ATLANTA — Nick Saban heard about third-ranked Georgia looking for a spark by wearing black jerseys when the Bulldogs take on his No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night.
It reminded him of some of the lore surrounding Notre Dame.
“Those kinds of things, they only mean something if you let them mean something,” Saban said. “It’s like the old Notre Dame example, when they wear the green jerseys you’re not supposed to beat them. If the Gipper talks to them on Friday night, then you’re not supposed to win that game. When Touchdown Jesus is up there, you’re not supposed to be able to win that game.”
This will be only the third game the Bulldogs have donned black, and they’ll be looking for their third victory following triumphs over Auburn and Hawaii last season.
“If all that does mean something to you, then I guess it’s a problem,” Saban said. “But it really doesn’t. They have good football players. That’s what we’re concerned about. We’re not really concerned about how they’re dressed or what their uniform might be.”
“It’s definitely something that gets us going,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “We’re able to get the crowd involved. It’s something they can participate in. If they’re getting loud out there, it’s definitely going to get us going.”
There is no doubt Bulldogs fans will be loud when the teams takes the field in black.
Georgia receiver Mohamed Massaquoi views it a little differently.
“More importantly, we still have to go out there and prepare this week,” Massaquoi said. “The black jerseys are not going to win the game for us.”
Alabama has already posted impressive victories away from Tuscaloosa — 34-10 over Clemson in Atlanta and 49-14 over Arkansas in Fayetteville. This will be the sixth time the Tide and Dogs, a 7-point favorite, have met when both were ranked. The Bulldogs have won the previous five. Enough said. Georgia 28-20.
Elsewhere around the SEC, with No. 21 Vanderbilt having an open date:
Arkansas at No. 7 Texas
It hasn’t been a pleasant return to college coaching for Bobby Petrino, who pulled up stakes with the Atlanta Falcons to coach the Razorbacks. Last week Alabama crushed his team. This week Texas does the same in a renewal of a storied Southwest Conference rivals in bygone days. Texas 49-14.
Tennessee at No. 15 Auburn
Phillip Fulmer says don’t count his struggling Vols out yet. “We can play for the championship,” Fulmer said. “It just depends on the darn backbone that we have as a football team. We’ll find out a lot about that in the next few weeks.” He’ll find out on Saturday. Auburn 17-7.
Mississippi at No. 4 Florida
The Gators have had lots of trouble disposing of Ole Miss in the past. The Rebels lead the series 11-10-1, including 5-3-1 in Gainesville. Rebs won last meeting at Florida Field in 2003 20-17 over then 24th-ranked Gators. Tebow & Co. will finally do what is expected against Ole Miss. Florida 34-10.
Western Kentucky at Kentucky
Unbeaten Wildcats riding string of 12 victories in a row against teams outside the SEC. Here comes No. 13. Here comes No. 13. Kentucky 28-7.
Mississippi State at No. 5 LSU
Tigers have dominated Bulldogs recently, winning eight in a row and 16 of the last 16 meetings. MSU won’t be able to do anything about that yet. Look for Charles Scott to have another 100-yard game. LSU 42-10.
UAB at South Carolina
Steve Spurrier is so unimpressed with his team’s offense that he says no one’s job is safe this week. Since UAB has given up 49 points to Florida Atlantic, 45 to Tulsa and 35 to Tennessee, it shouldn’t matter who’s in there this week. South Carolina 38-7.