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Darrell Huckaby is a syndicated columnist and author of twelve books including two about Georgia football, Need Two and Need Four. He writes a column for the site each week during the season. E-mail him at or visit his website:

Dawgs Drop a Big Bone in Dome

I’m old school and I readily admit it. I don’t know if another soul will agree with what I am about to say, but I don’t really care if anyone does or doesn’t, because I am writing my opinion—not somebody else’s. 

Georgia laid a colossal egg in the Sugar Bowl and everybody from Kirby Smart to the water boy should be ashamed to wear red and black today.

But, deeper than that, I think college football is in a world of trouble and is rapidly becoming a reflection of a society that is in a world of trouble. In the state of New York, you can have a baby and instead of having male or female recorded on the birth certificate, you can have them put neither. And believe it or not, I think there is a connection between that insanity and Georgia’s performance in the Sugar Bowl Tuesday night.

I knew the Dawgs were in trouble last week when D’Andre Baker announced that he would sit out the bowl game. I knew we were in trouble, not because he was going to wrap himself in bubble wrap for three or four weeks to try and keep from getting hurt before the NFL combines, but because his coach, ever careful to cater to 17-year old prima-donnas whose rear-ends all rich college coaches must kiss on a daily basis, was not only OK with that, but brought him along with the team to New Orleans like UGA was his private Make-a-Wish sponsor. I also knew we were in trouble because his teammates were fine with that, and said so. Now this is the key to the whole thing. Actual quote. “If it were the play-offs that would be one thing, but this is just another bowl game.”

When your football team thinks that an opportunity to extend the season and prove your worth on a national stage is not worth the time and effort and risk, the game has gone to hell. Not just the Sugar Bowl game. The game of college football.

Somewhere Erk Russell is rolling over in his grave.  

Go ahead. Pooh, pooh me. Call me an old-fart who is out of touch with the real world—a dinosaur who doesn’t understand the culture. Say anything you want. But if a Georgia football player thinks the Sugar Bowl isn’t worth putting forth the effort—the culture sucks. Period.

And it was obvious that they didn’t Tuesday night. Them Dawgs were dogs.

They were poorly prepared. They were unfocused. They spent a great deal of Saturday night tweeting about how much better they were than Notre Dame and Oklahoma and Tuesday night they got pushed around by an 8-4 Texas team that lost to Maryland and barely beat Kansas.

They didn’t block consistently. They didn’t tackle consistently. They didn’t catch the ball consistently. They didn’t kick the ball consistently. Several times they just ran down the field and dropped the damn ball. They didn’t play with fire and energy and emotion for most of the game.

They acted like they didn’t want to be there. They were ill prepared to play. But Kirby Smart gets paid upwards of $7 million a year to have them ready to play. Hell, he got $800,000 to bring them to New Orleans to put on that pathetic display. He did not earn his salary this week. Not even close. 

If the bowl games don’t matter, stop playing them. 

College football is going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. The coaches’ salaries and the arms race in facilities are paid for my fans who pay a lot of hard-earned money to follow their passion, but mark my words. Like an abused spouse in a long-term bad relationship, college football fans will put up with a lot. But eventually, they will figure out that if the players don’t care, they shouldn’t either. And when they quit caring, they will quit spending.

Sugar Bowl tickets could be had for $5 a pop outside the Dome Tuesday night. If you were a Georgia fan, you would have paid too much.  

It wasn’t great to be a Bulldog Tuesday night in New Orleans. It was rather painful. Not because we lost, but because we were not prepared, because we did not come to play, and because we did not compete.

I hope everybody involved, from Kirby Smart to the water boy learned a lesson—especially Kirby Smart.

And just for fun.  

Wally Butts after 3 years. Won 19 Lost 11 Tied 2 Winning % 63

Vince Dooley after 3 years. Won 23 Lost 8 Tied 1 1 SEC Championship AP finishes NR, NR, 4 Winning % 74

Mark Richt after 3 years. Won 34 Lost 8 2 SEC East Titles 1 SEC Championship AP Finishes 22, 3, 7 Winning % 81. 

Kirby Smart after 3 years Won 32 Lost 10 2 SEC East Titles 1 SEC Championship AP Finishes NR, 2, ???. Winning % 76.


Look for me on August 31 in Nashville, TN. I’ll be the good-looking guy in the red shirt—hoping for better.

Darrell Huckaby

Darrell Huckaby is an author, educator and syndicated newspaper columnist.  Contact him at  

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