Not sure I can feel my fingers as I type this, but I give you a massive tip of the cap from Sanford Stadium, where Georgia Tech and Georgia are minutes away from squaring off for the 105th time in both schools' illustrious histories.
In case you haven't heard, it's supposed to be as low as 30 degrees in parts of North Georgia tonight, and it should be deep into the 40s by kickoff. In fact, I just noticed that as I'm frigidly tickling the ebony keys of by laptop that it's 50 degrees. This is the coldest pregame weather these bones have felt all year. (Yes, it was much colder at Virginia Tech, but the pressbox there was closed; it's open tonight in Athens, just like it was last November when the Jackets and Bulldogs met at Bobby Dodd Stadium).
Other than the temps (and a 70-23 shellacking of my alma Northwestern at the hands of BCS-hungry Wisconsin...shaking my head), it's nice looking night. The BBQs and tailgates have smelled good, and the sky was clear before it got dark. The skies are still clear as the teams have entered the stadium and have begun warmups.
OK, now to some pregame notes.
First off, there are a few bowls in attendance here, which is rather odd considering how rough the seasons have been for Georgia and Georgia Tech. In addition to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Liberty Bowl and Independence Bowl have representatives here, too. The Chick-fil-A rep said his bowl is still very much considering both the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs. Most pundits, however, believe other SEC and ACC schools with better records (for example Clemson or LSU/South Carolina...depending on SEC championship winner) are the teams slated to play in Chick-fil-A. There is a scenario where the Yellow Jackets could still end up there if the Chick-fil-A wants, but I'd venture that Tech will be headed to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. anyway.
There appear to be no real lineup changes for the Jackets. Will Jackson is slated to start at left guard, as are Nick Claytor and Austin Barrick at offensive tackle. No changes on defense, either. As far as punters, Chandler Anderson is slated to be the reserve in case something happens to Scott Blair, but Blair will continue those duties.
On a personal aside, I just realized this is my first time in Sanford Stadium since Georgia Tech's 45-42 Georgia Tech win in 2008. I can report that the hedges appear to have regrown and are trimmed neatly over near the southwest stands. That was of course the spot that took the most damage as Yellow Jackets snatched up pieces of hedge as souveniers, following the win that snapped a seven-game series losing streak.
OK, that's all I've got for now. About another hour to go till kickoff. Enjoy the game wherever you're watching it. And may we all just hope that it doesn't turn into the Northwestern-Wisconsin affair :/ See you postgame.
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