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All finally felt right in the world last Saturday as Week-1 of college football resumed. Traditionally, the first three weeks of football season are full of Power Team v Cupcake Team match-ups and leave us viewers unimpressed and still longing for real football. This season, the excitement is here on Week-2 and I don’t want anyone to miss it.
Kentucky and head coach Mark Stoops head to South Carolina on Saturday. But that’s not the only Stoops brother who will be in the SEC this weekend. Mark Stoop’s brother, Bob Stoops, who is the head coach of Oklahoma, is coming to Knoxville in an attempt to get an SEC win on his schedule. Both Stoops brothers are great guys and daggum good football coaches, but we only hope one of them wins.
#14 LSU is making the trip to Starkville for their “first game of the season” to line up against #25 MS State. The cowbells will be ringing for this early season SEC West matchup. Could we be more excited?
#10 Georgia @ Vanderbilt is high on our interest list for two reasons: 1) Vandy always shocks someone each season and I’m wondering if it isn’t SEC-East-Predicted-Winner Georgia; 2) Gridiron Belles is heading to Nashville for the game to tailgate and to take Vandy and UGA photos for the next book. Be sure to let me know where you’ll be tailgating so I can stop by!
Any way you slice it, it’s Week-2. Summer is over. It’s time to dedicate your Saturdays to the Gridiron. Here is your schedule for Saturday.
Auburn v Jacksonville State
Georgia #10 @ Vanderbilt
Fresno State @ #17 Ole Miss
Middle Tennessee @ #2 Alabama
Toledo @ # 18 Arkansas
#19 Oklahoma @ #23 Tennessee
Ball State @ #16 Texas A&M
#21 Missouri @ Arkansas State
East Carolina @ Florida
Kentucky @ South Carolina
#14 LSU @ #25 MS STATE
While the rest of us may be battling dropping temperatures, inclement weather and an over all struggle to stay warm and presentable for all of game day, the lucky Georgia and Florida fans are heading to the beach for a cocktail party.
If we can’t go with them, we’ll just put together some gridiron-beach-chic outfits for them to use while soaking up the sun and beverages at St. Simon’s before kick-off. After all, you can’t wear just anything to the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Xs and Os,
“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.”-Tom Petty
Tom Petty was right, you know. College does end. The “best days of our life” last around four years for most, five or six for some. And so, although I was raised under a conservative roof by very financially-responsible parents, I am using my four years to play the college card and follow Tom Petty’s advice. I am typically cautious with my wallet and protective of my time, but there’s one weekend every year in which I surrender all my worries for a greater cause…
GEORGIA vs. FLORIDA
The GA/FL game is always played on the last weekend of October. The University of Georgia has a one-day fall break the Friday before the game, when a majority of the student population relocates to St. Simons Island, Georgia. “Frat Beach,” as it has come to be known, is the perfect place to prepare or “pregame” (as we college students like to say) for the big game on Saturday.
St. Simons, an easy 1.5 hour drive from Jacksonville, is the prime spot for UGA students to stay before and after the game. Houses are rented, condos are packed to the max (and beyond), and restaurant lines are outrageous from Thursday night to Sunday morning. SSI hot spots like Crab Trap, Mullet Bay, Barbara Gene’s, Brogen’s and Gnat’s Landing are the obvious dinner favorites, but nothing—I repeat, nothing—compares to the lines at Chick-fil-a on Saturday morning. A chicken biscuit is the perfect start to a true Southerner’s game day experience.
Chick-fil-a, though, can also be found in Athens or at home, which is perhaps why some students opt out of the infamous GA/FL road trip. It’s easy to understand why an away game would not be an affordable priority for all students, especially in today’s economy with such high gas prices. But, if you follow Tom Petty’s advice to “spend money you don’t have” just this once, I guarantee you won’t regret it. Memories trump money any day of the week. And a little hard work to earn some extra cash never hurt anyone…just saying.
GA/FL budget (when sharing costs with friends):
Food & Beverages: $200
Beating Florida (24-20): PRICELESS
This post was written by a Gridiron Belles intern, Darby Thompson, from the University of Georgia
A bulldog. If tents are a tailgate staple at every other SEC tailgate, bulldogs are the staple at a University of Georgia tailgate. “Russ” is the interim bulldog mascot and nearly every tailgate on campus had a cousin, friend, or distant relative of “Russ” or “Uga” to help entertain fans before the game. (A Full story about “Uga’s Suite” will be out Thursday)
Chick-Fil-A. Why make fried chicken from scratch when the delicious Chick-fil-a is a hometown staple? UGA fans need not worry that they can’t order a chicken biscuit on Sunday, they’ve had more than their fill from tailgating in Athens on Saturday.
Black and red wardrobe. I haven’t decided which team has the best team colors for successful fashionable game day outfits, but black and red is certainly at the top of the list. The belles and gents in Athens are something to write home about. Or at least a reason for me to consider going to grad school with gentlemen DAWGS fans and for Georgia belles to contend for The Belles of the SEC.
Talented leaders of spirit: After chatting with the Mama’s club of the cheerleading teams and some of the Dawgettes, I realized that leading the school and UGA fans in spirit is a full time job! Between appearances, game performances and in general looking like the perfect UGA ambassador, these students earn my respect of loving the game and their school!
Ambitious KD ladies: If I had half of the gumption in college that the UGA KDs do, I would be running the White House right now! I was so impressed by Christie E., a journalism major, who works for the local UGA news channel and is giving up her Christmas break to get more time in a studio in Tampa. She interviewed me Friday and then brought a camera crew to follow me around on Saturday. Additionally, Ashlee Nicole, the VP of Operations, who so generously invited to attend the game with her family, knows every bit of UGA history from being an Admissions Office Orientation Leader and is a biological science major. To top it off, there was a line of brilliant women waiting to talk to me at the house on Monday—all motivated, all dedicated to their dreams, all big fans of their DAWGS!
Battle Hymn of the Republic. Perhaps the biggest pre-game concern for a Georgia fan is making it into Sanford stadium in time to hear the lone trumpeter play the opening notes of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Of course, the hedges add a generous dose of Southern nostalgia, but there is no feeling more bone chilling and pride filling than the sound of that trumpeter on Saturdays in Dixie.
The perfect bark. I would be remiss if I directed you toward Athens for a football game and forgot to instruct you to practice your bark! Georgia fans’ barks are much bigger than their bites—but with 90, 000 plus barking at once, it’s enough to scare a tiger!
Thank you for your hospitality, Athens!
Xs and Os,