Injuries are tormenting Georgia. First, tailback Tim Worley went down with a season-ending knee injury. Then fullback Keith Henderson sustained a less severe knee injury. Now UGA IV, Georgia's white English bulldog mascot, has suffered a torn knee ligament in his left hind leg. UGA underwent surgery last week, and the leg was put in a cast. He will miss at least four games, but what's worse, because the accident happened so deep into the season, the NCAA says it will not allow UGA to be redshirted.
Sadly, like so much in college sport these days, the incident is steeped in suspicion. Seems that UGA was hurt just before the Vanderbilt game, when he jumped off the bed in his hotel room. Speculation was rampant in The Atlanta Journal and Constitution sports department about what UGA IV was doing in a hotel bed.
UGA, who is 49-13-4 in six seasons, is being spelled by his brother, Otto, 8. Like all Georgia fans. Sonny Seiler, a Savannah lawyer who owns the dogs, was concerned about Otto's lack of game experience. But, said Seiler last week, "Otto is excited that he's finally getting his chance. He's at home now studying the playbook."
Coach Vince Dooley knows Otto personally and was sure he would make an able replacement. Said Dooley, "It's great to know we have reserve strength with our dogs, something we don't have as much of with our team."
Otto lived up to expectations on Saturday at Kentucky, where Georgia won 31-9. When Dooley learned that Otto hadn't been awarded the game ball, he promised to put the matter to a team vote.
DUM QUOTE OF THE WEAK
Auburn quarterback coach Pat Sullivan on Tiger QB Jeff Burger: "He has taken the role of general of the ship."
It's comforting to know that as things change in college football—remember when an end wasn't tight, split, wide or flanked?—one thing remains constant: the gamblers' favorite teams. Scott Schettler, who runs the sports betting operation at the Stardust in Las Vegas, says their favorites will always and forever be:
1. Notre Dame. Even when the Irish are bad, they are the one team that takes the home-field advantage from any opponent. "Gamblers," says Schettler, "would take Notre Dame against an NFL team."