The School: The University of Georgia. Also known as the one ranked team James Franklin ever beat while at Vanderbilt.
Record: 5-0 (2-0 in the SEC). Georgia has won its two conference game by an aggregate score of 72-3. That includes a 41-0 road win at Tennessee. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so be nice to UGA fans in Nashville this week.
Ranking: No. 5 in the AP Top 25 and No. 6 in the Coaches' Poll. Jeff Sagarin has Georgia rated sixth in his rankings (Vandy fell from 65th to 66th because computers have no sense of how demoralizing allowing five rushing touchdowns to Florida actually is).
Mascot: The mighty bulldog. Hey, let’s look at what 100 years of selective breeding has done to that dog:
If that’s not an allegory for the deep south, I don’t know what is.
Location: Athens, GA. A blue dot in a red state. Like Madison, WI without the dairy-based alcoholism, or Austin, TX without the culture. I hear they’ve got good sandwiches, though.
Coach: Kirby Smart. The guy Derek Mason called out for announcing his starting quarterback in the run-up to Saturday’s game.
Derek Mason, the guy who threw three different passers into the void during his first game as a collegiate head coach — the guy who yanked Kyle Shurmur out of last year’s season opener FOR NO REASON — decided to rip on someone else’s approach to naming his starting quarterback.
I got nothing for this one.
Conference: The ESS-EEE-CEE. Georgia is the standing reason why Vanderbilt doesn’t get carved up by Georgia Tech’s triple option for 400 rushing yards each season.
All-time vs. Vanderbilt: 55-20-2
In the Last 20 Years vs. Vanderbilt: 17-3.
The Last Time We Saw These Guys: Vanderbilt got out-gained 421 yards to 171 and ran for just 1.9 yards per carry, but won because Zach Cunningham is less of a human and more of a Kraken whose proven to be comfortable living outside of water. Cunningham had an insane 19 tackles, none more important than No. 19:
LOOK AT THAT. HE JUST EMERGES FROM THE ETHER AND DAD-STRENGTHS ISAIAH MCKENZIE TO THE GROUND. If Vandy loses tomorrow, you’ll find me drinking Bunnahabhain and making sad “reach out and touch” hand gestures toward this gif.
Is Vandy Favored?: No. Georgia is a Bama-esque 15.5-point favorite, which is extremely terrifying given the way the team’s last performance as a double-digit home underdog went.
Most Potent Offensive Threat: Anyone who might run the ball. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and D’Andre Swift have combined for 968 yards on 154 carries (6.3 yards per touch) this season. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, has given up 714 yards on the ground the past two games. Statistically, this is like the first goomba on the opening level of Super Mario Bros. vs. a broken controller. You know it’s coming, and there’s just nothing you can do.
Most Potent Defensive Threat: Linebacker Lorenzo Carter doesn’t just lead the Bulldogs in sacks, he’s also the first permanent settler of Cleveland, Ohio. If that dude was bad enough to found the city of flaming rivers, he’s gotta be a monster.
Matchup to Watch: Georgia’s offense against a Zach Cunningham-less defense. Did you SEE what he did to the Bulldogs? I mean, no one player wins a game on his own, but Cunny came pretty damn close. The Commodores will need someone else to step up with a superhuman effort to pull off a second-straight upset.
God, I hope that tree just writes dumb, contradictory shit on Twitter all the time.
Bonus Fact!: I guarantee I’ve brought this up before, and I guarantee I’ll bring it up again, but the most famous UGA alumnus, without a doubt:
He’s a disco dancin’ fool!
If Georgia wins, we: prepare for the Independence Bowl. Losing to three straight top-20 teams is understandable, even if two of those games came at home. 3-3 with this schedule is no death sentence, especially with games against Ole Miss, Missouri, Western Kentucky, and whatever remains of the Tennessee program come November. There’s no shame in a trip to Shreveport — but Vanderbilt has to take care of business in its winnable games just to get there if the Commodores lose to Georgia.