Unless you’re some nerd who doesn’t follow college football, you know the No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0) travel down South to face the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0) on Saturday.
Kickoff between the hedges on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium is slated for 8 pm, with CBS’ excellent broadcast crew carrying the game on network television.
You have two choices: (1) scour the connected computer system known as the world wide web for endless information, stats, and storylines about this historic matchup, or (2) read SEC Banter’s “fast” facts on the Golden Domers and Dawgs.
Quotation marks surround “fast” because I mean both brief and with liberal use of my writer’s license to play fast and loose with such facts.
Despite my liberal license, don’t go callin’ me a liberal and, for heaven’s sake, please don’t lump me in with the fake news crowd.
Here we go:
Georgia, as we know, hails from the Southeastern Conference, while Notre Dame is an “independent” with no conference affiliation, better known as a GDI where I come from.
Sanford Stadium will seat 93,246 on Saturday, with the UGA athletic department installing extra bleachers under the big scoreboard. UGA officials expect another 100,000 people without tickets to tailgate around town, take in the environment and say they were there the day Notre Dame came to town.
ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast from Athens for the first time in six years. The Dawgs are 6-14 when GameDay sets up shop in the Classic City.
The 8 pm start is the latest kickoff in Athens in 34 years, setting the stage for an especially spirited day of tailgating.
Speaking of which, when do you start a tailgate for a late-night game? At LSU, the answer is Wednesday. At UGA and most other schools, I’m thinking noon-ish sounds about right.
As I pen this, the cheapest ticket to the game is $278 in the nosebleeds. For the same price, you can get an appetizer and salad at Houston’s.
The Irish rank 120th nationally in rush defense and gave up over 200 rushing yards to New Mexico. Meanwhile, Georgia has five backs with at least 100 yards this season.
Run. The. Damn. Ball.
Notre Dame and Georgia have met just twice, with the Dawgs holding a 2-0 advantage in the series.
Most UGA fans weren’t born when Georgia notched its first win over the Irish, a 17-10 victory in the Superdome to claim the 1980 national title.
Oddly, most Georgia fans act like they’ve won at least 6 or 7 national championships since then.
The other win over the Irish came in a close contest in South Bend just two years ago during the Bulldogs’ dream season of 2017.
Georgia’s offensive line averages 6 feet, 5 inches and 328 pounds, making it the biggest unit in Bulldog history and about the size of the cafeteria ladies at my elementary school.
I generally err on the side of hating Notre Dame.
Despite my admittedly unfounded hate, who doesn’t like Rudy, the 1993 film about an undersized, gritty walk-on Notre Dame player who inspired his team with his passion for the game.
I’ll tell you who doesn’t like it: me. Corny, cliche’d, gee guess what happens flick.
Many Atlanta-based Dawgs fans are struggling with whether to attend Saturday’s game. The late kick means getting home around 2 am or later.
A round of golf, an appearance at a kids’ soccer game, and leisurely taking in the game on a couch or porch sure sounds comfy . . .
Georgia opened as a whopping 12.5-point favorite over Notre Dame and the line has risen in some sports books to 14.
Vegas’ confidence in the Dawgs is testament to the SEC’s strength over mediocre, overrated Midwestern teams that somehow perennially contend but never win it all.
It will be a legendary day in Athens . . . except, not really. Other than a day at the Masters or a dozen raw oysters washed down with a cold draft beer, few things in life actually live up to expectations.
Saturday has the makings of an event too built up in people’s minds to meet such lofty expectations.
Sure, it’ll be fun and all, but not quite an epic day, and surely not an instant classic of a game, as UGA will win handily.
Here’s a fast fact: Georgia 31, Notre Dame 17.