Also from that Dennis Dodd story I linked to in my last post:
“It took me a year to really figure out my team,” Mason said. “I know Kirby Smart played in the national championship, but you go back to Kirby in Year 1 [and] it was a different story. Everybody is questioning whether or not he can be successful.”
Everybody, including other head coaches? I guess I was in good company, then, after this debacle. No wonder Kirby’s being modest.
This is what is commonly called a first world problem, I guess.
There is give and take to every coaching change.
For Mississippi State’s Joe Moorhead, it was giving up a simple convenience when he arrived in Starkville.
“There is no Target,” he said. “You have to go to Tuscaloosa for a Target.”
There’s always Amazon, coach.
Steve Spurrier will forever have something gnawing at his soul.
Spurrier traces his disdain for the Dawgs to his own playing career.
The Dawgs beat his Florida Gators in 1966, the year Spurrier won the Heisman.
They beat us my senior year in college. They knocked us out; Florida had a chance to win its first-ever SEC title. We went over to Jacksonville, and they beat the crap out of us in the second half and ended up winning, 27-10, something like that. Now they completely outplayed us, wasn’t any flukes or anything like that.
But as a coach, I thought maybe I could get even with them.
And we’ll always have this nail in the OBC’s coffin. No, it’s not a completely even swap, but it sure makes for a nice bookend to go with 1966.
A native of Cairo, Ga., Stanfill first put his name on the football map in Georgia’s 27-10 upset of previously unbeaten Florida in 1966. Then a sophomore, Stanfill led the Bulldogs’ all-out rush on UF quarterback Steve Spurrier, sacking him twice and hitting him repeatedly after many of his passes. Though Spurrier went on to win the Heisman Trophy, the memory of Georgia denying the Gators their first SEC title and overcoming a 10-3 halftime deficit still resonates as one of Stanfill’s greatest memories.
“If I wasn’t sacking [Spurrier], I was knocking him down,” said Stanfill, a 35-year resident of Albany, Ga., who retired in 2010 as an agricultural real estate broker. “He just didn’t have time to throw.”
He’s behind a paywall at The Athletic, so I’m not gonna ruin the party with a lengthy cut and paste, but one point in Seth Emerson’s piece today about the state of Georgia’s program bears repeating.
Biggest on-field question
The measure of how good things have become for Georgia is how hard it is to answer this question.
There’s no such thing as a perfect team, of course, so there are some answers — Seth mentions depth on the d-line and secondary and punter (!) as examples — but the reality is that none of them appear to be season-threatening at this point. (Especially given Georgia’s schedule, when you compare Georgia’s issues with those of every opponent it’ll face.)
When’s the last preseason time, if any, we could honestly feel that way about a Georgia roster? Maybe going into 2008, at least before we got a real flavor for the genius of Willie Martinez? The 2004 team? I think the 2002 season kind of snuck up on us, so I’m not sure I would count that one. There’s always Jim Donnan’s “I’ve waited fifty-five years” 2000 squad, I guess. (That’s a joke, son.)
Well, this list of suggested changes the SEC should pursue — some excellent, like making referees available to the media postgame, and some silly/tongue in cheek (I’m looking at you, dodgeball) — got me to thinking, so I’ll ask: if you were the god-king of the SEC for a day and could enact one change that would bind the conference going forward, what would it be?
I’ll get the ball rolling with the obvious one of moving to a nine-game conference schedule, combined with the mandate that every school had to play at least one P5 opponent as well. That still leaves room for two cupcakes a year, which is enough.
What would you guys pick?
I know this is going to come as a shock and a disappointment to those of you who think the obvious solution to fixing college athletics’ amateurism issues is for some pro league to start signing high school kids, but the newly hatched Alliance of American Football is not gonna go there.
The new league will not accept players straight out of high school.
Ebersol explained that they’ve yet to decide whether a rule similar to the NFL’s standard (three years after graduation of the player’s high school class) or an age minimum will apply. Regardless, high school players need not apply to the AAF as an alternative to college football.
Another blown opportunity. Sad!
Maybe we should organize a boycott to change Ebersol’s mind and make him understand his league’s purpose in life is to save college football.
It’s June, so this is what you get:
- Paul Myerberg has Georgia cresting in the Sugar Bowl, in a rematch of last year’s Rose Bowl.
- Athlon predicts a 12-0 regular season, a loss to an also undefeated Alabama in the SECCG… and a return to the CFP. Two straight years of a non-conference champ SEC team in the playoffs really ought to get the post season expansion screaming rolling.