Here are a couple of odds and ends for your consideration as we get ready for the weekend and the Diamond Dogs' critical series with the Palmetto State Poultry:
Since the Iron Bowl moved from Legion Field, only two major Division I-A neutral site games remain: Texas-Oklahoma in Dallas and Georgia-Florida in Jacksonville.
I am a longtime proponent of keeping the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party by the banks of the St. John's River, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it's a nice tradition in an excellent setting and I would not want to see it disturbed, particularly now that the arrival of an N.F.L. franchise in Jacksonville has upgraded the venue substantially.
The tale of the tape? Comfortable seating: advantage, Alltel Stadium. Lack of lame statues: advantage, Gator Bowl. Name of venue: push.
In addition, keeping the game in North Florida is an appropriate concession to the many loyal Bulldog fans who live in South Georgia and have difficulty making it up to Athens for games, particularly now that so many of the Red and Black's contests are moved to later kickoff times to accommodate television.
Finally, after the way the Gator faithful behaved in Athens in 1995, I don't want to invite those people back to the Classic City for another 63 years.
Some Longhorn fans feel differently about keeping the Red River Shootout at the site of the Texas State Fair, though . . . so it was somewhat surprising to me to learn that Texas and Oklahoma have agreed to keep the game in the Cotton Bowl through 2010 without requiring the stadium to be upgraded.
I, for one, find the Cotton Bowl to be a perfectly adequate facility for college football.
That doesn't mean there isn't a method to the two schools' madness, however. Evidently, the Dallas Cowboys' new Arlington facility will be operational by 2009, the year before the contract on the unrefurbished Cotton Bowl expires. Coincidence?
While we're on the subject of great college football legacies being hosted at neutral sites, is there a chance we could see Herschel Walker on his way to Washington, D.C.? Hey, if J.C. Watts and Tom Osborne can parlay successful careers in college football into seats in the U.S. Congress, why not Herschel?
Run, Herschel, run!
Finally, after her own hard-fought campaign, Mary-Louise Parker appears to be settling into her new role quite nicely . . . or is she?
Following her dramatic come-from-behind victory in the latest Dawg Sports poll voting, Mary-Louise Parker is rumored to be considering the idea of changing Bulldog Nation into a constitutional monarchy, with herself as queen . . .
. . . but will an old adversary rise up to challenge her authority?
Stay tuned. . . .