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Monday Dawg Bites: McGarity, Mars & Tigers- Oh My!

Florida v Georgia Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Welcome to the first ever regular season Dawg Bites to fall on the second Monday of December. It feels strange to be typing about Georgia’s upcoming trip to the other Columbia by the light of my Christmas tree, but what’s not weird this year?

When the Dawgs do arrive at Faurot Field, they’ll be facing one of the SEC’s hottest teams. Missouri has gone 5-1 since starting the season with losses to Alabama and Tennessee. The Tigers latest win was a dramatic 50-48 victory at the buzzer over Arkansas, and they’re probably the division’s third best team. Mix in a dreaded 11:00 AM start in the Central Time Zone, and Georgia better be ready to play when it’s time to tee it up.

Fortunately for the Dawgs, the oddsmakers think they’re the team to beat. Georgia opened as a 13-point favorite over the Tigers, but I don’t know if Vegas took Kirby Smart’s record in noon games into account or not.

In other news, everyone’s favorite publicity whore Thomas Mars was back at it this weekend, this time taking Greg McGarity to task over the outgoing UGA AD’s anger at the cancellation of Georgia’s Senior Day game against Vanderbilt. Mars decided to piggy back on a tweet from everyone’s favorite virtue signaler, Dan Wolken.

The irony here is that Georgia fans have been waiting McGarity’s entire tenure to see him get angry about something. Having missed plenty of good opportunities in the past, I will grant Mars that a pandemic is a strange time for McGarity to finally show some emotion. That being said, Mars and Wolken did take the quote from McGarity out of context.

McGarity expressed frustration over the carelessness shown by other institutions in following the SEC’s previously agreed upon Covid-19 protocols. Following proper health and safety protocols are what Wolken’s stumped for on our timelines everyday for the last nine-months though, right?

As for Mars and McGarity, spare me the theatrics of a guy who makes money off college athletes arguing the moral high ground with a guy who makes money off of college athletes.

No matter how you feel about the statement, McGarity did pick an odd time to make it. It will likely be the last thing anyone remembers him doing as the Athletic Director at the University of Georgia.

In other news within the division, South Carolina hired former Georgia Tight Ends Coach/Special Teams Coordinator and current Oklahoma Assistant Head Coach Shane Beamer.

With his hiring, the Gamecocks have brought Beamer back to Columbia, where he was an assistant under Steve Spurrier. To me this looks like South Carolina doing anything it can to find a slice of the magic that existed when Spurrier gave Carolina their “Golden Years.” By Golden Years we mean one division title and a few ten-win seasons.

Other candidates included Louisiana Head Coach Billy Napier and Louisville’s Scott Satterfield. If you’re a Georgia fan you’re allowed to be happy about this hire. Hugh Freeze’s offense would have been difficult to deal with on a yearly basis, Jamey Chadwell at Coastal Carolina would have arrived in Columbia with all sorts of momentum and Napier has shown he knows how to run a program and recruit. Fortunately, none of those guys wanted the job, which says more about how hard it is to win big in Columbia than it does anything else.

Muschamp was a lot of things, but the man could recruit and fielded salty defenses most years. Beamer is a giant question mark, and I don’t know that you can honestly consider him an upgrade.

Before we go, we should remind you that it’s basketball season. To the surprise of many, Georgia has actually looked pretty good in their first three games of the year. Yes, the Dawgs wins so far have come against the likes of Florida A&M, North Georgia and Jacksonville, but they have managed to score over 80 points in all three contests so far.

The Bulldogs beat the Dolphins of Jacksonville 98-65 on Friday night, and were lead by Sophomore spark plug Sahvir Wheeler. The fearless 5’9” from Texas had 21 points and 10 assists and fellow sophomore Toumani Camara had 19 points from his spot at Power Forward.

Wheeler is the first Bulldog in history to have three games with 10 assists in a season, and he’s managed to do it in the first three games of this season. He’s also recorded a double-double in each game so far, and he looks like the guy who will stir the drink for the Georgia offense this season.

The Battle Hymnal guys were joined by @ugahoopsmafia on Sunday night to preview the season and talk about what we’ve seen from Crean’s Canines so far.

The Bulldogs return to the floor on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM when they will host the Grizzlies of Montana on SEC Network.

Y’all have a great week, and as always...