Who’s on the bus?

I mentioned this before, but with Georgia opening at Vanderbilt, Kirby Smart has to wrestle with an issue he hasn’t faced before at Georgia:  who on the roster won’t be asked to make the trip?

… after the team’s second preseason scrimmage on Saturday, Kirby Smart was asked about the challenge of deciding on a 70-man travel roster. It’s a task that only three Power Five teams in the country have to deal with prior to their opener (Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Virginia Tech), and something that Smart said is always difficult regardless of the final number that make the bus.

“It’s tough 70, it’s tough 85. It’s tough when you travel 100 because whoever the 101st, 71st, 86th, it’s tough,” Smart said. “It’s going to be even tougher, but we know what we decide there’s not final. It changes week to week. There’s not a week that I think our roster was exactly the same last year, No. 1, because of injuries, No. 2 because of effort in practice … It can come full circle. We’re going to have some tough decisions to make. We’re not going to make them right now. We’ve got two weeks to finalize those choices and decisions.”

Last season with the Bulldogs opening at home against a non-conference opponent, Austin Peay, Georgia was able to dress up to 125 players. For conference home games, the host team is able to dress 95 players, but only 80 of those are eligible to participate. The number shrinks even more to 70 for a conference road game like Georgia is faced with to open the season.

The linked article goes on to attempt a breakdown of the seventy who will travel to Nashville; it’s probably easier to look at the list of those players who aren’t expected to go:

SCHOLARSHIP PLAYERS PROJECTED TO MISS THE CUT (For Now) — (18):
D’Wan Mathis, Tommy Bush, Makiya Tongue, Ryland Goede, Clay Webb, Xavier Truss, Warren McClendon, Owen Condon, Netori Johnson, Michail Carter, Bill Norton, Zion Logue, Tymon Mitchell, Rian Davis, Trezman Marshall, Tramel Walthour, Latavious Brini, and Ameer Speed

The cynic in me wonders how many of those eighteen who aren’t true freshmen will be on Georgia’s 2020 roster.  Just like everyone else at Georgia, the Process is grinding.

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

42 responses to “Who’s on the bus?

  1. Mayor

    I hope Jake Fromm doesn’t get injured, particularly early in the game. If Mathis stays home……

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    • jrod1229

      Mathis had brain surgery recently and hasn’t been cleared for contact.

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    • Uglydawg

      I think Stetson can handle the job at a journeyman’s level. I don’t really want to find out the hard way, though. I hope he will get significant playing time when the game is in hand, though. That will be essential to making things work in the long haul for this season.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Bulldog Joe

      Third QB will likely be #9 Nathan Priestley, a late pickup out of Los Angeles Loyola High School.

      Amazing how Coach Always B. Crootin finds these guys.

      Like

  2. Former Fan

    This is a rule I don’t understand. It is probably tied directly to finances. Something the AD’s pushed the conference to enforce. No way the coaches or players like it. Why have it except for money purposes?

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  3. ApalachDawg

    Two things:
    1) doesn’t seem fair – visiting team gets 10 less eligible players than the home team

    2) maybe when these players get paid (over the table), they can all dress, travel and be eligible

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  4. JasonC

    Interesting that all 4 teams are from 2 states.

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  5. Bright Idea

    Dumb rule for a conference like the SEC. I can understand a limit, but 70? Archaic.

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    • Texas Dawg

      What ever the limit, it should be the same for the home and road team.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Macallanlover

      It is dumb, but it isn’t the number “70” that bothers me; it is that Vandy gets to have 95 on hand and can play 80. Is there really any reason one team should be giving an additional edge? Home field is a large enough advantage already (generally from 2-5 points according to bookmakers), so why increase the imbalance? SEC should seriously look at this rule, the money issue left town a long rime ago.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. C

    I would say none of them (the non Freshman) will be on the roster in 2020. And I wouldn’t fault them if it were their choice. Side note…Tommy Bush either really isn’t buying in or was a huge whiff. I can’t imagine a none Freshman WR not making the cut. There are reasons no doubt.

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  7. TMCDAWG

    Is this an sec or ncaa rule?

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  8. Greg

    Michail Carter???….guess he is not having a good camp AGAIN. Had high hopes for this guy coming out of HS.

    “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work”

    He needs to step up this year.

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    • The other Doug

      Carter missed Spring because of an injury. He might not be 100%.

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      • Greg

        Thanks….yes I remember, but he just has not developed into the player I thought he could be since he has been there.

        He has the potential, just do not know what has held him back. I believe Donnan was bragging about him the other day…so maybe the light has finally come on. Hope so, he is running out of time.

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  9. Reverend Whitewall

    I don’t really see an issue with teams only being able to travel 70 players. If you’re reaching deep enough into your bench to play the guys who are 70+ on your bench, then it’s because the game is already a blowout one way or the other. I can’t imagine too many games have been won or lost because the home team was able to dress out some extra 3rd or 4th stringers.

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    • Greg

      exactly…

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    • Texas Dawg

      The number, whether it is 30 or 100 should be the same for both teams.

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      • Reverend Whitewall

        I’m just saying, if any coach – EVER – had thought they lost a game because they couldn’t bring more than 70 players, we’d have heard about it over and over. But from most of the responses here, I don’t think most fans even have a clue that the rule exists. Because it’s a non issue. 95% of the schools out there probably feel fortunate if they have 60 players on their roster who can help them win a football game. Remember when Kiffin took over at USC and they got hit with sanctions, but I think he had Barkley at QB…….his response to a question about it was most coaches would give up the bottom 20 players on their roster if it meant having an elite QB instead……..and pretty much nobody disputed the notion. Like I said, it’s just really a non issue. I look at it as more of a bonus for the home team that if the game does get out of hand, they can at least get their scrubs some experience.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed – partly a $$ saving issue for traveling team. (Why pay for food/transport/lodging for 15-30 extra players who are unlikely to ever get in the game) and partly as a bonus to scrubs in home blowouts. This is a non-issue other than Kirby using it to push young guys.

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          • Greg

            Yep, why spend it if you don’t have to.

            But the NCAA shouldn’t regulate it imo, let the schools have that discretion.

            Still, a non-issue. Probably why it hasn’t been challenged.

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    • Former Fan

      Lots of players would enjoy going to the game and dressing out. Let them go. No real reason not too given the amount of money these schools make off of them.

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  10. Looks like Netori Johnson is never gonna step up like I thought he would.

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  11. Russ

    Not that I care about the NFL at all, but talking about this really makes me wonder how an NFL team goes through a 16+ game schedule with a 53 man roster.

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  12. Cosimo Medici

    Kirby has firmly placed our beloved program in the football business. It’s a hardball world. In Athens for most players it’s “move up or move out”. And I’m f*#king loving it!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Texas Dawg

      So you’re saying there are no participation trophies

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    • What makes you think we’re processing people? Frankly, I find that part of the sausage making disgusting. I’m sure you would be fully behind having your child’s college scholarship pulled for no reason other than I found a better biology major than your kid.

      Is Kirby likely encouraging student-athletes to look at their transfer options if they want to play? Yep. I hope he isn’t telling a single player his scholarship isn’t being renewed.

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      • Cosimo Medici

        Nothing makes me think we are “processing” any player. That is a vulgar term and beneath you to twist the meaning of my post into something sordid. Your analogy about a Biology scholarship being pulled is absurd. Someone needs to help you descend from the high horse you are sitting upon. I bid you good day sir.

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        • Gaskilldawg

          I also interpreted “move up or move out” as the coach “moving out” players who didn’t “move up.”

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        • “Moving up or moving out … I’m loving it.”

          There was no twisting what you said. I only read it.

          If I’m sitting on a high horse, I’m damn proud of it because I don’t want our football program to treat recruiting mistakes like Nick Saban treats his mistakes.

          Liked by 1 person

      • tbia

        Most biology scholarships DO get pulled if you don’t produce. Plenty of schollays at UGA and elsewhere contingent on a certain GPA. Work your ass off or hit the road.

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        • Academic scholarships do not get pulled if you are meeting the requirements of the scholarship.

          OTOH, athletic scholarships can not be renewed (i.e., taken away) simply because a coach wants to give that scholarship to a player thought to be better.

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  13. Bulldog Joe

    For many, special teams play will determine if they make the trip.

    Great to see the emphasis on it in camp. No longer competing against walk-ons.

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  14. Keep “choppin”…..you’ll always have a seat on the bus

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  15. W Cobb Dawg

    There were 18 players on the list above. And if memory serves me correctly, we’re at 83 scholly players on the roster. I suppose a few non-scholly players will make the Vandy trip, like the long snappah and another backup QB. I’d also infer we’ll be red-shirting at least 10 of the newbees, considering the relaxed redshirting change.

    Unless injured or suspended, I’d be surprised if Bush, Carter, Speed, Condon and Brini didn’t make the trip. Listing those names needs more explaining.

    Lots of interesting things to consider when you start the season on the road. We won’t hit the road again until utk on October 5th. It’ll be a lot easier for Kirby to pick that 70.

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