Now that Spears has made it clear that the Red and Black are going 8-4 in 2012, I feel free to speak openly of the reality that the Georgia Bulldogs are going to lose to the Missouri Tigers on September 8.
The reasons for this are myriad and obvious. Todd Grantham’s NFL-style defenses have tended to struggle against the sorts of innovative offenses seen only in the college ranks, and Georgia will face Missouri’s potent passing attack with multiple defensive backs sidelined. The Bulldogs have fared badly on recent trips to what used to be Big 12 country, and, clearly, the Tigers have their SEC opener circled on their calendars.
This last one is cause for particular concern, not just for this season, but for future falls, as well. Missouri is just getting out of a longstanding rivalry with the Kansas Jayhawks, and, while some cynical former conference mates of the Tigers’ think historic rivalries quickly fade when they stop being played annually, I am able to state from personal experience that this simply isn’t so. Nevertheless, it undeniably (and unfortunately) is the case that, when generations change hands, their ideas regarding rivals shift to keep up with the times.
While I agree with Senator Blutarsky that college football’s ill-conceived treatment of the sport’s sacred traditions as fungible commodities ultimately will kill the goose that lays the golden egg, the short-term reality is that “Missouri will eventually develop some SEC rivalries.” Because the Bulldogs are first up for Mizzou in the new conference lineup, the Athenians have a good shot at being that for the Tigers.
This is worrisome, and not just because we have enough folks already who hate our guts for no particularly good reason. I don’t want Georgia to be Missouri’s new rival, because, well, we know what those folks did to their old rival. I refer, of course, to Quantrill’s Raid, in which Missourians pillaged and burned Lawrence, Kans., in a retaliatory strike that later gave rise to an infamous “scoreboard” T-shirt.
Here’s what worries me about the possibility that the Bulldogs may become the Tigers’ new rival: We Georgians have experience with that sort of thing.
Let’s forget about this autumn’s outing in Columbia, then; just chalk that up as an “L” and look on down the road. What happens if Mizzou wins in Athens next year? Instead of plucking pieces of the hedges, might they board their buses, bound for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and arrive in the City Too Busy to Hate intent on mayhem? Might the sons of the Show Me State decide there and then to show us a thing or two about rivalry?
So, please, guys, we welcome you to the conference; we think you’re a fine addition to the league, and we’re looking forward to getting to know you better, but, whatever you do, Mizzou, don’t pillage our cities, and, for crying out loud, don’t set anything on fire!
I mean, if we’d wanted that sort of behavior, we’d have invited the West Virginia Mountaineers.