I get everything Kirby is getting at in this Weiszer piece on how opening a season against a big opponent is better for the off season workouts and preparation than putting on a bib before eating a cupcake. Playing a North Carolina is better for everyone, as compared to, say, a bunch of Ragin’ Cajuns from a directional bayou.
It’s better for the fans, even if a trip down to the GA Dome makes Dawg fans wince a little from memories of our last trip down MARTA. It’s better for the conferences that get a national showcase for their teams. It’s even better for euro 2016 fixtures!
But as Smart points out, the main thing is the players have something to legitimately look forward to. The preparation is more intense and allows the coaches and staff to instill a competitive drive for the long months of the off season.
“When you walk in the weight room and you know you’ve got to play UNC the first game, there’s a commitment level I think is greater than other years. That’s one of the advantages of playing in that game.”
Of course, UNC is facing the same prospect of opening up against a Power 5 team. Last year their only regular season blemish was a season opening loss to South Carolina in which Tarhell quarterback Marquise Williams completed three passes to Gamecock defenders. And two of those were to Skai Moore in the endzone.
Georgia will not face Williams as he graduated and moved on. But after losing the 2015 opener and their two post-season games you can bet the Dawgs will face a team ready to start a new winning streak.