Posted: 10:49 pm Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
By Jay Black
Georgia never had a chance this season. It was never going to be the Dawgs year.
No matter what magic tricks Kirby Smart was bringing from the mystical land in the middle of Alabama, the Dawgs were going to sunk.
It’s the curse.
The Curse of the Six.
You aren’t familiar with that one you say? You didn’t know that was a thing?
In years ending in the number six, bad things happen in Bulldog Nation. Or at least in my lifetime.
You have 10 years ago, 2006. Which was the last time the Dawgs lost their homecoming game. Until, well you know.
It was also the last time UGA lost to Vanderbilt and Kentucky in the same season. 10 years later, that double is a very realistic possibility.
Georgia is already off to its worst start in the SEC play since — you guessed it — 1996. That was Jim Donnan’s first season. It was also the last time UGA had a losing regular season and missed a bowl game. If the Dawgs go down in Lexington, Mr. Smart will be in serious danger of joining Mr. Donnan.
1996 was also the year Georgia only ran for 16 yards against Kentucky. The lowest rushing game since then — 21 yards. Last week.
In 1986, Vince Dooley suffered his most losses of the decade. He was 8-4. Of course, he also lost four games in 1984, but that goes against the narrative, so we can’t have that. Because this is a rock solid curse.
In 1976, there was…well nothing bad happened. Georgia won the SEC title. Ditto for 1966.
But hey there’s 1956, when Wally Butts went 3-6-1 and only won one game in the SEC. The Dawgs got shutout by Vanderbilt to start the season. Then again by Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech to end it. That’s right. Three biggest rivals, last three games. 0 points. Now that’s a bad year.
So the Curse of the Six still holds up.
How about 1946? Georgia went unbeaten, won the Sugar Bowl and was National Champions in something called the Williamson Poll.
This premise isn’t holding up so well.
1916 (6-3), 1926 (5-4) and 1936 (5-4-1) were meh seasons. Can’t judge either way.
But 1906, now were talking. 2-4-1. This is when this half-baked curse I just created began. Every game that season was a shutout. UGA blanked Mercer and Auburn (4-0. Two safeties!) in both of its wins and didn’t score in any of the losses or ties.
1896 was Georgia’s first unbeaten season in school history at 4-0. So that doesn’t count.
Maybe this Curse of the Six isn’t fool proof. Does it explain where the 2016 Dawgs are now? Probably not. Did it make you feel any better? Yeah, that’s what I figured. I tried.
It’s a strange place when the Kentucky game is creating as much angst as Florida did last week. Maybe more.
The Wildcats have scored 30 points a game in this three game winning streak they are on. Georgia has scored 27 points in its last two games. Total.
Kentucky is playing for an SEC East title. That is not a typo. Georgia is playing to avoid utter disaster. That isn’t a typo either.
I think Big Blue has a bit of an edge in the incentive department. Playing for positive history sure beats trying to avoid making the record books in the negative.
There’s very little this team can prove this season. Even if (and that “if” is as large as they come) the Dawgs run the table, the questions will still remain.
What they can show is a bit of a resilience. Prove that they’ve tired of getting beat up, they’re tired of the groaning, whining and complaining.
To this team’s credit, they had that ability.
After Ole Miss cleaned their clock, the Dawgs played maybe it’s best game of the season against Tennessee, but lost.
Georgia recovered from that and ran all over South Carolina on a Sunday.
But nothing has been the same since.
Seven months ago on 93K day, Kirby Smart has his fan base standing as one. Now the only people sticking their heads up are the doubters and the “I told you so”-ers.
A win over the Wildcats will not move the meter up as much as a loss would drop it down. But stopping the plunge is a victory enough.
Pride and a mediocre bowl are on the line this week.
That’s still plenty to play for. Desperation is not always the best motivator, but it’s good enough. Because a mediocre bowl is better than no bowl at all.