 5 years

Alabama has beaten 24 top 25 teams in 5 years


South Carolina with far less talent has beaten 15 top 25 teams in the last 5 years



Sorry factual reality can be negative sometimes



Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@Dawg350 


Keep your head held high 350!!!!!!!!!!!!



You are A L L   heart!!!!!


350    =   DGD!!!!!!!!

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Dawg350 8-4 or 4-8; whats the difference?   neither wins a championship; neither is worth talking about.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@DawginCO @Snagglepuss 


I too love UGA Football and maybe 95% o the time I am just on here rattling folks cages when they post BS about any part of DawgNation. Inbreds like  FAT TIRE, SLAWDOG, RANDY HALL and their ilk   MOST   DEFINITELY   are each stupid enough to be triplets and are stuck with a Single Digit  IQ so they are to be pitied and really need help. There are a zillion things   MORE  IMPORTANT   than football !!!!!!!!!!!!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire @Snagglepuss 


Another Lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


UGA doesn't lose to "the majority of good teams"!!!!!


UGA is the 3rd  WINNINGEST  team in SEC History

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire(aka  FAT  TIRE) @Snagglepuss 


Dear Mr. NEGATIVE:


I'm sure you "ACCIDENTALLY "  forgot to include the facts that CMR has a better won/loss record than Les Myles and was lots quicker to win his 100th game than Myles or  Saban while coaching  his entire HC career in the toughest conference in the country!!!!!!!!!  He also has owned The BARN for quite a while now!!


Yeah I know............but CMR doesn't make the schedules!!!!!!!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Thanks man.....you are one of the best dawg fans out there....hope you are having a great 4th!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire @Dawg350 


Another lie!!!!!!


Many 8-4 teams have won their conference and BARN would have paid tons of money to have had an 8-4 record when they went 0 for 7 in the SEC which makes it "worth talking about"!!!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire @Dawg350 


Did I mention that CMR won   T W O    SEC Championships and   S I X     SEC East Championships in hi s   F I R S T    

T W E L V E    Y E A R S   as   an SEC  HC and reached 100 career wins faster than Saban(aka  The 8th Dwarf) did????

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@FlatTire @Dawg350  Did you say what's the difference? I suppose you'd be like Bob Stoops and take that Green-Beckam dude that Mizzou just ran off for throwing a girl down a flight of stairs...........Yup, Flat Oklahoma may well win one of "your" championships............when Georgia wins one it will be "REAL"..........not some fantasy land championship that you cheated and bought to get

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Snagglepuss    """There are a zillion things MORE  IMPORTANT   than football !!!!!!!!!!!!"""



obviously not with posts like that.  If there were other things more important; you wouldnt continue posting in a tirade in all caps followed by name calling and calling other people who dont share your same views non fans

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Snagglepuss   I would expect someone to own a team who has shown instability with 3 coaches during their tenure.  What is amazing is they actually went undefeated twice and played for 2 National titles

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire @Snagglepuss 


What you and your ilk are doing to DawgNation irritates me so I feel it necessary to make your pathetic little lives a little uncomfortable.  You need to seriously reassess your lives because when God gets fed up with your activities he will make you forget about football and thereafter UGA will win  ALL their games, CMR will become Coach of the Year.....every year and the Heisman Trophy will be named the Richt  Trophy


I am a LIFETIME UGA FAN and I love all caps but will slack of a bit to show you that I  LOVE  YOU!!!!! and I love your ILK also!!!!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@FlatTire @Snagglepuss 


I suppose that in your opinion that is the reason that UGA has scored at will in the off years at The BARN and actually had the 2013 BARN game won just as Bammy stood politely aside as the

missed field goal attempt was returned for the wining score.


Never in history has any team  LESS_DESERVING than BARN played for The MNC. You don't go from losing ALL OF YOUR CONFERENCE GAMES  AND MORE TO PLAYING  FOR an MNC.


Do you have an explanation???????????