Georgia's football season is less than two weeks away. The excitement is building for what could be a special season. Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno return to lead a potent offense that should give any defense in the country a stiff challenge.
As Aug. 30 approaches and I make my plans to attend another home opener, one question comes to mind.
Can the Dawgs go undefeated? Will Knowshon make a run at the Heisman? Can we beat Florida, LSU, Tennessee and Auburn?
No, that's not exactly what I was thinking.
The question, you ask?
Does the Seiler family have UGA VII in game shape and ready to go?
After losing our beloved UGA VI, we now face the season ready to break in a new UGA. This Georgia mascot will be number VII. He will be loved by the Dawg Nation. He will be talked about as if he were a freshman halfback ready to take on the SEC. He will pose for more pictures in a season than you and I may pose for in our lifetime.
You may think it's silly, or that it's just a dog—but to the Dawg Nation, nothing could be further from the truth.
The Sonny Seiler family has allowed the Dawg Nation and the University of Georgia the use of their family pet for hours upon hours, Saturday afternoon after Saturday afternoon, and thousands of miles spanning the country.
Thanks to the Seiler family, the Dawg Nation has a mascot that they can love as their own.
So as we prepare for a new season—and UGA VII—let's take a look at the past six UGAs. I will rank them in order of my favorites. But of course, we all know that they are all our favorites.
6) UGA II served from 1965-1972. He compiled a record of 42-16-3 and won two SEC titles. UGA II served the shortest tenure of all the UGAs. He died in 1972.
5) UGA IV served from 1981-1990. He compiled a record of 73-25-4 and won two SEC titles. UGA IV attended the 1982 Heisman Trophy ceremony with his owner and Herschel Walker. UGA IV and the Dawgs lost a tough Sugar Bowl game in 1982, 24-20 to Pittsburgh. UGA IV died in 1990.
4) UGA I is the father of the dynasty, so to speak. He served from 1955-1967, longer than any other UGA. He compiled a 52-47-6 record and won one SEC title. UGA I came to the Seiler family as a wedding gift. He passed away in 1967 and was buried within the confines of Sanford Stadium.
3) UGA III won a National Championship in 1980. He served the Dawg Nation from 1971-1981. He compiled a 70-31-2 record and won two SEC Championships, along with the 1980 National Championship. UGA III led the Dawgs to a 17-10 win over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl to win the crown. UGA III died in 1981.
2) UGA VI followed his famous Dad UGA V, taking over the "collar" in 1999. UGA VI was full grown when he took over for his Dad, and he was soon referred to as "bigger and badder." Compiling a record of 87-27, UGA VI won more games than any other UGA. He won two SEC Championships, stomping LSU and Arkansas, and finished off his career with the demolition of a much-hyped Hawaii team. UGA VI brought in Mark Richt as head coach, and hopefully the rest is history.
What a Dawg! I will miss seeing him under the bridge each week. UGA VI died peacefully at his home in Savannah, GA this past offseason.
1) UGA V took being UGA to an all-new level. Serving the Dawgs from 1990-1999, he compiled a record of 65-39-1. UGA V may be the most photographed Dawg of all time. He appeared in a movie (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), he introduced the world to "UGA Cam," and he was voted the number one mascot by Sports Illustrated in 1997.
UGA V defended his turf against all opponents. He was photographed lunging at Auburn player Robert Baker, nearly taking a chunk out of Mr. Baker. UGA V passed away in 1999.
So there you have it—my list of UGAs from the beginning. It's hard to rank them, because we, the Dawg Nation, loved them all.
In section 337 on Aug. 30, I will stand and applaud with 95,000 of my closest friends and welcome UGA VII to Sanford Stadium. Go Dawgs!