Stephen Garcia’s boozing may help Georgia in SEC East

Stephen Garcia's (left) fifth suspension at South Carolina may open door for Connor Shaw.

Stephen Garcia's (left) fifth suspension at South Carolina may open door for Connor Shaw.

Did the door to the SEC East title just open a little wider for Georgia?

South Carolina, the defending division champions — still sounds strange — suspended quarterback Stephen Garcia Wednesday after he showed up at a life skills event smelling of alcohol. (He has a knack for timing.)

This is the fifth time Garcia has been suspended. Coach Steve Spurrier has about had it with the quarterback, having criticized him publicly several times. There’s a real chance Garcia has played his final game for South Carolina. Spurrier told The State newspaper: “If he’s back, he’s back. If he’s not back, it’s really the same thing as maybe a guy getting hurt, a guy going pro or whatever. Players come and go as we all know, and this incident should never have happened but it did.”

Garcia has been suspended twice this spring alone. Last December was found with girls in his room late and past curfew on the night before the Chick-fil-A Bowl. That wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal except that the next day, he threw three interceptions in a loss to Florida State at the Georgia Dome.

Back to Georgia. The Bulldogs have their own issues, but one of them is not quarterback. With Aaron Murray, they probably have the best QB in the SEC next season. That should go a long way in a division where Garcia’s future is now uncertain. Florida is trying to rebound from an offseason with a new coach (Will Muschamp) and the formerly touted John Brantley, who had a dreadful first season as starter as Tim Tebow’s replacement.

South Carolina still has a talented team, led by running back Marcus Lattimore and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. But if Garcia is out, that means going with the young Connor Shaw from Flowery Branch.

The difference between the teams wasn’t that much to begin with. Garcia might’ve just negated it.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

209 comments Add your comment

You know i!

April 7th, 2011
9:47 am

You know it!

April 7th, 2011
9:48 am

Remarkable

April 7th, 2011
9:51 am

We don’t need the help Garcia. UGA can win without you throwing the game by your actions.

Herschel Talker

April 7th, 2011
9:55 am

Schultzie:

Brantley wasn’t a freshman. But point taken. The Dawgs still have a big albatross: Mark Richt.

HT

usc jimi

April 7th, 2011
10:02 am

I have been a Gamecock fan my whole life, over fifty years. It is being reported that Garcia showed up at a required life skills training session with his pet monkey and eating a banana. If these reports are true, he needs to be dismissed from the football program. As a senior in a position that requires effective decision making, he has spent his last chance. He is a very talented player with the maturity of a 12 year old at best. Remarkable, play some defense and learn how to stop a running play before you make remarks that you will have to eat later!

Heath

April 7th, 2011
10:02 am

Unless he’s found with a dead girl or a live boy he’ll be playing on Satrudays this fall.

Megan

April 7th, 2011
10:02 am

Really Jeff? you get paid to write these lame articles? Who cares???? South Carolina just like Florida has a new quarterback every year if not every week with Steve Spurrier!

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:03 am

Herschel — Yeah, tweaked that sentence a bit, thanks. Was thinking first year as starter (doesn’t always=freshman).

SOGADOG

April 7th, 2011
10:04 am

Showing up for a life skills meeting with a buzz (allegedly). Classic!

I hope Garcia gets his act together by September so the Dawgs can get a shot at him. I would rather beat USC with Garcia than without.

He is doing what 95% of all young college men do. Drink beer and chase girls. He just has a knack for getting caught.

RomeDawg

April 7th, 2011
10:05 am

Should a QB at a school like South Carolina really have the chance for a FIFTH suspension? I don’t care how athletically gifted he is, that is cancerous to your team. (Look at the FSU game last year.)

T-Bone

April 7th, 2011
10:07 am

I think you’re discounting Conner Shaw. I’ve seen him play at Flowery Branch. He might actually be an improvement.

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:07 am

Megan — Really? Let’s see Tim Tebow played four years and started three at Florida. Stephen Garcia has started the last 2 1/2 years. So much for your new-quarterback-every-week theory.

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:08 am

RomeDawg — Excellent point. If Garcia is done, he can’t say he never got a chance.

Dawg Gone

April 7th, 2011
10:09 am

Really he got caught with girls after curfew the night BEFORE the game and he still started?? that I did not know.

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:09 am

T-Bone — Shaw might be really good, but until he starts and shows it, he’s an unknown.

JSS

April 7th, 2011
10:11 am

Help Georgia? Garcia holds that team back… Spurrier had a better chance of turning Patrick Ramsey into a service QB then Garcia…

Georgia needs to help themselves! Learn how to block and tackle. Stop trying to impress yourself with knock blows and whining fans saying “We run this State!” Oh yeah, you do? And nothing damn else! Nothing has the stench of big time college sports especially D-1 football!

PMC

April 7th, 2011
10:12 am

Yeah the difference Connor Shaw may well end up better than Garcia because even though Garcia has a lot of talent….he’s been a knucklehead his entire life.

Shaw is better than his brother, and he did lead them down field for a potential win at Auburn before an Auburn CB made a great play on the ball.

I’m more worried about Shaw than Garcia. I’m pretty confident like with Brett Farve that Garcia will do something stupid to blow it.

Dawg Gone

April 7th, 2011
10:14 am

JSS Dude do you need a hug or what??

Trojan

April 7th, 2011
10:17 am

How many chances does he get?

DawginLex

April 7th, 2011
10:17 am

Connor shaw was going to play a lot anyway. The game will still be a war.

Garcia is an idiot though and honestly UGA is better off with him coming back than being suspended.

Benjamin

April 7th, 2011
10:18 am

Connor Shaw is a better quarterback and leader than Stephen Garcia. Carolina won’t miss a beat next season, at least in terms of their QB performance…

Benjamin

April 7th, 2011
10:19 am

Sorry for the double post, Jeff. :)

Bodda Getta

April 7th, 2011
10:22 am

Garcia does this every year and it has never helped Georgia.

However, this does give Florida and Tennessee the opportunity to get embarrassed by Auburn in the 2011 SEC Championship game.

Roger

April 7th, 2011
10:22 am

Connor Shaw will be eventually be an upgrade at that position, but not yet. Dawgs will pound the chickens with or without Garcia.

Herschel Talker

April 7th, 2011
10:24 am

Schultzie:

By the way, love your work on 790. Great stuff.

HT

hershel talker loves....

April 7th, 2011
10:25 am

MEN!!!

Seriously tired of your redneck azz. Stop crying about MR. And stop following the dawgs if you hate him that much.

James Nicks

April 7th, 2011
10:25 am

I have been a Gamecock fan my whole life, over fifty years. It is being reported that Garcia showed up for a required life skills seminar with his pet monkey and eating a banana. If these reports are true, he needs to be dismissed from the football program at once. For a senior who plays a position that requires decision making, he has blown his last chance. He may be the most talented QB in the country without a platform to showcase his skills. We will be better in the long run with him in the rear view mirror!

saban

April 7th, 2011
10:25 am

dawgs lose by 50. richt gets a new haridresser. Blames loss on new krispy kreme opening near the georgia dawg wing of clark county correctional.

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:26 am

JSS — Agreed. Blocking and tackling would be good. I see you’ve been watching Georgia games the past few years.

shankit

April 7th, 2011
10:26 am

Jeff – Give us an update on you caddying for Smoltz at the
Valdosta Nationwide tournament. Have a Bushnell range
finder you can borrow if you need one.

DawginLex

April 7th, 2011
10:26 am

Y’all do realize that Spurrier has only beaten Richt 2 times in 6 years?

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:27 am

Benjamin — It’s 2-for-1 Thursday.

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:27 am

Herschel — Thanks. Mikey is always fun to work with.

Bill

April 7th, 2011
10:27 am

Jeff this has nothing to do with UGA but…Has Coach Gregory at GT hired any asst Coaches? if so who? and is he interested in Ware? What the we!! has he been doing since he got hired?
We have heard nothing since his second day on the job..any infor welcome.

Steve

April 7th, 2011
10:27 am

What a moron this guy is! A few months ago, 680 The Fan also reported that on the night before the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, he was partying in his hotel room and had lots of lady friends up there. Hense the terrible game he played the next day.

Not Disappointed

April 7th, 2011
10:28 am

Shaw maybe a better Quarterback. He can run the ball too. I mean really run the ball. Good luck to Shaw.

DawginLex

April 7th, 2011
10:28 am

Jeff,

I’d say the more important question is how will Bama fans react when saban underachieves again in 2011?

3 losses
blow a 24 point lead at home to your arch rival

With supposedly the greatest coach in the world and the greatest recruits ever assembled.

This should be a great topic and should be a big concern for Bama fans.

Steve

April 7th, 2011
10:29 am

I guess I should read the whole article before posting. Sorry Jeff!

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:29 am

Shankit — Haha. Not happening. He decided to use somebody who can actually say things like, “You’ve got 340 to the green.” Go figure.

Jeff Schultz

April 7th, 2011
10:30 am

Bill. Don’t know. Don’t think so. Would imagine he’ll bring at least one guy with him from Dayton but honestly haven’t followed it.

Top Dawg

April 7th, 2011
10:31 am

Say what you want to say about Mark Richt’s discipline of players (or sometimes a perceived lack thereof), but CMR would have booted this guy off the team long ago.

Bill

April 7th, 2011
10:31 am

Thanks Jeff.You the Best !

shankit

April 7th, 2011
10:31 am

There are a number of greens I am sure Smoltz can drive
probably even with his three metal.

Dawg Gone

April 7th, 2011
10:33 am

saban question think you’ll lose 3 or 4 this year…?

RxDawg

April 7th, 2011
10:36 am

Nah, honestly this is probably a good thing for Carolina fans. Shaw is, or at least he will be a better QB.

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April 7th, 2011
10:36 am

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longtimedawgfan

April 7th, 2011
10:38 am

what a crock of malarkey…….I’m certain that noone in your reading audience expects Stephen Garcia to be reinstated by Spurrier in time to start against the dawgs next fall…

Lum

April 7th, 2011
10:39 am

Maybe its just me, but I do not understand why young people feel the need to get boozed up or drugged up. What is the point, really???

Lowcountry Bulldawg

April 7th, 2011
10:40 am

Well he gets 5 chances because all Spurrier had was Chris Smelley and Garcia came in as a Top 5 recruit in Spread QB in High School. Spurrier was desperate to get a high calibur QB to come to Columbia and in doing so he obviously took a gamble on a kid with some character flaws. Now Spurrier is having to live with that choice. Spurrier is as much to blame as Garcia. The issue should have been dealt with before it got this far.

David

April 7th, 2011
10:40 am

Garcia is the SEC’s version of Jacory Harris. Garica will be on the team next fall. If Spurrier wanted to get rid of him he would of by now.

UGA will be a 8 win team at best, and South Carolina will win the east. Alabama will blow them out of the SEC title game, on their way to the Sugar Bowl.