March 31 marks the due date for football season ticket orders and the start of the week that will culminate with the G-Day game and Bloggerpalooza, but our focus, while primarily pigskin-centric, is not confined exclusively to the gridiron. In addition to the Diamond Dogs' three-game series win in Starkville over the weekend, these events of note have occurred recently under the aegis of University of Georgia athletics:
- The third-ranked Georgia men's tennis team ran its S.E.C. record to 8-0 with a 6-1 road win over No. 24 Alabama and a 7-0 home victory over No. 25 Auburn. The Red and Black women's tennis team posted a victory over the Crimson Tide by the same 6-1 score on Friday before beating Auburn 5-2 on Sunday. I hate Auburn.
- You already know that the Northeast Regional-bound Gym Dogs won the S.E.C. championship after a score input error created more excitement than was necessary, but you may not have noticed that six Red and Black gymnasts were named all-S.E.C., Cassidy McComb was named S.E.C. freshman of the year, and Katie Heenan became Georgia's all-time leading scorer. The senior gymnast currently has 2,165.4 career points to her credit.
How might Katie Heenan's college total be put into perspective? Well, if her point tally was a "Star Trek" stardate, she would fall somewhere between "Balance of Terror" and "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
- As close as the Georgia gymnastics team's meet was, it was not the most hotly-contested victory earned by a Bulldog squad on Saturday. As Paul Westerdawg noted, that distinction goes to the top-seeded Georgia cavalry unit, which edged defending national champion South Carolina by 1.5 points on a tiebreaker to claim the Red and Black's fourth straight Southern Equestrian Championship.
- What's remarkable about the Georgia softball team isn't that it boasts a 35-8 record, an 8-3 conference ledger, and a No. 15 national ranking. What's remarkable about the Georgia softball team is that freshman Sarah McCloud tossed two complete-game victories on Saturday and a third on Sunday. No wonder she was named S.E.C. freshman of the week.
There you go, Sarah. (See? I told you the joke worked equally well with softball!)
- What do you need to know about the Georgia swimmers and divers to convince you that they're good? How about the fact that Chris Colwill and Sebastien Rouault won the Red and Black's eighth and ninth N.C.A.A. individual titles . . . or the fact that Rouault placed second in the 400-yard individual medley and Colwill was the runner-up on the three-meter springboard . . . or the fact that Rouault and Troyden Prinsloo finished first and second in the 1,650-yard freestyle . . . or the fact that Dan Laak won his second national coach of the year award? Well, now you know.
- The news isn't all good, however, as Andy Landers's Lady Bulldogs were denied their sixth straight trip to the regional round of the N.C.A.A. women's basketball tournament in an 80-66 loss to second-ranked North Carolina.
He may not have a national championship, but he writes a heck of an advice column.
I apologize for ending this rundown on a sour note, but, hey, we call the site "Dawg Sports" for a reason. Next up for the Red and Black is a home-and-home baseball series between Georgia and Clemson on Tuesday and Wednesday. The first pitch of the two-game set is scheduled for 7:06 p.m. on April 1. No foolin'.