If you’d have told me when I started this blog that one of my legacies here would be to become joined at the hip with Stewart Mandel on a certain topic, I’d have looked at you funny, but it’s 2022 and here we are ($$).
This whole thing started with the Georgia Bulldogs.
… The Dawgs were not among my original list of 13 Kings. “Suppose we went to, say, Montana,” I wrote at the time. “And suppose we found 100 ‘average’ college football fans … if I held up a Georgia “G” helmet, how many of them do you think would be able to identify it off the top of their head?”
A Georgia blogger known as Senator Blutarsky never forgot that line. Five years later, when Georgia remained a Baron, he found a volunteer to literally go to sports bars in Montana with a video camera and a Georgia helmet asking folks if they could identify it. (Final tally of the “Montana Project:” 73 yes, 27 no.)
Well, how’s this for serendipity? My next re-rank would always be in 2022. So, of course, Smart, who already had elevated Georgia’s profile substantially in the past five years, went and led the Dawgs to their elusive first national championship since 1980 just five months before this would run, ensuring their deserved step up to the ruling class.
Reached for comment, Senator Blutarsky — also known as Michael Brochstein of Atlanta — responded humorously (I think), “Bout damn time.”
Montana — if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.
Also comes from that Matt Hayes article:
Georgia: 60.87. Percentage of TDs scored in the red zone, good for 6th in the SEC.
cfbstats.com says that red zone TD% was actually only good for eighth in the conference, but you get the idea. There’s certainly room for improvement.
That being said, with that tight end room he’s got on hand, I suspect Todd Monken’s on the mother.
Wonder who’s pushing for an eight-game, one-permanent opponent approach to SEC scheduling? Look no further than here.
When Missouri joined the SEC, the Tigers needed an interdivision rival, so the SEC concocted the Battle Line Rivalry, which yielded an unwieldy trophy and a forced matchup. In a 1-7 model, Texas and Oklahoma and LSU and Texas A&M likely would be paired as rivals. If so, that should keep Missouri as Arkansas’ rival. That’s a bummer for Razorbacks fans who would enjoy seeing the old Southwest Conference rivalry with Texas renewed annually or the continuance of the Battle for the Golden Boot with LSU, but it’s a favorable draw for the ease of Arkansas’ schedule.
The interruption of “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” would be among the worst consequences if the 1-7 model is embraced. Auburn and Georgia have squared off in all but three years since the start of the 20th century, and those interruptions were due to World Wars. The preservation of this rivalry and others is among the reasons why I favor a 3-6 model. Yet, there’s no denying Auburn’s schedule would lighten if the SEC opts for a 1-7 setup.
Credit Mark Stoops with being Kentucky’s best coach since Bear Bryant, but he also benefits from the Wildcats routinely featuring one of the easiest schedules among SEC teams. An eight-game conference format would help UK continue that. South Carolina would be a logical rivalry partner, and the Wildcats could retain three layup nonconference games alongside its annual date with Louisville, which recently has trended in UK’s direction.
South Carolina Gamecocks
In a 3-6 schedule format, Georgia could be among the Gamecocks’ rivals. Avoiding an annual date with the Bulldogs would strip the Gamecocks of their best conference rivalry but also would be a win in their quest for bowl eligibility.
No one suffered more from the current rivalry schedule format than the Vols. Alabama has won 15 straight in the “Third Saturday in October” series. Some Vols fans possess years-old cigars, in hopes of one day getting to light up in triumph again. Tennessee could come away the biggest winner in a 1-7 schedule format. With Alabama and Auburn paired, that should mean the Vols would win the sweepstakes to land Vanderbilt as their designated rival. Pair that with a couple of games against Mid-American Conference foes, and Tennessee would be well on its way to bowl eligibility.
Today, it’s coming from Matt Hayes, who lists Will Levis as one of the SEC’s three elite quarterbacks.
3. Will Levis, Kentucky: The Wildcats didn’t truly lean on Levis until the final month of the season, when he played his best ball (16 total TDs in last 5 games).
New offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello will pick up where Liam Coen left off in 2021, and Levis will continue his meteoric rise since — yep, that’s right — transferring from Penn State.
Levis’ last five games were against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, Louisville and Iowa. He wasn’t bad over that stretch — his lowest passer rating of 135.25 came in the bowl game — but it was hardly meteoric. As gauntlets go, that wasn’t much of one, either.
Can someone clue me in to what I seem to be missing?
On the one hand, please don’t call ’em professionals ($$).
The Southeastern Conference filed an amicus brief last week to support the NCAA in its ongoing attempt to prevent the recognition of college athletes as employees of the schools they attend.
The NCAA is a defendant, along with Villanova and other universities, in Johnson v. NCAA, a case originally brought by current and former college athletes in which they say that they should be qualified as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The conference argued that participating in college sports does not qualify as work under the law, that schools are not employers, and that athletes should not be paid.
“Such participation should be categorized as an extracurricular educational activity to be administered and conducted in a manner consistent with each institution’s broader educational mission and policies,” the SEC wrote in its brief. “Not as an employer-employee relationship between the institution and the participants that requires mandatory pay.”
On the other, can we please treat them the way professional players are treated?
That has added another layer to the highly-charged transfer issue. In the first year of the one-time transfer rule, coaches and administrators alike balked at the near-endless focus on the transfer portal, which unlike free agency in professional sports could be entered and exited at nearly any time.
… The American Football Coaches Association has recommended a pair of transfer “windows” that would allow players to move between teams at defined periods of time while giving coaches more certainty over recruiting and roster construction.
As always, the definition of amateurism is whatever they say it is.
No doubt you’ll be shocked, shocked to learn this:
Though discussions are ongoing, specific transfer windows to address the unsettled one-time transfer climate are unlikely to be approved by the NCAA this week, sources tell CBS Sports. Resolution of tremendously complicated issue hangs in the balance with various committees scheduled to meet this week at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.
“Other than bringing it up in concept form, I doubt that the [NCAA] Council takes any action,” said West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, current chairman of the council, which holds primary legislative authority for Division I athletics.
There are potential legal liability considerations tied to the transfer windows, Lyons said. Carving that nine-month transfer period down to a couple of months could raise concerns.
“There was some potential legal risk,” Lyons said. “That’s why it got kicked back to the Transformation Committee because of [potential] antitrust [violations].”
You know, you’d think with all the money the NCAA’s spent on antitrust attorneys, they’d have found at least one capable of giving meaningful advice now.
To the news that 247Sports projects a Florida wideout as a Georgia commit comes this reaction:
Dogshit! It’s not worth wasting time posting stats as a rebuttal to that. Of course, we all know that Florida’s offense is going to be electric this season.
This one, admittedly, is a closer call, but Barrett Sallee picks the top five running back rooms in college football and Georgia isn’t one of them. (He does include Georgia as an honorable mention, along with the likes of Central Michigan and Appalachian State, though.)
To be fair, Cook and White are gone, but is it really much of a question about whether the overall production will be there again this season?
How do you compile a list of the twelve best players in the SEC without having Jalen Carter’s name on it? Pat Dooley shows you how.