Since the Diamond Dogs do not have a game scheduled on a school night this week, and since Georgia's drive for an S.E.C. title will pick up on Friday evening, we are late enough in the baseball season for it to be worth our while to consider how the Red and Black's interests will be served, vel non, by this weekend's outcomes around the conference. Accordingly, I offer the following rooting guide for the benefit of Bulldog Nation, complete with the league ledgers of the various teams who will not be going up against David Perno's squad in Athens:
Mississippi State (6-15) at Auburn (8-13): These are the two worst teams in the conference and this series is inconsequential in every sense of the term. Nevertheless, I'll be rooting for Mississippi State because (a) I like Ron Polk and (b) I hate Auburn.
I hate Auburn.
Alabama (10-11) at Arkansas (9-11): The Classic City Canines don't have a lot to lose or gain here. The Crimson Tide and the Razorbacks remain very strongly in contention in the watered-down Western Division, and, since both teams are on Georgia's slate, the results of this series are a wash as far as making the Diamond Dogs look good. Since the Red Elephants travel to Foley Field for the season-ending series, however, I'd just as soon have them as demoralized as possible upon their arrival. I'll be pulling for Arkansas, although not terribly strongly.
Louisiana State (9-11-1) at Kentucky (11-10): For the balance of the regular season, whenever East meets West, our team is the one from the other side of the divide. It's up to you whether you want to insert a series of superfluous vowels in the word "go" when cheering for the Bayou Bengals, but L.S.U. is the team you'll want to support this weekend.
Vanderbilt (11-9) at Tennessee (11-10): Now matters start to get a bit tricky, as it poses an interesting problem for Georgia when two divisional rivals of the Diamond Dogs' square off with one another. Ground lost by one necessarily is ground gained by the other. It will be of greater benefit to the Red and Black for the Big Orange to come out on top, since the Vols are a half-game behind the Commies in the S.E.C. standings and the Classic City Canines have yet to face Vandy. Therefore, we want Tennessee to take two out of three games from the 'Dores, but we want Vanderbilt to avoid the sweep.
Florida (12-9) at South Carolina (11-10): The same logic carries over to the series in Columbia. We want the Gators knocked down a notch, not just on general principle but for the very specific reason that the Saurians are in second place and they got the better of the Bulldogs in Gainesville last weekend. However, we don't want a solid baseball program like the Gamecocks getting back into it, either. If the Big Chickens beat the Big Lizards twice in three games, both S.E.C. East squads will come out of the weekend with 13-11 records in conference action, so we want South Carolina to win a split decision.