I’m seeing a certain amount of anxiety over the threat South Carolina poses in the SEC East this season. Lots of focus on their players and the schedule, but there’s one thing I’m not seeing addressed in the comments here.
“It’s something we chart every day,” Muschamp said. “(Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson) and our defensive staff do a fantastic job of coaching turnovers and emphasizing turnovers, we have not gotten the ball out well this spring at all.”
The Gamecocks led the SEC and were tied for ninth in the nation last year with 28 takeaways (14 interceptions, 14 fumbles). Their plus-11 turnover margin was second in the SEC and tied for 13th in the nation.
Before you pooh-pah this, you might want to consider the role turnover margin played for Boom during his Florida tenure. Here’s how that broke down over his last three seasons:
Florida’s record those three seasons? 11-2, 4-8 and 6-5, respectively. Pretty solid correlation there.
I would say that Agent Muschamp is working with a thinner margin for error in Columbia than he was in Gainesville — lower level of talent and a much more formidable Georgia team. Maybe somebody can explain why regression to the mean won’t hurt the ‘Cocks this season as much as it did the Gators in 2013.
We’ve all taken pride in how many Georgia players are active on the professional level, so this comes as something of a surprise.
Top producers of 1st/2nd-round NFL draft picks since 2009: 1. Alabama (37), 2. Ohio State (24), T-3. Florida and Florida State (21), 5. LSU (18), 6. USC (17), T-7. Clemson and Notre Dame (15), 9. North Carolina (13), T-10. Oregon, Stanford and Washington (12).
Some traditional college football blue bloods have failed to reach double digits in 1st/2nd-round NFL draft picks produced since 2009 — Georgia and Penn State (9), Tennessee (8), Miami, Michigan and Texas (7), Auburn and Nebraska (6).
Fans, please give a warm Georgia welcome to the Indiana State Sycamores, a proud member of the Missouri Valley Conference, who have just been added to the 2023 home schedule for the low, low price of $500,000.00. They’re coming off a helluva season, too!
In their first season under new head coach Curt Mallory, the Sycamores finished winless at 0-11 and 0-8 in conference play.
The tradition continues.
Georgia now has four FCS opponents on their future schedules. The Bulldogs are set to host Austin Peay in 2018, Murray State in 2019, ETSU in 2020, and Indiana State in 2023.
Like it or not, it’s safe to say we now live in a College Football Playoff world. Georgia played for a national title last season and it’s only fair to wonder what 2018 holds out for the program in that regard. Pete Fiutak warns us that our Dawgs are likely to be the last team out.
The Bulldogs are loaded again for another amazing run, and they’ll be among the four best teams in college football, but the problem might just be the two-loss barrier that no team has cracked so far to get into the CFP.
On talent alone, Georgia deserves to be considered the preseason No. 1, or 1A, or 1B next to some of the other big boys. However, it has to start over at linebacker, has to replace the NFL running back tandem of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and has just enough key losses in other positions to be annoying.
They’ll be in the thick of the chase all season long, but it’ll likely come down to the SEC Championship for one of those four spots. So give the Dawgs this caveat for the fifth spot; the winner in Atlanta will be in, and they’ll at least be playing for the trip…
Why They’ll Miss Out On The College Football Playoff
The SEC East isn’t going to be so blessed miserable this year.
That’s not to say Georgia wouldn’t have rolled through last year’s division schedule no matter what, but in 2017 …
Florida … bad and boring.
Tennessee … bad and weird.
Missouri … bad and couldn’t beat a good team.
Vanderbilt … bad and Vanderbilt.
South Carolina was solid, but it’ll be better this year, and that’s an issue.
The schedule isn’t horrible – Georgia Tech is the only worrisome non-conference game – but with road games at South Carolina and LSU, and with Florida stronger and Auburn to deal with, lose once, and then there won’t be any margin for error.
What’s Really Going To Happen?
Georgia will lose once along the way. Just watch out for that South Carolina game to open up the SEC season.
Unlike 2017 Alabama, the Bulldogs won’t catch the mega-break of not having to go to the SEC Championship. At 11-1, they’d be in. At 11-2 with an SEC title game loss to the Crimson Tide, they’re out.
But that got me to wondering about the likelihood of Georgia being a one-loss regular season team by the time the SECCG rolls around. Remember, ESPN’s FPI projects Georgia to finish 11-2 (rounded off), winning the SEC East. It also shows, though, that the team has roughly a 10% chance of running the regular season table. It also projects Georgia as the favorite in every game on the schedule.
Remember, too, as I posted the other day, Vegas is projecting 10.5 wins this season for the Dawgs, and a wide margin in the divisional standings. All of which backs up Fiutak’s point that Georgia is unlikely to be this year’s version of 2017 Alabama in terms of its path to the CFP.
That gets me to the point of asking you guys to look into your crystal balls and predict what lies in store for Georgia’s 2018. Say hello to my leetle fren’, er… reader poll.
As always with these, your comments are more than welcomed.
The Division I Transfer Working Group affirmed its strong support for a proposal that would eliminate the ability of schools to influence athletics scholarships provided to student-athletes after they transfer.
That’s nice, but as you read through the release, there are a ton of proposals, some of which conflict, that give me the impression they’re still a ways away from a final consensus. One thing I do like a lot is that they’re looking to stiffen the penalty for coaches tampering with a college athlete at another school. If you have a problem with players being recruited when they shouldn’t be, that should be on the coaches doing the recruiting.
On the other hand, if you want to see something that ought to make Nick Saban’s head explodes, check out the tail end of the release.
The working group is interested in membership feedback on a proposal that would require schools that accept graduate transfers to offer aid — and count it against team limits — for the duration of the graduate program in which the student enrolls. With this concept, even if a student leaves after the first year of a two-year graduate program, the school could not re-award that aid, and it would continue to count against team limits.
You lose a grad transfer, but still have to take the scholly hit for him? Ouchy-ouch. (As bad as that might be for Saban, merely on general principle, imagine the havoc it would wreck on basketball rosters.) No wonder the report goes on to note “membership opinion was deeply divided”. Hunh, imagine that. Yet for some reason, they’ve put it out there again to see if those opinions have changed. Somebody at the NCAA has a sense of humor, I guess.
It’s a little puzzling — the proposal that would allow players to appear in up to four games without losing their redshirt status has been tabled again. This comes after the proposal was modified to eliminate something that evidently bothered some schools.
One aspect of the original proposal that raised some concerns, according to Berry, was a potential loophole that would’ve allowed midyear enrollees to play in the College Football Playoff or bowl games and not have it cost them a year of eligibility. Berry said the proposal has been amended to close that loophole, which could have presented a massive issue with the new early singing period in mid-December.
Now it think it would be cleaner simply to give players five years of eligibility instead of the current four, this proposal in its current form is favored by coaches (unanimously, according to American Football Coaches Association executive director Todd Berry) and apparently is looked upon favorably by players, per the article.
Several players in this year’s NFL Draft who redshirted during their college careers, felt having the opportunity to play in up to four games while redshirting either would’ve helped them or will benefit players in the future.
“I feel that definitely can benefit somebody,” said former Missouri wide receiver J’Mon Moore, who redshirted in 2013. “You can get a little bit of experience, a little bit of how fast the game is played and then I guess the coaches can judge on if you’re ready to play on that level or not. But I definitely feel like that benefits the player.”
Several tight ends, which is typically more of a developmental position, were particularly supportive of the proposal.
“I think that would be awesome,” former Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews said. “I think guys just being able to get game reps. If you blow a team out and you want to put a guy in, why not? Why not let them get some game reps in front of 85.000 fans? It’s just going to make them better.”
And yet, it’s been pushed back again. Makes you wonder what’s going on behind the scenes.
“I don’t mess with Jack,” Smart said of the player named the Peach Bowl offensive MVP.. “I don’t mess with kickers. I let them do their thing. Probably the best thing to happen is he didn’t have long to think about it.” — AB-H, 1/1/21