“It’s a certain cachet or aura. It’s the way a program is perceived by the public.”

Man, Stewart Mandel is still taking a victory lap in Montana.

But one particular question I answered in August 2007 took on a life of its own. A reader asked me to rank the nation’s power-conference schools by “prestige and place in the national scene.” For reasons I can’t recall, I opted to invoke a Medieval feudal system in dividing the 66 BCS programs at the time into Kings, Knights, Barons and Peasants.

Thus, my Program Pecking Order was born.

People took the thing pretty seriously. One Georgia blog actually enlisted a Dawgs fan to go around to sports bars in Montana testing my premise that the “G” helmet is not universally recognizable enough to merit a spot in the top group. (An “A” for effort, though it turned out I was right.)

I suppose I should be flattered.


Filed under Georgia Football, GTP Stuff, Media Punditry/Foibles

36 responses to ““It’s a certain cachet or aura. It’s the way a program is perceived by the public.”

  1. DA_MAN

    Your reputation precedes you, Senator! And yes, you should be flattered, my friend.


    • Mayor

      Was Mandel right like he now claims? My recollection is that the “G” WAS recognizable pretty much across the board in Montana.


      • By his standards, yes. Anything less than 100% means he was correct.

        Although he also thought the USC Song Girls would meet that same standard, and nobody from Montana knew who they were.


  2. Chi-town Dawg

    I admit to re-reading the Senator’s article and re-watching the video from to time to time. It still brings a smile to my face Senator! Unfortunately, I think Mandel’s assessment has proven even more correct as (all of) our football/sports program(s) continue to disappoint…


  3. Stewart Mandel is still a self-important jacka$$ – that is all.


  4. Careful Brad

    Senator, you may be interested to know that as an AP Psychology teacher I would show the Montana Project video to my class early in the year to teach them some basics about research. Here are the questions I would ask:
    The Montana Project
    1. Instead of saying “a lot of college football fans that live far away” what is the operational definition used for the project?

    What bias is the writer using by assuming the fans will know about the Michigan helmet, USC Song Girls, or Joe Paterno?

    A. Hindsight Bias B. Overconfidence C. Illusory Correlation

    What is the method of data collection?

    A. Survey B. Case Study C. Naturalistic Observation

    Is UGA football a national power? A. Yes B. Yes C. Yes
    Does this activity meet the standard for replication?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. CB

    First, what score would have been good enough to merit a top spot? Second, I was shocked at how many people thought it was a Florida Gators helmet. Just seems blasphemous. Third, I could get roasted for this, but if I had a say I’d vote to go back to the classic, pre-Dooley “block G.” I’ve never liked using a logo that Green Bay had first.


    • Cojones

      Dumbass! You have never worn your “G” hat and had a guy with FU written all over his face ask if the “G” stands for gator and go into shrieks of laughter? Those were gators in those bars claiming that. Their snarky way of lording the territory is to claim that. Never forget that they are FU.


    • Gaskilldawg

      We only used the “block G” a few times under Butts and Griffith. Our traditional helmet was solid silver.

      Although the block G was not a traditional or common look for us I agree it is a good looking helmet.


  6. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Only thing I can say is if in the next 5 years (I assume Mandel has it on his calendar to do another ranking) Kirby has us up with the Kings, then he will have been a great hire. If not…. well Kirby, there’s a goal for you, anyway.


  7. Derek

    I could give a fuck about what Mandel thinks or the football interests of Montanans. What matters is putting Georgia on the map in the same way Florida got there after 1990: by winning football games. The rest will take care of itself.


    • 88Dog

      Damn straight. I totally get labeling Georgia as the “underachiever” that always has the most talent and never wins championships and usually doesn’t end up matching preseason hype.


      This ain’t Mark Richt’s Charlie Brown team no more.

      If Howie Mendel Jr and his sidekick Andy “my fingers got” Stapled are right about Georgia, then how did Kirby, just a few months ago, land the No 3 class in country?

      Labeling Kirby as an underachiever for going 8-5 reminds me of how these asswhipes labeled Nick Saban in 2007 after he lost to La Monroe and wended up losing 4 out of his last 5 games.

      Right before Saban went right out and landed a top 3 recruiting class, then went 12-0 in 2008. Those asswipes look stupid now.

      If you think Kirby will only lose 3 games again in the final minute this season, you need to see a doctor.

      Kirby came 90 seconds from finishing 11-2, top 5, in his first year. Lost 3 games by a TOTAL of 5 points.



  8. Russ

    He was right? Isn’t that a little bit of revisionist history?


    • JS

      I think he was technically right but his other assumptions were wrong so his being “right” was meaningless (like the song girls were not nearly as recognized as he’d thought, so if that was his benchmark for a king or whatever it was way off). Yes, revisionist history at work.


    • 88Dog

      He’s not right THIS year. Recruits said Georgia was perceived as a top 3 program, so screw Howie Mendel’s little brother.

      Here’s how recruits see Georgia right now:
      #1 Alabama
      #2 Ohio St
      #3 Georgia


  9. The Dawg abides

    I pretty much agree with the top two tiers, except I don’t buy for one minute his reasoning on Nebraska. By the same criteria, then Norte Dame should be down a class. Also don’t agree with Tennessee being top tier originally, as it had already been ten years since their title or Peyton.


    • The Dawg abides

      How in the hell does auto-correct turn notre into Norte?


    • The Dawg abides

      P.S. After I clicked on Mandel’s piece and the Montana project post, I’m getting ads from both sides for today’s Montana U.S. House race. Don’t think I’m going to be able to make it out there and register in time to vote.


  10. Buster56

    Set aside whether UGA is among the Kings or the Barons, if you take Mandel’s Program Pecking Order and assign values to our home opponents (King – 4, Baron – 3, Knights – 2, Peasants – 1 and Others – 0.5), 2017 will be the Dawgs lowest ranked home schedule since the expansion of the SEC in 1991. We play App State (0.5), Kentucky (1), Miss State (1), Missouri (2), Samford (.5) and South Carolina (2) for a total of 7.0 Pecking Order points. Previous lows were 8.0 in 2011 and 8.5 in 1997. Thank you AD McGarity.


    • Got Cowdog

      So you are saying there is no reason we should not be SECE champs?


      • Buster56

        Georgia being Georgia, I’m not convinced our odds of winning the SECE are any better with a weak home schedule. I do know I’d be more excited to see us play Clemson on September 16th (win or lose) rather than Samford.


  11. DawgByte

    Neither Miami or Nebraska have been relevant for years. I think who makes the Kings list fluctuates over time. However in general, I would say Georgia is not known traditionally as a “Powerhouse”, although during the Richt era he had us winning a lot of games and in the Top 25 year-after-year.


  12. 88Dog

    Stewart is a UGA hater. He’s out of touch with consensus, as UGA is a consensus top 10-15 ranked team this year preseason. Whatever, his barbs have no basis. On Brewer’s ranking, and Forbes, Georgia is listed as a top 10 most valuable football team. The guy is a clown.