It’s easy for me to say goodbye to summer movie season because I know that college football is right around the corner. I don’t like leaving behind the three or four months in which it is socially acceptable to sit in a dark room and act like a 12-year-old (“WOAH GIANT ROBOTS KICKING BUTT YEAH”), but it’s OK when we all get to move into three or four months in which it is equally acceptable to act like 21-year-old (“WOO BULLDAWGS WHIPPIN DAT ASS GIMME BEER”).
This year it’s especially tough to finish summer because we had a couple of solid sci-fi flicks (Iron Man 2, Splice, Predators) and one really exceptional one (Inception). So, I thought, why not extend the sci-fi summer… in the most contrived way possible?
Here’s what’s up: I’m going to take a look at the first quarter of the Georgia Bulldogs’ football season and find a corresponding sci-fi movie. We’ll be operating under MST3K rules in terms of continuity and questions of full-movie correlation. In other words: Do not ask questions.
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – The Empire Strikes Back
This should be a cupcake for the Bulldogs, so true to Richtian form, the first quarter will be an impressive show of power, but heavy on the “show” and not so much on actual, functioning power. Like the Imperial attack force of lumbering AT-ATs and Star Destroyers, Georgia will clearly look to be the better team, but whether by sluggishness or pride, they’ll be outwitted by A-Wings and Ion Cannons in the form of 2-star recruits and a pretty good TE.
The second quarter will be a whole lot of nothing, but the Red and Black will wrap things up in the third. The underdogs will have had some flashes of hope, but those will ultimately be extinguished by any opponent that is just too well equipped and too powerful. The stronger force wins, even if they don’t get exactly what they wanted (Luke Skywalker/a 40-point stomping).
Also, this game and this movie both have an awesome soundtrack. The brass and snares never sound as good as they do that first Saturday.
South Carolina – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
First, the obvious: Stephen Orr Spurrier is Khan Noonien Singh.
In the past, he was a crafty, dangerous opponent, but a change of scenery removed him from the Dawgs’ concern. At first, all parties were happy with the arrangement: the good guys couldn’t completely defeat Steve-Khan, so being rid of him was nice, and Steve-Khan wanted a new challenge.
It didn’t last. Steve-Khan’s situation exploded and suddenly he found himself in a new place (barren wasteland of a planet/Columbia, SC). Now, all Steve-Khan can hope for is to exact vengeance on his old rivals.
This game won’t be anything like last year’s fireworks display, even though both teams will, arguably, be better. What we’ll see are two teams exploiting the other’s weaknesses (SC receivers vs. UGA secondary, UGA O-Line vs. SC D-Line), but never enough to lead convincingly.
The teams will go down to the wire, and the game will only be decided once the odds are even, both sides are worn-out and they have to go back to basics. For the Enterprise, that meant manual navigation, and for the Bulldogs and Gamecocks, that means the running game. Georgia wins that battle, along with the game, but it won’t be satisfying. Don’t be surprised if UGA loses a player to this game.
Arkansas – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Here is the heavy ordnance you requested.Yes, this will be a shoot-out, though not as frantic as James Cameron’s or UGA-ARK’s prior firefight. This year, the bad guys have a more advanced weapon (Ryan Mallet) but the good guys get a stronger defense.
Still, the defensive players and staff are going to be breaking in a new system, so Georgia’s going to take some big hits trying to defend the pass. Still, the T-1000 can bring the relentless assault, but John Connor’s crew—and Georgia—are good at running. So, the Razorbacks can sling it downfield as much as they want, but Georgia will control the line of scrimmage and the clock.
That said, Arkansas’s passing offense is good enough to keep scoring and moving the ball (if anything remains of Willie Martinez’s defense, DJ Williams will be responsible for that), so like T2, the winner will be whoever takes the last shot. And with matchup advantages in the running and pass rush game, I think UGA delivers the final grenade shot to send the Pigs into a final, desperate minute of flailing in the molten metal.
Let’s not get into T2’s ending any more than that, though. Because I hope UGA won’t have to sacrifice anybody. And also because the ending still chokes me up a little.
And that brings us to the end of September. Next time, we’ll look at the Mississippi State, Colorado, and Tennessee games.