Ten things you didn't know about Georgia

Friday, September 7, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:02 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 25, 2012

After Missouri's warm-up last week with Southeastern Louisiana, the Georgia Bulldogs will give the Tigers their first real taste of the Southeastern Conference. But what will it be like?

Missouri is one of the new kids, the other being Texas A&M, headed to its first day of school in a class full of bullies. 

Everything has gone well so far. Missouri fans and students have been celebrating the SEC since the school's announcement of its move to the conference Nov. 6 last year. The Tigers are set for the new school year with new uniforms and everything. But the bullies are lurking.

But just how big of a bully is Georgia? If the AP and coaches polls tell us anything, Missouri could be in for an interesting first day. The Bulldogs are the No. 7 team in the nation in both polls. An early beating could really diminish Missouri's enthusiasm for the SEC.

But those rankings are just early season polls. In a few weeks, the rankings could be unrecognizable.

We will find out what kind of team the Bulldogs are soon enough, meanwhile here are 10 things you didn't know about the place they come from:

  • 10. Georgia is one of three schools that claim to be the oldest public university in the U.S. The others are the University of North Carolina and The College of William and Mary. Georgia received its charter before UNC, but did not accept students until 1801, six years after North Carolina did. The College of William and Mary was established in 1693 as a private college. Following the Civil War, the school closed. It later reopened and became public in 1906.
  • 9. The Green Bay Packers had their "G" logo first. The Bulldogs have a similar logo, though with a different color scheme. Green Bay created its oval shaped "G" logo in 1961, while Georgia made its logo in 1964, and even cleared their design with the Packers because it was so similar.
  • 8. There is a tree that owns itself in Athens, Ga. In 1890, William H. Jackson, a University of Georgia professor left it in his will that the tree be granted "entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides." The current tree was grown from a seedling of the original, which blew over and died in 1943.
  • 7. Athens has a rich music history. The town is the home of famous bands R.E.M. and the B-52s. R.E.M. produced hits such as "Losing My Religion," "Everybody Hurts" and "It's the End of the World as We Know It." And who can forget "Love Shack" by the B-52's?
  • 6. Sanford Stadium at Georgia opened in 1929 and has a capacity of 92,746. It is currently the ninth largest stadium in the nation. The first game played at the stadium was between Georgia and Yale.
  • 5. Speaking of Yale, Georgia's first president, Abraham Baldwin, was a Yale graduate. According to, many elders say the school's strong connections with Yale influenced the choosing of Bulldogs as the mascot. There are currently two Bulldogs in the SEC — Georgia and Mississippi State. The only animal that outnumbers Bulldogs in the conference is, of course, Tigers, used by Missouri, LSU, and Auburn.
  • 4. The next dog in line to become "Uga," Georgia's official live mascot, has not been officially promoted yet. "Russ," the white English Bulldog who will become "Uga IX," is a descendent of a Georgia mascot who traveled with the team to the 1943 Rose Bowl, according to the team's website. The official ceremony to introduce the dog as Uga IX is scheduled for next week before Georgia plays Florida Atlantic in Athens. Until then, he is just Russ, the temp.
  • 3. The Georgia football team won its only consensus NCAA National Championships in 1980 and 1942. They won National Championships three other times, disputed by various ratings and polling systems. The disputed championships may not seem as impressive, but soon even their consensus championship will lose meaning when college football implements the new playoff system in 2014.
  • 2. Hello, Newman. Actor Wayne Knight, well-known for his role as Newman in "Seinfeld," attended Georgia in 1972. But Knight left college for Virginia just one credit short of graduating to join the Barter Theatre Company. This is similar to the way Brad Pitt left MU just before graduating.
  • 1. You may know that two Georgia players have won the Heisman Trophy, running backs Frank Sinkwich in 1942 and Herschel Walker in 1982. But did you know that Walker, at the age of 50, still does 750 to 1500 pushups every morning? He wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to do this just before his daily 2,000 sit-ups, according to a 2011 article by CNN. Of course, Walker turned 50 since the story was written and could have reduced his workouts since then. But would the Heisman winning, former NFL star and Olympic bobsledder who won both of his Mixed Martial Arts fights at the age of 48 slow down now?

Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.

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