By now you have probably noticed the recent article on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website asking the purported experts whether they thought Georgia should be ranked #1 in the preseason and whether the 'Dawgs could finish the 2008 campaign undefeated. I tend to agree with Paul Westerdawg on this one. I'd rather not be ranked #1 in the preseason for the same reason that I don't want to run around Wilkinson County in November with a pair of antlers strapped to my head. Sometimes one just doesn't need any extra attention.
But according to the sage of North Avenue, Coach Bill Curry, our preseason ranking is the least of our worries. Billy Boy says that we really need to be on upset alert against South Carolina and Georgia Tech, which will be "very, very tough."
Now, I can admit that once every seven years or so our team lays an egg against perennial preseason SEC Champion South Carolina. In much the same way that once a week I just can't seem to properly prepare my morning coffee, even the best don't perform optimally 100% of the time. And I'll definitely grant that a betting man (Ryan "Perilous" Perilloux, por exemplo) could reasonably believe that we won't survive trips to Baton Rouge, Auburn and Jacksonville without a loss. Fine. Granted.
But Georgia Tech. Tech? Like Sweet Lou Holth, Curry is still failing to grasp the first rule of ESPN employment, and on a broader scale, sports punditry as a whole: you must be provacative, you must be credible, but to really get extra credit you have to be provacative and credible at the same time.
Unless you're Kirk Herbstreit. Then you have to be able to walk and apply hair gel at the same time. That's why all Herbie's Gameday suits come retro-fitted with a kevlar bug guard off an old Harley, and why when he's in Baton Rouge they station extra security at the entrance to Mike the Tiger's cage. Because talking heads are twice as dangerous to themselves and others when they aren't watching where they're going or what they're saying.
For example, I could say "Phil Fulmer is a hypocrit who lacks the moral fiber to kick a guy off his team who has committed 5 alcohol related offenses during his college career." That's provacative. I could also say "Fat Phil is making a show of taking Britton Colquitt's scholarship because he knows that Colquitt's family can keep him in school and as a result, Tennessee basically gets an 86th scholarship. This makes Phil Fulmer a disgrace to the coaching profession and its ideals." But see, that wouldn't be credible, because no one gives Sheriff Fulmer credit for being that deviously bright. See how that works?
Georgia Tech poses little or no threat to Georgia next season. They have little returning talent, no returning depth, a complex new offensive scheme, and a new defense. In 2009, maybe. In 2010, sure. But not next year, Billy. Don't insult our intelligence.
I hope you'll forgive ole Bill. After all, he taught us all a very important english lesson. You see, when I was in elementary school my teacher reminded us often that you couldn't have a sentence without a noun and a verb. But thanks to Curry, I now know that it is impossible to utter a complete sentence without a noun, a verb, and the phrase "back when I played with Johnny Unitas". I'll be forever greatful for that.