Growing up in parts of Georgia for a time, makes this match up hit close to home for me.
This years game is too close to call, and I won't be making any random bets after last years performance. Next year? Maybe.
I graduated High School in Cartersville, GA. A good portion of my family resides in Ellijay, Ga a mere stone's throw from the Tennessee line, and I spent many years there in my younger years.
The rest f my family? I've mentioned before is scattered from Dickson to Sevierville. As such my connection to the Volunteer state has always been stronger.
Many of my friends from home are Georgia fans. In fact during this match up, I usually get calls from more folks that I haven't spoke to in a year than any other. Especially when we lose.
When we win...well..I try to return the favor as much as I can.
Saturday after the Buffalo game I sat down to dinner with a good friend I had not seen since 1994. He lives near Neyland Stadium. He's also a Georgia fan.
I asked him how it was being a Dawg fan in enemy territory. He laughed and said it wasn't much different than when we went to school and I rooted for Tennessee. As he sat down he took off his jacket showing his Georgia shirt. My Volunteer clad family saluted his bravery as we were sitting in Calhouns barely a block from the Stadium.
And so it goes with Georgia and Tennessee fans. It's not a hate-hate relationship like we have with Florida or Alabama as Will pointed out.
A lot like cousins I think. We scrap together, suffer together, watch each others programs rise and fall together, but we compete against each other as well.
But we never fail to rile the other one in to a frenzy. Pass insults. Smack each other in the back of the head, and at least once a year, whup one another. Like any good mountain family feud it's usually a bloody affair and violent.
But its just to clear the air you understand?
This game is indeed a Terminus for both programs. However it's also a chance to get some swagger back to our fan base.
We have three wins this season.
Three good solid wins. But I don't think we feel like we own those victories.
We are in SEC school who had three non conference games right out of the gate. So in a lot of ways we sorta feel like we've been beating our kid brother up for some brownie points.
This weekend, that all changes.
The smack talk begins. The signs come out. The only other dog in SEC is coming for a Dog Fight and Michael Vick is no where to be seen, however there will be no shortage of actually talented quarterbacks.
This game isn't just about our team. It's about we as fans. This game will decide many of the fan base's feelings on not just the team, but on Dooley, our program, and our season.
This game will separate the band wagon from the band.
How it will end is anyone's guess. We know we have a weapon at Quarterback. Our Running game has struggled. Our Wide Receivers play with effort. We have a good Tight End.
Our Defense has been good, but they could be much better.
Special teams? Not gonna bother analyzing it.
But Georgia has had some serious struggles as well and the current SEC standings make this match up a even more valuable contest.
Georgia versus Tennessee: Go Big, or Go Home.