Both Tennessee and Georgia were ranked in each of their border wars from 2002 through 2006. Three meetings over the past twelve years featured top ten showdowns, most recently in 2005.
2009 marked the first time since 1937 that unranked Vols played unranked Dawgs. And 2009 looks really, really great compared to 2010.
One of the SEC's marquee rivalries has taken quite a back seat of late -- actually, with Georgia and Tennessee combining to go 0-5 in conference for the first time since (HELP ME OUT HERE), it's back there in the grocery net behind the back seat, if that thing's still even hooked up after we took the bikes to the park last weekend even though we never ended up using them.
In fact, the Dawgs and Vols have struggled so mightily, that any marquee SEC rivalries in which either team forms one half has been downgraded to a notch above meh. Except Georgia-Florida because of the absolutely spastic offensive football sure to be on display, and the fact that the Gators will be the Dawgs' first road fanbase to possess the common sense and short term memory to properly honor the memory of Damon Evans.
Also Tennessee-Alabama, because by God somebody has to keep an eye on Bama lest they overload a scoreboard and kill somebody.
Comparing resumes: You're both fired.
But let's focus on the positive. Georgia played Arkansas even closer than Arkansas played Alabama, while LSU needed some of that old Les Miles foolproof Bayou dumb luck to stun Tennessee in Death Valley. The carnage:
Vols to watch: Turncoat Da'Rick Rogers, whose last-minute spurning of the Dawgs to sign with Tennessee was the first turbulence in this midair collision of a year for Georgia, has five touches for 38 yards in his Vols career. Why watch him? Because we can't deride him if we do not know where he is.
Actually, let's instead watch Gerald Jones, who scored twice against Georgia last year. He's back from a week one hand injury.
Vegas says: Georgia by 13. Georgia by 13? Georgia by 13.