If this keeps up, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep my inner optimist from taking over.
I’m talking about another national college football preview picking Mark Richt’s Dawgs to win the SEC East in 2011, following on the heels of Phil Steele. This time it’s Athlon Sports, which sees Georgia winning the East and then losing to Alabama in the Georgia Dome.
The Athlon analysis of the conference sees the league’s balance of power remaining “tilted in westerly direction.” In the East, a return to Atlanta for the South Carolina Gamecocks is deemed “far from certain, especially with the ongoing drama with quarterback Stephen Garcia.” Meanwhile, Athlon notes that Richt “is probably one mediocre season away from unemployment. Fortunately for him, he has the horses to win the division, led by quarterback Aaron Murray, who has transitioned from question mark to lead Dawg.”
Georgia, Athlon says, “has perhaps the league’s top returning quarterback … a highly rated recruiting class and a favorable schedule.”
Of course, they do ask, “Has the SEC ever entered a season with less returning star power at quarterback? When a redshirt sophomore (Georgia’s Murray) is arguably the top returning QB, that says something.”
The final analysis is that “this might not be a vintage Georgia team that is capable of competing for a national title, but the Bulldogs should be in the hunt to win the relatively mediocre SEC East.”
OK, definitely a bit underwhelming as votes of confidence go, but when you’re coming off a losing season getting picked to win your division is noteworthy. Even if it does look like an off year in that division.
What do you think, are Steele and Athlon just dazzled by Murray’s freshman numbers and the whole “Dream Team” thing, or are they on to something?
It’s a dog fight in SportsNation and EA’s “NCAA Football Traditions” voting as Georgia’s Uga and Tennnessee’s Smokey battle in the first round. As of this morning, Uga was in the lead with 52 percent of just over 30,000 votes tallied so far. You can cast yours here.
Most UGA alums and fans I heard from thought last year’s low-rent spot promoting the university that aired during football television broadcasts was pretty embarrassing. So a group of alums, including some TV production professionals, decided to offer their services to come up with something better.
Thursday, a couple of hundred volunteers lined up in front of the UGA Chapel in Athens for filming on the commercial, which will show an endless line of students and alums lining up to ring the Chapel Bell. The promotional spot also will feature the song “Oh My Heart” by Athens’ own R.E.M., The Red and Black reports.
“What happened is, I think like a lot of Georgia alumni, I was disappointed with the UGA TV spot,” said alumnus Mike Martin, creative director of the commercial. “Rather than be a voice of criticism, I wanted to do something about it.”
Martin said R.E.M. agreed to have their song used in the UGA spot “because they love Athens so much and they wanted it to be a celebration of the University and the town of Athens.”
The new spot is scheduled to air Sept. 3 during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with Boise State.
Martin said many college commercials show generic images of professors holding test tubes and students throwing frisbees on campus. For the new video, however, they instead chose to showcase what makes the university and Athens special.
“We want people to choke up a little bit and be proud of being a Bulldog,” he said.
I’m getting a little verklempt already!
Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to email@example.com.
Find me on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter.
— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg