You know what seems to ruin a good rivalry? Scandal.
The Dawgs travel to the Plains on Saturday and the story should be about how one of the worst Georgia teams in recent memory is trying to knock off a team headed towards a national title. Throw in the fact that Georgia has won 4 games in a row against the Tigers and a victory would even the series at 53 wins a piece and there should be plenty of stories to talk about. But instead of the game, almost all of the talk this week has been about the potential illegal recruitment of Heisman front runner Cam Newton. Yes, I agree that this is a huge story that needs to be covered, I am just sad to see it happen this week.
By the time 3:30 rolls around on Saturday, Auburn will most likely have taken the field with Cam Newton as the starting quarterback. The game will play out and by Saturday night, Auburn will either still be undefeated or Georgia will be bowl eligible. Cam Newton's eligibility will not have an effect on the game and even if he (and Auburn) is found guilty of wrong doing, it won't change what took place on the field.
Great rivalries don't just happen over night. Georgia's traditional rivalries with Florida and Georgia Tech have both become lopsided affairs in recent years. But the rivalry with Auburn (despite the 4 straight victories) has always been close. For a game that means this much to two programs' seasons, it is a shame to see this cloud hanging over head. The NCAA has known about this situation for months and its failure to make a decision is now taking away from what should be the focus of sports: the play on the field.
As a Georgia fan, I will take a victory any way we can get it. But if Cam Newton doesn't play and Georgia wins, have we really upset a top 5 team?