Since my single-minded fixation upon arranging a home and home series between Georgia and Michigan has furthered the discussion (begun by Orson Swindle) regarding the strengthening of out-of-conference scheduling, it was only natural and appropriate that a reader at Burnt Orange Nation would come up with the fine idea of a "wish list" of the five teams you'd most like to see your team play.
Kevin Butler: The Big 5.
Here is my list of teams I would like to see the 'Dawgs play in a home and home arrangement, in order of preference:
Michigan---Duh! If the arguments I have put forward over the course of the last three months haven't convinced you, this surely will.
Texas---I haven't hammered this one quite as hard as I have the Michigan thing, but I've been on board for this one since right after the Rose Bowl. In 2000, Miami had a legitimate gripe that the Hurricanes, rather than the Seminoles, should have played in the Orange Bowl. In 2001, Oregon had a legitimate gripe that the Ducks, rather than the Cornhuskers, should have played in the Rose Bowl. In 2002, the national championship game ended on a controversial call. In 2003, there was a split national title. In 2004, there was a debate as to which of three undefeated teams should have played in the national championship game. In 2005, for the first time since 1999, there was no question that the top two teams in the country met in the designated title game, which was won by the better team without the benefit of any questionable calls. The Longhorns aren't just the defending national champions; they're the first team to have won an absolutely indisputable No. 1 ranking in the 21st century. To be the best, you have to play the best and, right now, there is no better team in the land than the one in Austin, Tex.
Rutgers---After the Sugar Bowl debacle against West Virginia, I'm looking to exact revenge upon the Big East by any means necessary. The Scarlet Knights are resurgent after making it to a bowl game last year and the State University of New Jersey has some history with S.E.C. East squads. Ah, who am I kidding? I want to see Rutgers play in Sanford Stadium because "Sex and the City"'s delightful Kristin Davis is an alumna of the State University of New Jersey and it'd be cool if she made it to Athens for the game. Yeah, I know, that's not a real reason, so scratch Rutgers off the list.
The opportunity to play host to her in the Classic City really would ease the pain of the Cincinnati/Loni Anderson snub.
Ohio State---They're the Auburn of the Midwest. Like the prisoners in "The Longest Yard," they stole our uniforms. Their head coach either is the subject of some of the finest (and most scandalously vulgar) running satire in the blogosphere or he writes a weblog that reads exactly like you would expect Jim Tressel's weblog to read . . . I'm not sure which. A Bulldog-Buckeye battle would be well worth watching.
Southern California---Pete Carroll is 54-10 in five seasons at U.S.C. Mark Richt is 52-13 in five seasons at Georgia. I don't know whether either of them qualifies as a physical genius, but there can be no doubt that these two coaches have had a pair of extraordinary runs in their respective first half-decades at the helm of a major program, so it would be interesting to watch the chess match unfold between the two laid-back sideline stalkers. In addition, we owe the Trojans a little payback: Harry Mehre took two very solid Georgia squads to Los Angeles in 1931 and in 1933, only to be throttled by Southern Cal both times. The largest margin of defeat suffered by the Red and Black in Bulldog football history was in Georgia's 60-0 loss to U.S.C. in 1931.
Notre Dame---The Fighting Irish are to college football what the New York Yankees are to major league baseball or the Dallas Cowboys are to the N.F.L.; they're the team about whom it is impossible to be neutral. If you care about the sport, you have to love them or hate them. A strong opinion with regard to Notre Dame or New York or Dallas is obligatory in a way a strong opinion with regard to, say, the Sooners or the Dodgers or the Redskins simply isn't. Notre Dame boasts the most storied program in the history of the sport. For that reason alone, the Irish are worth scheduling.
The last series meeting between Georgia and Notre Dame worked out pretty well for the Bulldogs.
Those are my top five. (Really, I was kidding about the Rutgers thing.) Let me know which teams would make your list in the comments below and in the diaries to the right.