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Original Issue

Meet Uga VII

Georgia's new mascot may be 4--0, but like the team he represents, he's still finding his way

THERE'S ANOTHERDawg coming of age in Athens. After Uga VI died of heart failure in June, theSeiler family of Savannah, which has raised the Georgia mascots for the last 52years, tabbed 3-year-old Loran's Best to be Uga VII just two weeks before theseason. (He's named after longtime Georgia radio reporter Loran Smith.) The57-pound Uga VII seems to be saving his energy for bigger games. In theBulldogs' opening win over Georgia Southern, TV cameras caught him snoozinglate in the 45--21 blowout. And last Saturday he looked less than pugnacious attimes as he retreated to his ice-filled kennel to escape the desert heat."He has a sense of his role," says attorney Frank W. (Sonny) Seiler,75, "but he hasn't really figured it out yet."

His ancestors setthe bar high: Uga VI roamed the sidelines for the most Georgia wins (87 overnine seasons, with just 27 losses), and Uga V graced SI's cover in 1997 as thenation's best college mascot. Says Seiler of Uga VII, "He has big paws tofill."