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Free Form Friday. Bill Gates Stole My Weblogging Privileges Edition.

It's college football's offseason. That's not my problem. It's not your problem. It's our problem. And collective problems call for collective solutions.

Thus we present Free Form Friday. Until further notice, I'll spend Fridays posting a vaguely organized compendium of non-sequiturs, pop culture observations and college sports miscellany which you may discuss in the comments, or ignore in favor of your own topics. Think of it as your weekend open comment thread.

Admittedly, with Kyle being contrary, the baseball team heading into an important showdown, and Erk Russell's candidacy for the College Football Hall of Fame picking up steam, you could be forgiven for failing to notice my recent absence here at Dawgsports. I'd like to be able to say I was away helping Madonna pick out an orphan, or climbing Kilimanjaro, or on tour with the Stones. Sadly, the truth is far more mundane.

It's like this. If Bill Gates walked into my living room right now I would probably punch him square in the jaw. Well, no, actually I'm too level-headed for that. And I'm fairly certain that I would not do well in prison. So I would probably just say some bad things about his products, beginning with Internet Explorer 8.

In case you didn't know, Microsoft makes the Internet Explorer web browser that I used to use. I had been using Internet Explorer version 7. When I saw that a new version was available I thought "Let's try it. What's the worst that could happen?" Remember Dawgsports readers, "What's the worst that could happen?" is right up there with "Hey y'all! Watch this!" on the list of phrases that presage poor decision making. A close third place finish goes to "Hi, my name is Lane Kiffin . . .", but that's beside the point for now.

The worst that could happen, apparently, is that my personal computer which uses Microsoft's Windows XP operating system could fall into the gigabyte equivalent of an allergy-induced coma, and emerge plagued with various settings malfunctions and a couple of annoying computer viruses. It could, and it did. My computer became a large, somnolent paperweight shaped roughly like Ed Orgeron, though far less useful or entertaining, which awoke long enough only to spit out a stream of incoherent error messages and offshore gambling ads. As the guy who I go to for computer problems noted with a degree of understatement, "I'm advising my clients that Internet Explorer 8 does not run well on XP." That's like saying Mike Leach "has a couple of quirky personality traits".

So, in short, IE8 + Windows XP= death, death, death. Now, mercifully, on to the college sports.

As Paul Westerdawg notes, the Mark Fox era will begin in earnest on November 13 when the Bulldogs host New Orleans at the Stege. While it's obviously way to early to make any sound judgments, I think the Mark Fox era is off to a good start. There have been no grandiose promises, no smoke machines, and no fishy SAT scores. That and 6 conference victories would just about do it for me in 2009-2010.

A Bulldog point of pride worth mentioning is that its looking quite likely that every member of Georgia's 2009 football recruiting class will qualify to report to Athens by this summer. While I haven't looked up the numbers, I'd be willing to bet that over the past 3 recruiting cycles Georgia has had about as high a percentage of recruits qualify as any school in the SEC. By my calculations (assuming all members of this class qualify as expected), 62 out of 63 Georgia football recruits (98.4%) attempting to qualify through the NCAA Clearinghouse for the first time have done so. Vanderbilt may be able to top that, but I think it still speaks volumes about the homework Coach Richt, Coach Garner and the entire staff have done.

Interesting note from the always vigilant Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner Herald yesterday. Alabama proposed legislation at this week's league meetings that would prevent an SEC school's junior varsity team from playing a prep school or JUCO squad which might have a prospective recruit on its roster. The rationale is that a prep school or JUCO coach could be swayed by the payout that SEC schools make for playing against their JV team. It seems like a logical way to avoid unseemly quid pro quo relationships. Sounds good so far, right?

Except nowadays very few SEC schools even have JV squads. With scholarship limits and early NFL entry, these glorified exhibition teams have become something of a rare historical throwback. So why even have a rule? Well, Weiszer notes two schools  that still field JV teams: Tennessee and Kentucky. Anybody care to place a bet on who Alabama thinks might be tempted to do something improper? I know. It's obviously Rich Brooks.

Weiszer also gets credit for bringing to my attention the first time I may have ever agreed with President Michael Adams on anything of substance. In response to the recent coach sniping permeating the SEC, Adams opined that "The last time I looked all of these people still work for the presidents although they make about five times what the presidents do. There’s still that responsibility to comport yourself in a way that any university would be proud of."

He's right, I admit it. Frankly I'm hoping this junior high pettiness will dissipate once the actual football starts.  That's just one of a variety of things tthat I'm looking forward to this football season. Like last year, I'll tell you about others in the coming weeks. One that's definitely on the list? Baba O'Riley. Because a trip to Sanford Stadium without The Who is like a trip to the Varsity with no onion rings:

Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!