We all know there were plenty of ups and downs to Georgia’s year last season. But some of the highlights were as good as anything a Dawg fan could have asked for. I’ll post of few of the ones that stuck with me over the next few weeks on a random basis. Feel free to chime in with any you think deserve special attention.
Somebody mentioned this one in the comments the other day, and it really is one of my favorites from last season:
I’m not sure what I like the most about that clip – Uncle Verne’s “Murray… still up!” or the way the second replay shows Murray shaking off the two DBs closing in to make the tackle – but it reminds me how he took that wounded offense on his shoulders and willed his team to the win on the road. To me, that’s the game where Murray really drove the stake through the heart of the “Murray can’t win the big game” knock on him.
Something crossed my mind as I read this Jeremy Fowler piece on how the mid-majors will cope with the looming issue of more autonomy for the power conferences. How much of a game changer could Jeffery Kessler’s antitrust suit be if he won, not for student-athletes, but for mid-major schools?
No, if the Wild West comes to college athletics, Boise State isn’t suddenly going to have as much money to spend as Ohio State. But it doesn’t have the enormously expensive infrastructure Ohio State maintains, either. So what if the more nimble Broncos did a little outside-the-box thinking and decided to put most of their resources into player payment? Might that not serve to level the playing field somewhat?
I get that there are some places, like Alabama and Texas, that simply wouldn’t allow themselves to be outspent, and that there are schools at the other end of the spectrum that simply don’t have enough coming in to make a meaningful effort in that way. But that still leaves a lot of programs in the middle. You’d have to think there are enough talented kids out there who would prefer the cash being paid directly to them than being put into facilities or administrative salaries whom a smartly run program could sign in an open market that it could make some mid-major schools, or even bottom feeders in the bigger conferences, more competitive. (Especially since you’d have to figure there would be a bunch of ADs out there ill-equipped to operate in such a world.)
I like John Pennington, but this argument leaves me scratching my head:
While an eight-team field is most likely on the way — at least according to those ADs polled by CBSSports.com — the most probable opposition to such a move will go a little something like this: “Expanding the playoffs will lesson the importance of the regular season, just like basketball.”
But would it?
Basketball is a sport that stretches for over six months from November through the first Monday in April. The regular season itself consists of 30+ games. What happens pre-New Year’s can mean zip by the time February rolls ’round. In other words, the basketball regular season is not meaningless because it ends in a tournament… it’s meaningless because it’s too darn long. Football wouldn’t have such a problem. Football’s regular season typically lasts about four months and that’s including two-week dead period in early-to-mid-December.
By the end of a football season, many a fan can tell you the result and correct score from each of his favorite team’s 12 regular-season games. Try that with a basketball fan. Not even folks in the Bluegrass State could pull off that feat. Basketball has too many games. There’s too much to process.
Well, either he underestimates the cognitive abilities of Kentucky fans, or the CBB regular season has been relatively meaningless for an awfully long time, because the vast majority of NCAA champs have played over thirty games in a season since Oregon did it in 1939.
It’s not the basketball regular season that’s been growing.
In each of the past seven years, there have been 10 to 12 bowls played on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. However, this season there will be only eight — with five of those games played in exclusive time slots.
The only bowls played on Dec. 31 will be part of the playoff’s six New Year’s-specific bowls. The Peach will have the early kickoff, followed by the Fiesta and then the Orange. Exact game times have not been determined.
On Jan. 1, the Outback and Capital One bowls are expected to start between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET, sources said. It’s expected the Outback will be on ESPN2 and Capital One on ABC. Both games will go head-to-head with the Cotton Bowl on ESPN.
The playoff semifinal bowls are the Rose and Sugar. The Rose will start about 5 p.m. ET, followed by the Sugar.
That suits me. I like the big bowls having the stage to themselves on New Year’s… at least as long as there aren’t any five-touchdown blowouts.
Congressional interest in the current state of college athletics will take another step forward Thursday when a House committee conducts a hearing to examine the recent decision by a regional chairman of the National Labor Relations Board to allow college football players at Northwestern University to unionize.
The Education and Workforce Committee will conduct a hearing titled “Big Labor on College Campuses: Examining the Consequences of Unionizing Student Athletes,” the committee said in a release.
And it’s good to see that the committee is approaching the issue with the open-mindedness that’s been a hallmark of Congressional deliberation since the beginning of the republic.
“The NLRB’s decision represents a radical departure from longstanding federal labor policies,” committee chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) said in the release. “Classifying student athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports, as well as reduce education access and opportunity. The committee has a responsibility to thoroughly examine how the NLRB’s decision will affect students and their ability to receive a quality education.”
The fun part will be seeing who the witnesses are. Don’t forget the popcorn!
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23