Daily Archives: December 26, 2012

It could be worse.

Imagine how this news would have gone over if Georgia had won the SECCG.

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Secession over scheduling?

It’s hard to decide how much of this article to take seriously, especially when it’s coupled with this piece, but given the suggestion made in the conclusion of the latter (“It wouldn’t hurt one bit for LSU to do a little saber-rattling to get the SEC’s attention, to give greater voice to its concerns.”), I’m sort of intrigued by something suggested in the former.  Namely, it sounds like LSU is prepared to take up the banner again of what it perceives as unfair conference scheduling at next year’s SEC meetings.

LSU lobbied at the SEC Spring Meeting in May to eliminate permanent opponents but was soundly defeated. The school will push again at the next meeting in May. Failing that, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva proposes that the SEC adopt the Pac-12 model, which allows those schools that want permanent opponents to have them and those that do not to rotate.

That, of course, would let LSU out of its yearly meeting with Florida.  Too bad for most SEC fans who see that game as one of the conference’s best offerings year-in and year-out.  (And CBS, for that matter.)

What I really like is the sneering dismissal of conference rivalries.

The biggest continuing flaw in SEC football scheduling is the concept of permanent, opposite-division opponents. Permanent opponents are the SEC’s hide-bound attempt to cling to traditional rivalries that would otherwise be disrupted by East and West divisions, primarily Alabama/Tennessee and Auburn/Georgia.

One can argue those are rivalries worth preserving…

Gee, thanks for that.

It’s all about having the path greased to the BCS now.  Maybe they ought to let LSU pick it’s cross-division opponents each year.  And while they’re at it, they could wait a month into the season to choose them, so Alleva could really get a handle on which schools will pose the least challenging threat to the Tigers’ chances.

I can’t see Alleva actually threatening to leave the conference – the money’s too good and if he’s upset about Alabama’s pull, just wait ’til he gets a load of Texas’ power in the Big 12 – but the scheduling whining will be interesting to follow, especially since Georgia won’t be a target on that front in 2013.

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High achievers

Interesting suggestion buried in this story about the record number of early enrollees Georgia expects to have in this next recruiting class:

Richt, who had only two early enrollees in 2011 and three last year, really pressed the issue with this year’s class to make up for roster deficiencies.  ”If there was any year we pushed it, it was this year,” Richt said. “We’re trying to get to 10. So that was an important thing for this year’s class. But most of the time we might bring it up, ‘If you’re the kind of guy that would be excited about getting a head star, great. If not, it’s not that big a deal.’”

It was a big deal for UGA this year after whiffing on numerous targets on last year’s signing day. To make up for it, the Bulldogs targeted a lot of recruits that had strong enough academics to be able to enroll early. “They would’ve been behind if they didn’t,” Scout.com’s Chad Simmons said. “After (the small class) last year, they were really behind in numbers. It was really a good job by Georgia to go out and identify guys that had the option to graduate early … to help them catch up with (the 85-man roster limit).”

It’s reasonable to expect that early enrollees have drive and focus in spades.  After all, they’ve prepared to leave high school ahead of schedule.  What does that mean for a program when you add better academics to the mix?  I’d be curious to know if early enrollees have fewer discipline problems as a group and get on the field faster than do their mates who enroll at the usual point (as to the latter, the difference between the two is only one spring practice).  I’m sure we’d all like to think that’s the case, but these are still 17- and 18-year old kids we’re talking about here.

One thing seems certain – with about half of Richt’s largest signing class electing to enroll early, we’ll have an interesting sample size by which to judge this.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

The hangover

If motivation is a big key to a bowl game (and I think it is), how much will it matter how Georgia’s last game finished?  That’s the question Christian Robinson tries to answer for the AJ-C:

“We all realize we came up a little short and that’s really disappointing,” the senior inside linebacker said of the SEC Championship game loss. “It was kind of sad around here for a little bit, but getting back out there and practicing we realize that we have a lot to show. We can still go down as one of the best teams in Georgia history. Just because you’re not playing for the national championship doesn’t mean you can’t be a special team. We have those types of players here and that type of leadership that hopefully we’ll show up and not give the (bowl) game away like we did last year.”

Robinson acknowledged the gap the Bulldogs have to fill between their last game and the next could derail some teams. However, he was confident the leaders on this year’s edition of the Bulldogs will make sure they give their best effort in Orlando.

He goes on to say there will be a clear indicator of whether the Dawgs decide to show up or not.

Just see how many big plays the Bulldogs give up.

“That’s usually what shows up when you have a long break — hustle plays,” he said. “Plays you normally didn’t have. You might have people loafing a little bit more, but coaches have done a great job conditioning us and honing in on those things more than X’s and O’s, because those are what win (games), especially with the type of talent we have. If we show up and do what we’re supposed to do and play physically, (we’ll) make plays.”

In case you’re wondering, Nebraska is ninth nationally in plays from scrimmage of 20+ yards.

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