Archive for November, 2012

Alabama RB pokes fun at UGA

Alabama finally cracked with some smack talk about its SEC Championship opponent on Tuesday afternoon.

And it was an Alabama running back from Georgia, Hillgrove High School’s Kenyan Drake, who fired the shot on Twitter:

Biggest game in 30 years?? We do this every year #rolltide

Drake is a freshman at Alabama, as this is his first season of college football. He was obviously making reference to UGA players or fans being hyped up about Saturday’s contest.

Drake may not be politically correct but he is right. It is UGA’s biggest game in 30 years because a win will give the Bulldogs a shot at winning the national title for the first time since 1980.

But should Drake have said it out loud?

UGA players have been talking a little smack, in bits and pieces, all week – most notably with safety Bacarri Rambo saying “We have better players (than Alabama) across the board.”

Meanwhile, Alabama coach Nick Saban and players have been relatively quiet in media interviews this …

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Mark Richt would burn QB’s redshirt season, if needed, for two games

How bad does Mark Richt want to win the SEC Championship?

So badly that he would burn a year of college eligibility for his No. 2 quarterback, if needed.

Aaron Murray’s backup, Hutson Mason, hasn’t played this season in order to redshirt and have two years to play after this season.

Richt admitted on his radio show on Monday that if Murray suffered a season-ending injury, he would toss that plan and play Mason.

Burn a whole year of eligibility for two games? Yes, UGA hasn’t played in two games with such high stakes in nearly three decades.

If UGA defeats Alabama in the SEC Championship, it would likely advance to play Notre Dame for its first national title since 1980.

Mason has the potential to be just as talented as Murray but hasn’t really been given the opportunity to showcase his skills. Mason considered transferring from UGA after last season, but decided to stay – even though there is the possibility that Murray will return for his senior season because he …

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Looking for tickets to SEC Championship?

Looking for tickets to Saturday’s SEC Championship?

It’s one of the hardest tickets in college football to get.

A lot of it has to do with UGA having the chance to win its first national title since 1980 – if the Bulldogs beat Alabama on Saturday. That’s a pretty big “if.”

The SEC Championship game is officially sold out. But you can still get tickets on the secondary market for a steep price.

But hey, like an Alabama running back suggested on Twitter, this is an event that only happens every 30 years for Georgia. So why not splurge?

Note: The SEC has issued a warning about purchasing counterfeit tickets to the game. The SEC and Georgia Dome officials will have a “Ticket Validation Window” at the main box office at the Georgia Dome beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

How do you find the best price on the best ticket for Saturday? Check back on this page throughout the rest of the week.

AJC’s SEC CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE

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Muschamp fires back at Saban: “Be careful what you ask for, Nick”

Will Muschamp has fired back at Nick Saban over his BCS bowl complaints.

The loser of Saturday’s SEC Championship between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 UGA will likely drop to a non-BCS bowl game, maybe the Capital One Bowl. Meanwhile, No. 4 Florida will likely make it to the Sugar Bowl, despite not playing for a conference title.

Should Florida get in a BCS bowl over the Alabama-UGA loser?

  • Yes
  • NO

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Saban is not happy about that. And on this issue, UGA fans might be in agreement with the Alabama coach.

“It’s not really a great scenario,” Saban said on Sunday. “You play your way into the (SEC) Championship game, which means you’re the best team in your division … It doesn’t seem quite right, but it is what it is. I don’t really know what me commenting about it is going to do to change it. But I don’t feel good about it.”

Muschamp responded to the comments from his former boss, Saban.

“Well, I can switch and go to …

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Catching up with former UGA DB CJ Byrd about SEC Championship memories

Former UGA DB CJ Byrd

Former UGA DB CJ Byrd

When CJ Byrd was a freshman at Georgia, the Bulldogs won the 2005 SEC Championship. He thought it was going to be an annual event for Georgia. Byrd was a special teams standout that year, and later ended up being a two-year starter at safety for the Bulldogs. These days, Byrd, 26, works in the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce in business development. He aspires for a career in administration in a collegiate athletics department, or as an athletics director.

  • What do you remember the most about the 2005 championship game? “That was my first year of college. It was a big memory for me. I thought it was easy, to be honest, because I was a freshman and we won the SEC Championship. I was like ‘We can do this every year.’ But I guess one of my biggest memories would be celebrating in the locker room after the game. Everyone was excited. The seniors were there, and tears were shed. We had this running back from Florida, Mike Gilliam. I remember he was the …

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Atlanta’s MLS hope may rest on new stadium

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said Atlanta’s hopes of one day getting an expansion franchise rest on a new stadium. Talking to reporters during a “state of the league” call on Monday ahead of Saturday’s championship game between Los Angeles and Houston, Garber said he and Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who in the past expressed an interest in starting a team in Atlanta, have had several discussions recently about the league, soccer and the city.

Right now, Garber said there’s simply no place for a team to play.

“The Falcons are looking to replace the Georgia Dome, so we wouldn’t want to play there,” Garber said. “There isn’t a college facility that makes sense. We respect what the Silverbacks have done, but that facility would be too small.

“What we’ve been focused on is should the public sector and private sector in Atlanta come together and get a new facility for the Falcons, it would allow us to continue our discussions …”

Garber is …

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Schaub: Wouldn’t want Suh as teammate

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, the latest victim of Ndamukong Suh’s apparently dirty play, says he wouldn’t want the Lions defensive lineman as a teammate, no matter how good he is.

Schaub made his comments several days after Suh kicked him in the groin during the Texans’ Thanksgiving Day overtime victory over the Lions.

The NFL said Monday that Suh would not be suspended for the incident but could face a fine.

“Our office has notified the Lions that N Suh will not be suspended for last Thursday’s incident. It will be reviewed for a potential fine,” league spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted.

Video of the incident doesn’t prove that the kick was intentional, but Suh definitely extended his foot in the direction of Schaub’s groin.

In an interview with SportsRadio 610 in Houston, Schaub said he would not want Suh on his team.

“You don’t want a player like that. The stuff that he stands for and the type of player he is, that’s not Houston Texan-worthy,” Schaub said. “That’s not what …

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Catching up with 2005 SEC Championship MVP, former UGA QB DJ Shockley

Former UGA QB DJ Shockley (middle) aspires to be a TV network analyst, commentator or studio host for sports (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Former UGA QB DJ Shockley (middle) aspires to be a TV network analyst, commentator or studio host for sports (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

DJ Shockley led Georgia to its most impressive SEC Championship game victory, a 34-14 upset over then No. 3-ranked LSU in 2005. For Shockley, the win concluded one of the most efficient and productive seasons for a quarterback in Georgia’s history, with him completing 55 percent of his passes for 2,588 yards and 24 touchdowns with only five interceptions.

In the 2005 championship, Shockley was named MVP of the game after throwing for two touchdowns and running for another score. Georgia finished that season with a 10-3 record after a 38-35 loss to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl. Shockley was a backup quarterback for five seasons with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

These days, Shockley is still involved with football as a member of the TV and radio media. He is an analyst or co-host for several shows, including CSS’s SEC Football …

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Could best candidate to be next coach at Alabama or UGA be … the SAME person?

Smart has a better chance to be future head coach at …

  • Bama
  • UGA

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Could the best candidate to be the next football coach at both Alabama and UGA be the same person?

Before we say more, let’s point out that there are no signs of UGA’s Mark Richt or especially Alabama’s Nick Saban slowing down at all. They both appear to be peaking in their respective careers.

But nothing lasts forever. See Bear Bryant.

Who is a common candidate to one day succeed Saban or Richt? One suggestion is Kirby Smart, the former UGA football player who is now Alabama’s defensive coordinator.

AL.columnist Kevin Scarbinksy addressed the issue in his live chat on Monday:

Former UGA DB Kirby Smart is now Alabama's defensive coordinator (AP)

Former UGA DB Kirby Smart is now Alabama's defensive coordinator (AP)

I believe Kirby may be an unofficial and unannounced coach in waiting at Alabama but it would be hard to say no to UGA if that job opened first.

Some more background on Smart: He played defensive back at UGA from …

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SEC Championship Week: Beware of counterfeit tickets, SEC warns

Get a great deal on tickets to the SEC Championship game? It may be too good to be true.

Saturday’s showdown between No. 2-ranked Alabama and No. 3 UGA at the Georgia Dome is officially sold out.

Beware of counterfeit tickets obtained on the secondary market, the SEC said in a press release on Monday.

When purchasing tickets on the secondary market, fans are advised to look for the authentic SEC holographic foil on several locations of the tickets.  Two strips of the foil are located at the top of the ticket. The championship game logo in the middle of the ticket also contains the foil.  Within the foil, the SEC circle logo and the words “Southeastern Conference” should be visible to the human eye when rotating the ticket back and forth.

Just in case you think your ticket may be fake, the SEC and Georgia Dome will be opening a “Ticket Validation Window” at the main box office of the Georgia Dome beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

And some final advice from the SEC: …

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