Daily Archives: December 27, 2013

Big position change in the secondary!

Garrison Smith clues us in about how the Dawgs intend to cope with the suspensions for the bowl game:

Smith did find one way to inject some light humor into the situation.

“Coach is talking about finally moving me to safety,” said Smith, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 299-pounds. “So I’m excited about that. I’ll be able to come downhill a little bit.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

The Chick-fil-A Bowl welcomes its new selection committee overlords.

This is how you measure progress?

No bowl game is making a bigger transition into the new era than the Chick-fil-A.

As part of the “New Year’s Six,” it will no longer control its sponsorship agreement (turned over to ESPN), its operating budget (which will now be overseen by the College Football Playoff) or the teams playing in its game.

The 13-member CFP selection committee, which includes five athletics directors and other dignitaries like Archie Manning and Condoleezza Rice, will not only choose the four semifinalists but also determine matchups for the four other “contract bowls.”

For the Chick-fil-A, which has matched the ACC and SEC for 22 consecutive years (and had 17 consecutive sell-outs, which isn’t a coincidence) that means next season could very well see a team from the Big Ten or American Athletic Conference in their game.

But at least they’ll get to charge more.  So there’s that.

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Filed under College Football

An early look at 2014 SEC schedules

I had several questions about how every school’s schedule was shaping up for next season, so I thought I’d take a minute or two and break those down.

A couple of general notes:  all but two SEC schools play seven home games (the outliers are TAMU, with six, and Vanderbilt, which plays eight) and the art of scheduling truly wretched non-conference games seems to be reaching new heights, as you will see.

All schedules are via fbschedules.com.

ALABAMA

  • Sites:  7 home, 4 road, 1 neutral
  • Cross-division games:  Florida, Tennessee
  • Non-conference opponents:  West Virginia, FAU, S. Miss., W. Carolina

The combined 2013 record of Alabama’s non-conference opponents is 13-35.  The cross-division games feature two programs that weren’t bowl eligible this season.  There’s an open date before the road test at LSU.  Nick Saban has time for this shit.  Favorability grade:  A.

ARKANSAS

  • Sites:  7 home, 4 road, 1 neutral
  • Cross-division games:  Georgia, Missouri
  • Non-conference opponents:  Nicholls State, Texas Tech (R), Northern Illinois, UAB

The non-conference slate isn’t too embarrassing, with one game on the road and an above-average MAC squad.  Fairly tough draw out of the East isn’t optimal, but at least the Hogs managed to schedule open dates before their games with LSU and Alabama.  Not that it’s likely to do them much good.  Favorability grade:  C.

AUBURN

  • Sites:  7 home, 5 road
  • Cross-division games:  South Carolina, Georgia
  • Non-conference opponents:  San Jose State, Kansas State (R), La.  Tech, Samford

Fess up – you thought for sure the Tigers had eight home games this year, right?  Well, they don’t, and they drew two of the better East teams to boot.  The KSU game is intriguing, but the non-conference schedule doesn’t look too daunting.  Starting in October, they play six straight conference games with a bye week tossed in before seeing Samford and then hitting the Iron Bowl.  Favorability grade:  B.

FLORIDA

  • Sites:  7 home, 4 road, 1 neutral
  • Cross-division games:  Alabama, LSU
  • Non-conference opponents:  Idaho, E. Michigan, E. Kentucky, FSU

The Gators drew the short straw on the cross-division games next season.  The good thing is that the first three games of the season are soft and should let them build a little momentum before traveling to Tuscaloosa.  The bad thing is that trip starts a run of seven straight conference games.  And the season ends with a visit to Tallahassee.  At least there is the traditional bye week before the Cocktail Party.  Favorability grade:  D+.

GEORGIA

  • Sites:  7 home, 4 road, 1 neutral
  • Cross-division games:  Arkansas, Auburn
  • Non-conference opponents:  Clemson, Troy, Charleston Southern, Georgia Tech

Georgia is the only SEC team playing two BCS conference schools on its non-conference schedule.  Even with that and the game in Jacksonville, though, there are still seven home games on the schedule, so McGarity’s work is done in that department for next season.  And there’s no Alabama, LSU or TAMU to worry about.  Favorability grade:  B-.

KENTUCKY

  • Sites:  7 home, 5 road
  • Cross-division games:  LSU, MSU
  • Non-conference opponents:  UT Martin, Ohio, ULM, Louisville

The non-conference slate is weak, but how much difference will that make?  Favorability grade:  C.

LSU

  • Sites:  7 home, 4 road, 1 neutral
  • Cross-division games:  Florida, Kentucky
  • Non-conference opponents:  Wisconsin, Sam Houston State, ULM, New Mexico State

Hard to see what Les will complain about next year.  Even the open dates, before Alabama and Texas A&M, are well-placed.  Slightly lower grade than Alabama due to tougher non-conference opponent in Wisconsin.  Favorability grade:  A-.

MISSOURI

  • Sites:  7 home, 5 road
  • Cross-division games:  TAMU, Arkansas
  • Non-conference opponents:  S. Dakota State, Toledo (R), UCF, Indiana

The Tigers were able to use their early schedule to build a lot of momentum for their success this season, and they look to follow a similar path in 2014, as their first four games feature non-conference foes.  Toledo on the road is a little weird, and they need to keep an eye out for UCF, but overall, things look manageable.  The two open dates break up the eight-game conference run.  Favorability grade:  B.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

  • Sites:  7 home, 5 road
  • Cross-division games:  Kentucky, Vanderbilt
  • Non-conference games:  S. Miss., UAB, S. Alabama (R!), UT Martin

South Alabama on the road?  Ho-kay.  Other than that, things lay out about as well as the Bulldogs could hope.  Which means they’re still gonna have to beat some teams from the West to get anywhere.  Favorability grade:  A.

OLE MISS

  • Sites:  7 home, 4 road, 1 neutral
  • Cross-division games:  Vanderbilt, Tennessee
  • Non-conference games:  Boise State, Louisiana, Memphis, Presbyterian

The story here isn’t the matchups, which are pretty good, but the way the schedule lays out.  The open dates are before Memphis and Arkansas.  Mississippi has a five-game run starting in October that features Alabama, TAMU, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn.  Favorability grade:  B-.

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Sites:  7 home, 5 road
  • Cross-division games:  TAMU, Auburn
  • Non-conference games:  E. Carolina, Furman, S. Alabama, Clemson

I guess the OBC will be doing a little grousing about the cross-division games next year.  The ‘Cocks open with Texas A&M, so it’s hard to see how much preseason attention Spurrier can devote to preparation for the meeting with Georgia.  East Carolina was a double-digit winner in 2013, so he can’t exactly ignore that game, either.  Favorability grade:  C-.

TENNESSEE

  • Sites:  7 home, 5 road
  • Cross-division games:  Ole Miss, Alabama
  • Non-conference games:  Utah State, Arkansas State, Oklahoma (R), Chattanooga

At least the Vols scheduled themselves an open date between Oklahoma and Georgia.  Other than that, they aren’t getting many favors.  Even November looks tougher than usual, with South Carolina and Missouri waiting.  Favorability grade:  C-.

TEXAS A&M

  • Sites:  6 home, 5 road, 1 neutral
  • Cross-division games:  S. Carolina, Missouri
  • Non-conference games:  Lamar, Rice, SMU (R), ULM

The neutral site game is against Arkansas.  The non-conference schedule, even with a trip to SMU, is sorry.  They have an open date before meeting LSU.  Favorability grade:  B.

VANDERBILT

  • Sites:  8 home, 4 road
  • Cross-division games:  Ole Miss, MSU
  • Non-conference games:  Temple, UMass, Charleston Southern, Old Dominion

Hands down, the most embarrassing schedule in the conference.  Well done, ‘Dores.  Favorability grade:  A+.

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Filed under SEC Football