Tony is right, of course, but, at the risk of beating a brain-dead columnist, I must point out that even Gator fans acknowledge that Stewart Mandel is a dufus if he doubts the Bulldogs' stature in the sport. As pointed out in great detail at Saurian Sagacity, Georgia compares favorably to Penn State, has been one of the country's top six programs over the last decade according to several objective measures, and has been one of the country's top eight programs over the last five years according to those same criteria. Be sure to check out Mergz's analysis, and Senator Blutarsky's take on it, if you haven't done so already.
Senator Blutarsky also wants to ask Stewart Mandel why he rates Faber College as a peasant instead of a knight.
If that isn't enough to convince Stewart Mandel, how 'bout the fact that Brian Grummell is a convert to Uga fandom? Do you suppose Mandel's mythical Montanans might have seen "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"?
Grummell also has some thoughts on Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and the type of automobile he's driving, which brings me to a recent diary in which a new Dawg Sports reader named ORANGE---the decision to go with all caps was his or hers, not mine---had this to say:
Well it is a sad start to 2007 Georgia Bulldog Football. What began with lofty expectations has taken a huge setback with early season loss [sic.]. OSU's Head Gunslinger Coach Mike Gundy brought his Posse to town and handed the Dawgs an early season Pavlovian training session. Cowboys Stun Dawgs in this SEC-Big 12 match up. 42-24. Before the game began, tell me if you knew who Bobby Reid (QB) and Adarius Bowman (WR) were? I am sure they are now imprinted into your brain. Surely we know that SEC football is a step ahead of the Big 12 top to bottom, but in this early season example, OSU continues to deny that stance. They finished off Alabama in a mediocre bowl last year and now they come to town and put choke collars on the Dawgs. If anyone is missing their pet, please call the city Dog Pound at 1-800-got-beat!
I will be the first to admit that I don't know what will happen in Sanford Stadium on September 1. Here in Bulldog Nation, predictions are all over the map and many Georgia fans consider the season opener to be the Red and Black's most worrisome outing of the autumn. Other than a low-scoring defensive struggle, no result would surprise me, including a convincing Oklahoma State victory.
Obviously, this is not the first time I have been subjected to smack talk from Stillwater, so I am familiar with the bluster and bravado demonstrated by the worst elements of the Cowboy fan base. I am certain that this vocal minority represents a fraction of the O.S.U. family that is as small as it is small-minded.
For the record, I praised the decision to schedule Oklahoma State at the time the game was arranged because it allowed Georgia the privilege of "opening the season against a good team." I gave what I believe was a very fair assessment of the Cowboys when providing my early thoughts on the O.S.U. game and I recently rated the Pokes as Georgia's second-toughest opponent. Just last weekend, I asked whether Mark Richt or Mike Gundy was adopting the more sensible approach to their upcoming game. The Cowboys are ranked 22nd on my preseason BlogPoll ballot, despite being unranked in the Associated Press or coaches' polls.
In short, I have shown Oklahoma State the same respect I showed to Boise State two years ago. I regret that readers like ORANGE do not feel similarly inclined towards Georgia, as I agree with Maize 'n' Brew Dave that fans of opposing schools should treat each other with some basic civility.
I can only assure ORANGE that we will treat our guests from the Sooner State to our usual display of Southern hospitality and root for our team with vigor and passion. We wish you the best of luck in your efforts to become the first current Big 12 team to claim victory between the hedges since Bear Bryant's Texas A&M Aggies beat the Bulldogs in Athens in 1954. May the better team win.