Punt, pass and pontificate

FROM THE DIRECTOR | Mark Wallace Maguire

It’s that time again: College football season.

Us devoted fans have suffered through a long summer, NFL pre-season games, SEC Network rebroadcasts and reading every preseason magazine you can imagine to finally make it to this point. We’ve relived last year’s failures and wins and made our list of ‘must-wins’ for this year. And, we’re ready. Ready with new caps and shirts and eager for old gameday traditions and tailgate dishes. Most of us have had every game marked on the calendar since February.

This year, the only new wrinkle to my game day ritual is to unveil new recipes for the smoker and the Crockpot. As I always say, if the game goes south, you always got something good to eat on hand and your wife doesn’t have to cook.
With that said, I give you my annual observations, wish list and predictions for this year’s football season:

BAMA BLUES? I have no idea how good or bad Alabama will be this year, but if I hear any more fans of the Tide nation complain about their record last year, I might just have a fit. Get over it. You’ve got two national titles in the last four years. Are you kidding me? And you’re complaining? Come on over to where I sit in the Bulldawg nation and we will gladly switch records as will roughly 100 or so other college football teams.

I CAN SEE MILES: LSU coach Les Miles still eats grass on the sideline. Les Miles says silly things like, “When I wake up in the morning and I turn that film on, it’s like reading a book and it’s exciting. I don’t read books, but if I read books it would be like reading a book.” Les Miles wore a referee cap and outfit to sign autographs this summer. Les likes to end television and radio interviews by saying, “Have a great day.” Go Les go! Keep it interesting!

COLORADO STATE RAMS: Former UGA record-setting offensive coordinator and onetime quarterback Mike Bobo left the Dawgs at the end of last year to become the head coach at Colorado State University. He has also pulled some Dawgs into the fold, including former quarterback Joe Cox who is working as a graduate assistant. I hope Bobo does well as long as CSU doesn’t become Bama West. This will also give me another team to root for and an excuse to stay up too late on Saturday nights watching west coast games on ESPN 8.

GEORGIA, ON MY MIND: Age can be a tough thing, but one aspect of it I like is how I view the games now in my fourth decade on this orb. When the games are on, I still become quite intense and relish whooping and barking and yelling. But, when the games are over, I find it easier to ‘turn it off.’ Oh yeah, losses still sting (no pun there for you Tech fans), but it is difficult to stay super mad when you’ve got to get dinner ready, the kids to bed and be up in some type of reasonable shape for Sunday morning church. All that said, come on Dawgs! Let’s have a good season. At least beat South Carolina this year and please don’t let Missouri win the east again. I mean, really, Missouri? They have some fine fans, but this is getting old.

MUSCHAMP MAKES A FACE: Arguably the best last name for any defensive coordinator in the country, Will Muschamp, the one-time Florida head coach and former UGA player, will take over the defensive reins for the Auburn Plainsmen Tiger Eagles. Will the maligned defense do a 180 and have a fierce defense to match their up-tempo offense? Who knows? But one thing is for sure, we are in for some more amazing faces from Mr. Muschamp who is known to contort his expressions in ways unknown to the average man. His intense rage-laced visage will make a fun counterpart to the golf catalogue sweater vest and visor look of head coach Gus Malzahn.

And finally, for my wish list:

>>>UGA unveils the mighty Wishbone which viewers have not seen run with such magnificence since the 1980 Oklahoma teams. Nick Chubb, Keith Marshall and Sony Michel all have 1,000-yard seasons as the Dawgs roll to an impressive 14-0 record.

>>>Clemson breaks out those so-ugly-they’re-pretty orange jerseys with the purple pants. Hey, why not a purple helmet, some purple cleats with orange shoelaces, too!

>>>Mississippi State wins the SEC West. Why? Because they’re Mississippi State for crying out loud and Starkville rarely gets respect.

>>>Ohio State loses three games, including an upset to the mighty Terrapins of Maryland.

>>>Washington State head coach Mike Leach is a Renaissance Man. He earned a law degree from Pepperdine, runs a creative pass-happy offense, loves pirates and has even written a book called, of course, ‘Swing your sword.’ He has also not done too well since he joined WSU after leaving Texas Tech. Here’s hoping the old pass-happy swashbuckler comes back with a great season, just because, well, pirates. That’s why.

>>>UNC has a decent season, but, more importantly, scraps the navy blue trim and returns to the white and gray.

>>>Georgia Southern has a great season, with their only loss to UGA,
placing them in a BCS Bowl where they resoundly beat Michigan 41-3.

Enjoy the season,
Mark Wallace Maguire

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