Is it tough to get excited about a 6-6 Georgia team’s bowl trip?

LibertyBowlI’m always grateful for another chance to see the Dogs play football, but it appears a lot of UGA fans are having some trouble getting excited about this week’s Liberty Bowl match with Central Florida.

Only 4,800 tickets have been sold so far, despite Memphis being a definite step up in bowl destination from last year. (At least the Dogs didn’t find out, like Tech did, that if there’s anything worse than playing a bowl game in Shreveport, it’s losing a bowl game in Shreveport!)

Still, a bowl game, any bowl game, is a plus for any season, right?

Well, not in the eyes of my pal Scott, with whom I had an interesting discussion last week. Scott said he is “philosophically opposed to playing in this bowl.” He takes the point of view that UGA should refuse to participate in lower rank bowls in order to make the point to the players that they’re serious about setting a higher standard in Athens.

Scott says that if Mark Richt “really wants to hammer home the ‘this is uncceptable’ theme, a money-losing bowl in an underachieving, nonwinning season should be the place to start. I don’t go for the ’seniors reward’ line — reward for what? Going 6-6?”

I told Scott I certainly could understand that viewpoint, but a big factor in favor of accepting a bowl bid was getting another month of practice, which gives a program a headstart on the next season. Scott didn’t buy that argument.

“How much did  running the scout team for 14 extra days  in preparation for Shreveport play into Aaron Murray’s development last year? Not much, I bet, compared to finally working with real players in spring/fall camps. I think any benefit derived from 2-3 weeks of practice is less than proving you are serious when you say ‘this is unacceptable.’ To me, it’s just more lip service along the lines of what we’ve heard last year.

Cam Newton didn’t get any extra practice with Auburn during last year’s bowl, but he seemed to pick up the offense OK without it. I think the ‘we need the practice’ argument is voiced by all coaches as part of their natural controlling nature. All coaches think they need more practice in any sport. But bowl practices are way too far removed from next season to have any real bearing on improved play. I think you get players’ attention more by saying We’re Not Going Anywhere Until We All Step It Up.”

I agreed with Scott that setting higher standards is a good thing, but I noted that the conference might balk at Georgia turning down a bowl since everyone splits the take.

Do the 2010 Dogs deserve to be in a bowl game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Do the 2010 Dogs deserve to be in a bowl game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

“But that’s also somewhat of a mirage,” Scott said. “We will lose money going to Memphis. Did you see the Sports Illustrated story on bowl finances a few months ago? Ohio State lost $79,000 going to the Rose Bowl last year despite a payout of $18 million; the Big 10 has the same pooling plan as the SEC. The real factor is if an SEC team turns down any bid from a Shreveport or Memphis, the bowl will drop affiliation for fear of getting burned in future. And the SEC doesn’t want that (or even the reputation for it) so they go along with the it’s-better-to-accept myth. It’s the tail wagging the dog.”

But, Scott said, “Imagine if UGA became the first SEC school to announce, henceforth, only winning teams will accept bowl bids. You don’t think that would create a little aura for the program? Heck, even if Vandy made that statement you’d have to respect them more. And it also would show coaches/players/recruits that UGA is serious about having ‘acceptable’ standards for success.

“Instead we have a lose-lose situation vs. George O’Leary and Central Florida, where Murray gets three extra weeks of practice throwing to receivers who won’t be here next fall, while Washaun Ealey practices running behind an offensive line that is looking at a likely overhaul this spring. How is any of this going to help in 2011?

“I’ll tell you one thing — bowl practice in 2009 didn’t seem to do much for the 2010 season. And, oh yeah, our only national championship in the last 50 years came after a nonbowl practice season. I don’t think a couple of extra weeks of Donnie McMickens and Carnie Norris getting some practice reps would have allowed them to keep the job over Herschel Walker.”

OK, I’ll concede that point. But in the end I’m still in favor of Georgia accepting the Liberty Bowl despite a 6-6 record for one big reason: It kept the Dogs’ bowl streak intact. I would have hated to see our streak broken while Tech kept theirs going.

Still, Scott makes an interesting argument about what it takes to raise the standard of an acceptable season for the Dogs. What do you think? Should a 6-6 Georgia team be in a bowl? Should any 6-6 team be in a bowl?

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246 comments Add your comment

Biff

December 28th, 2010
10:45 am

Since I live in Memphis, I’m pretty excited. Wouldn’t be otherwise.

Brad

December 28th, 2010
10:45 am

Good points on both sides. The saddest part of it all is that it’d probably be easier to get “excited” about No Bowl. In that sense, Scott is right. You’d have a VERY energized team and fan base for next year if there was such a blemish on our record…energized by frustration, disappointment, and anger but energized nonetheless.

Sandman053

December 28th, 2010
10:47 am

Well I do like Memphis, but won’t be at the bowl game. I’ll be watching it from Taco Mac or somewhere with cold beer and TVs. Go Dawgs!

Pulpwood Smith

December 28th, 2010
10:47 am

Go ahead and let the dawgtard thugs play.

Futbol4a

December 28th, 2010
10:48 am

Any bowl where you are going to lose money should be turned down. 6-6 and lower end bowl is a good place to start.

Mark

December 28th, 2010
10:48 am

Nice article. I think there are way too many bowls and with that many bowls, you have a bunch of teams nobody wants to see play. I think they should cut back the number of bowls and make bowl season fun to watch again. If that means I can’t see my beloved 6-6 Dawgs play an extra game, so be it!!

Auswehr

December 28th, 2010
10:49 am

There were a lot of things for the dawgs to celebrate this year. Let’s see…

1. A drunken, whoring athletic director.

2. Twelve players arrested.

3. A player suspended for violating NCAA rules.

4. Winning the Fulmer Cup for the most players arrested.

5. Winning the title of #1 party school (i.e., the most drunken student body in the USA).

6. A sleazy assistant coach who razzes opposing players, unethical coaching conduct in violation of NCAA rules.

7. A super sleazy head coach who thinks he’s a saint, but recruits thug wannabes, gangbangers, and illiterate morons.

8. A 6-6 record despite having a team full of 4- and 5-star recruits.

Really something to be proud of!

Tre Battle was my Hero

December 28th, 2010
10:50 am

My problem is not with Georgia taking it, but with it being offered at all!

I do like the message sending side of things, turning it down, but I am just not sure it is realistic.

Fact is, I don’t think teams with less than 8 wins fronm BCS schools should go to bowl games. Except for conference Champions in lower-tiered conferences who may take 4 out of conference losses every season (SunBelt, etc.), it is absurd.

35 Bowl games should be trimmed back to about 20. That way the games aren’t lessened to total meaningless-ness (new word?), and it would truly be something to aim for.

Also, can the SEC please get out of all these bowl tie-ins with the Big Ten? So boring.

Memphis Belle

December 28th, 2010
10:52 am

Unfortunately nothing is going to change until UGA changes its mediocre coaching. That’s where the difference is, and that’s why everyone outside Dawgtard Nation just laughs at Dawg fans getting so excited year after year about what a great recruiting class UGA gets. It doesn’t matter how many blue chip high school players go to UGA, they simply don’t get the coaching they would get at Florida or Alabama, to name two schools whose programs are far ahead of UGA. And that’s not going to change as long as Mark Richt is in Athens.

Get your heads out of the sand and face reality. And mediocrity and irrelevance. 

bdawg

December 28th, 2010
10:52 am

im still excited to watch it! Its ga football for Gosh sakes!

D A Double U G

December 28th, 2010
10:52 am

I for one, am glad we are in any bowl. Sure, we all wish it were a better one, but take the experience and enjoy it. All the complaining in the world will not change it.

For players like Marlon Brown, who is from Memphis, the chance to go home and play in front of family and friends is huge.

I am sure the player will be doing some type of charity work while there, i.e. visiting a Children’s Hospital or something, like all bowl teams do. So instead of complaining about us being there, look at it from the children or other organization who is VERY thankful we are there.

Bowl games are MUCH more than showcasing your team. It’s a chance to do some good deeds, boost local economy, and give the senior players one more chance to play. Look at the lower tier bowl as a less-stressful environment if you so chose, letting the players leave it all out on the line.

I am excited to be able to watch my Dawgs on NYE. I will not be rumbling and grumbling like a lot of people. I will sit back and enjoy what I love to do….. cheer on the Red and Black.

GO DAWGS!!!!!

Brian

December 28th, 2010
10:52 am

As an alum living in Memphis, I’m pretty excited about the game. I want to encourage everyone to buy tickets and come to Memphis. You are sure to have a good time on Beale Street and enjoy some great BBQ and music. Casinos are only a 45 minute drive south. Quit whining about things and show some support for these seniors.

chris

December 28th, 2010
10:55 am

Anybody watch the falcons game Monday night and wonder where Georgia might be if Van Gorder were still standing on the sidelines at UGA?????

dawgonit

December 28th, 2010
10:56 am

Is there really a bowl or season result that is “unacceptable”? That’s ludicrous. Unacceptable is hitting your girlfriend or not attending classes. Losing 6 games is “unacceptable”. Well what are you going to do, they just lost 6 games. You going to quit watching? Silly.

Not having a life. Now that’s unacceptable.

DSGB

December 28th, 2010
10:56 am

Dang Auswehr, that took some time and creativity…. butthurt much?

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
10:58 am

Richt’s whole approach to Bowl’s is tacticaL, not strategic.

The point isn’t to win the Bowl game, it’s to get redy for the next season. You play your inexperienced guys, get them lots of reps. Experience really is the key. Newton had a year at QB in JUCO, so his 1st year at Auburn is amped up by 12 games experience at JUCO.

Look at the Saban’s, they don’t try and WIN a dumb bowl game, they are strategic. Looking to the next season after a 6-6 season.

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
11:01 am

Emphasis on trying to win a Bowl game, detracts form time in the field in December recruiting. Some of Richt’s assistant coaches have tried to get Richt to be more strategic and use the time for:
1) recruiting
2) getting reps for 2011’s players

But Richt keeps doing the same old thing he did before, hoping for different results.

Richt’s dead wrong, beating UCF isn’t better for recruting than letting Grantham hit the trail.

D A Double U G

December 28th, 2010
11:01 am

I do not like to acknowledge the Techies on this blog, but I find it VERY amusing that you are on the Dawg Blawg, the day after you LOST IN SHREVEPORT to talk smack to the team that has OWNED you for several decades.

Even the Air Force Falcon didn’t want to stick around to watch your pathetic JV team. He flew straight out into the bowels of Shreveport.

9-1
Mark Richt is your DADDY.

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
11:04 am

Even if Ealey runs for 180 yards and scores 5 td’s, Bobo the Dodo will go back to being a pssing team (see last year’s Tech game, or this year’s Kent game).

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
11:05 am

Richt points to his Bowl record, Saban points to his Ring.

Mtn Dawg

December 28th, 2010
11:06 am

Reduce the number of bowls and require 7 wins to be eligible.

bruce mac

December 28th, 2010
11:10 am

Auswehr, and they still own your pathetic joke of a College Athletic Program. Must be a major task to get up every morning and look yourself in the mirror and know that even with all of that dismal performance you still have to call them “DADDY”?

1eyedJack

December 28th, 2010
11:11 am

Jerry, I beleive we won both those games.

True Dawg

December 28th, 2010
11:17 am

I dont thing we need the bowl-but it is about the dollars and telling Richt that if he doesnt win the East next year he is “out of there”!!!

wadeuga

December 28th, 2010
11:17 am

I bought my 4 tickets direct from the Liberty Bowl and I am very excited about watching the DAWGS one more time. OLE COACH MAN BOOBS lost another one yesterday!!!

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
11:19 am

The Seniors should control their rewards.

If they play well during the season and the team wins 9+ games, they go out with a bang regardless of a Bowl win, if they go 6-6, Richt should not use the game as a reward for the Seniors, they shoud be punished for that kind of season, but as a warm up for next season.

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
11:22 am

I think it’s a part of the Richt smoke & mirror trick, to try and go out on a positive note, instead of having the fans stew all year n a 6-6 season, following the 7-5 season.

But the smoke & mirror trick won’t work, 2 bad seasons f mediocre performance won’t be overshadowed, or forgotten by recruits or bloggers.

Not being able to sell 10,000 tickets for a Bowl game, doesn’t bode well for Richt’s future. It’s the end if he doesn’t have a big season.

Redcoat 2013

December 28th, 2010
11:22 am

I’m in the Redcoat Band and I’m pretty excited for the game. A chance to see everyone again (as we have had a amount of significant time off), a chance to see the Dawgs, a chance to enjoy a fantastic city, and a chance to spend time with people I love for New Years. Bowl games (unless you are in a huge bowl or the BCSNC) and a time to enjoy your team and reflect on the good times that you had during the season. Even if it was a bad season, it had it’s ups and I think that’s what we as fans should focus on. Anger and disappointment aimed at our players and coaches aren’t going to help us win the East; support and encouragement are.

Redcoat 2013

December 28th, 2010
11:23 am

*a significant amount of time*
That’s what happens when you write a comment immediately after waking up…

ClinchPanther

December 28th, 2010
11:24 am

nope not hard to get ready for the game at all. You people seem to think it is no fun being a dawg fan unless a great season is underway.
i am a dawg fan rain or shine, this new years eve i’ll be smoking a brsket on the smoker and ready for the game by kickoff. i’m looking forward to it and then i’ll be waiting for g-day game to get here.

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
11:25 am

1. Using Bowl’s to reward Seniors instead of get experience for next year’s player didn’t work last year
2. Using the weeks in December to try and win 1 game, instead of recruit for the upcoming season, didn’t work last year.
3. Not running the ball well didn’t work this year, or last, or the year before.

Insanity is repeating the same junk, but hoping things will change.

GoooDawgs

December 28th, 2010
11:29 am

You always play in a bowl – any bowl – end of story. The fact that you get the additional 15 or so practices + another real-time game experience can’t be discounted. Other teams that are staying home from bowls are shut down for the year already lose that opportunity to improve. Tell me a coach in the country that wouldn’t want their players to get that additional practice. No one can argue the fact that our new defensive scheme & young offense can definitely use that additional time.

Michael

December 28th, 2010
11:30 am

Georgia’s problem isn’t recruiting, they got great talent, it’s the coaching is all wrong.

Georgia is one of the few SEC teams still trying to win games with the passing game.

Just doesn’t work in winning the SEC.

Pope UGA XXIII

December 28th, 2010
11:34 am

A “Tech streak” of losing 6 bowl games in a row isn’t exactly
something to plaster all over the Downtown Connector fan-a-gram.
Neither team deserves to go anywhere this year except back
to class & think about the possibility of improving their play in 2011.
On the other hand, it might not be a bad idea for the offensive line
to hang around the Peabody Hotel and watch the Peabody ducks
as they come thru the lobby. They seem to be able to remember
the plays and hold their positions.
A kidneystone of a season that has been full of embarassments
from Day 1. Let’s play some roundball, please – it looks like the
bouncing dawgs will be competitive and that’s something to be very
proud of.

Jerry

December 28th, 2010
11:34 am

This season was a complte bust.

6-6, with the likes is Washaun Ealey, Caleb King, AJ Green, Charles, experienced O-Line?

It’s unreal, I think the fans are still in shock at how you can only win 6 games with those 6 future NFL stars on your team.

Colorado? South Carolina? Miss St? Florida? Arkansas?

These wern’t great teams this year.

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The Air Force Falcon

December 28th, 2010
11:37 am

Are you kidding me??? You want me to fly around this “stadium” in front of about 7,000 fans, land on my balding trainer’s arm in the middle of it, eat some mice guts and then stick around to watch Georgia Tech’s pathetic excuse for a Military Offense get beaten by a bunch of airplane pilots??

NO THANKS!!!!

I am off to check out the quality of female fowl in the Metropolis of Shreveport.

DUECES!!!!

ElleT

December 28th, 2010
11:37 am

Living in Memphis, I’m excited! Sure I’d love a better season, but I’ll make the best of it and have a good time.

JT

December 28th, 2010
11:41 am

Hard to “get excited” about the game, but it is another opportunity to see some football from a program you care about (regardless how you feel it’s being run). So how can that be a bad thing. Some people take all this stuff WAY too seriously. Unless you suit it up for the team or your family’s financial livelihood is affected by the success (or failure) of Georgia football maybe you need to reassess your life’s priorities and find another passion. One that actually matters.

Dawg_Mike

December 28th, 2010
11:44 am

Too many bowl games?
Anyone geeked up for the Jan 6 GoDaddy Bowl or the JAN 8 BBVA Compass and the JAN 9 Fight Hunger bowls?

didnt think so…

tech

December 28th, 2010
11:45 am

Georgia’s problem isn’t recruiting, they got great talent, it’s the coaching is all wrong.

I agree with this and I’m a tech fan. Unlike some of the UGA fans who hope Tech fails at everything, I do like to see our boys from the state of GA do well. I am amazed at the talent that UGA has, and then they end up with a 7-5 season. You guys have been beastly at the running back / WR positions for the past couple of years. If you guys had a better offensive coordinator, I feel confident you would’ve snagged at least one national title this decade and probably competed for at least another.

Good luck to you in your bowl game.

robodawg

December 28th, 2010
11:46 am

I don’t remember us being very energized the last time we didn’t make a bowl. Let em practice, let em play. It can’t hurt. And it gives me something to look forward to on TV on New Year’s Eve.

And I disagree that the extra practice doesn’t help. You get better by practicing and by playing games. Especially the young guys on the team, and for us right now, especially the defense. When players are perpetually out of position, they need more practice reps.

Dawg_Mike

December 28th, 2010
11:47 am

I would like to see the bowls go in ascending order- bad teams play first – ranked teams play last. That makes it so much more interesting for the couch potatoes like me.

Ceasar

December 28th, 2010
11:48 am

Absolutely EMBARRISHING!!!!!!!

bart

December 28th, 2010
11:49 am

Auswehr, you make excellent points. But…we have a new Athletic Director who I fully expect to get things turned around and going in the right direction. Just give him a little time.

Dawgdad (The Original)

December 28th, 2010
11:52 am

The whole Bowl thing is absurd to begin with. What have we had 15 or 20 so far and I haven’t watched but one. Pulled USAF thru yesterday. The stands were so empty in Shreveport a poor shot with a rifle could have exhausted a full clip and not hit anyone. One family and friends of family showed up.

We need a PLAY-OFF system, where the top 16 teams are selected and sent to bowls. I figure we need 15 bowls for this playoff. The rest should be abolished.

Whoever said Richt uses this game to play those, who he didn’t get to see during the regular season doesn’t follow GA FB. Richt never plays anyone to allow them to get experience. He wouldn’t even let Logan Gray in the game last year, when we were struggling mightly with Joe Cox. Gray never got into blowouts, until their were two minutes left and he was ordered to hand off three times. Richt does not allow anyone to get experience. There were games this year where he could have easily let Hutson Mason play a couple of series, but no.

I agree with your friend Bill, just say NO to these toilet bowl games, keep our dignity, such as it is.

Paul H

December 28th, 2010
11:52 am

I don’t think 6-6 teams should make bowls, but since that is the way it is, the Dawgs should accept the bid and get another win under their belt. The practice thing is mainly for our defense.

Chris

December 28th, 2010
11:53 am

NO 6-6 team should be bowl elegible. It used to be 6-5 when they played 11 games. If you’re the 70th team out of 160 with a .500 record, do you really deserve the right to play in a bowl game??? There are 69 teams better than you! Thirty five bowl games is way too many. Make it where teams with 7-5 records and better are the only teams that are bowl elegible, and let the top 8 teams in the country play head to head for the national championship. You can still have the meaningless bowl games along with an 8 team playoff. 75% of the bowl games are meaningless already.

swimdawg68

December 28th, 2010
11:54 am

Part of the problem is the ticket allocation to the schools from the bowls. They send the schools the “crappy seats” as far as tickets. Every time I have purchased bowl tickets through our athletic dept. I get crappy seats. I sit in the club section in Sanford Stadium on about the 35 yard line. My total contribution level is in the upper 5%, and yet I am sent crappy tickets for bowl games. I don’t blame UGA it is the bowls that send these lousy seats to the schools. When I decide to attend a bowl game, as I have attended many in the past I now purchase my tickets direct from the bowl or online, I no longer purchase from our athletic dept. If I’m going to pay $100 for a bowl ticket I will not sit on the 10 yard line. At least when purchasing online you may select your seats. The NCAA needs to address this with all the bowls, the loyal supporters of the schools are being screwed with lousey seats when purchasing tickets allocated to the schools from these bowls.

MAKO

December 28th, 2010
11:55 am

Auswehr……gee, I guess you Techies are pretty hacked today. So now you know how it feels to have gone to Shreveport. At least we didn’t lose in Shreveport like you Techies did (and to the AF Academy no less).