One of the great benefits of my job is the privilege of covering high school sports. I have been doing it now for 44 years and the work – particularly covering high school football – never gets old.
This past week, I went to Jackson, stopping off for some Fresh Air Barbecue before heading to the newly renovated stadium on Red Devil Hill. Traffic was snarled. The place was packed.
The Red Devil team from 1977 was honored and it seemed everyone in Jackson turned out to see the complex which I was told cost $18 million.
The home crowd was amped up! The computer projections had Jackson as a three-point favorite.
Somebody forgot to tell the Lamar County Trojans who absolutely dominated the Devils, building a 35-0 lead before Jackson scored on a long pass with just two minutes left in the second quarter.
After the halftime shows by the bands, many of the Jackson fans were gone. The Trojans won 42-16 to go to 5-0. They remain ranked #8 in Class A, Division 1.
Then on Saturday, Georgia went to Columbia and rocked South Carolina 48-7. Despite some projectile vomiting on the field, quarterback Stetson Bennett efficiently eviscerated the chickens and Brock Bowers fried them up and made some skillet gravy.
Three games in, the Dawgs are 3-0, ranked #1 in the country and have two legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates in Bennett and Bowers.
Kirby Smart had 15 players drafted off last year’s national championship team but this team may be even better. It is certainly better on offense thanks to coordinator Todd Monken. (Note to Jere Morehead et. al.: Pay the man whatever it takes to keep him in Athens.)
There seems to be no team save Kentucky left on the regular season that will have a shot at derailing the mean machine in red and black. Auburn is a dumpster fire and head coach Bryan Harsin may be gone before the two teams collide in Athens in two weeks.
Vandy is Vandy which is not much. Florida is deeply flawed. They opened with a narrow win over Utah, lost to Kentucky and struggled with South Florida. Quarterback Anthony Richardson, the vaunted AR-15, has more tackles (3) than touchdown passes (0) for the season.
Tennessee is showing a pulse but that game is in Athens and Mississippi State doesn’t have much.
Then comes the tricky trip to Kentucky but the Dawgs have far better talent on the roster than do the Cats.
As always, the season ends with the Georgia Tech game. Tech manage to beat Western Kentucky 35-17 but lost to Clemson and Ole Miss by a combined score of 83-10. The odds are no-neck Geoff Collins will no longer be at the Tech helm by that time. Hell, he may not be there by the time you read this.
The Jackets are no longer a major college football program and we Dawg fans like it that way!