Fan talk: Now South Carolina wants to change the rules

sec-pinwheel-logojpg-f806e20b1171f261Time to dip into some of this week’s Junkyard Mail. …

MonroeDawg writes: Did you see the latest from South Carolina? They’re so upset about losing the SEC East to Georgia that their athletic department is petitioning the SEC to change the rules so that games against your own division count a whole game while games against the other division only count half a game. They still can’t get over the fact that they beat Georgia and all the other SEC East teams this year but lost the division because the Dawgs had a better overall conference record. I can’t believe they’ll get anywhere with this. What do you think?

I think those grapes are mighty sour over in Gamecock country. The proposal you mention came from USC-East trustee Chuck Allen, who can’t handle South Carolina not winning the East two years in a row. One division title and suddenly they’re feeling entitled in Columbia! “It just seems fair that the team that won all its division games would be the division champ,” Allen whined. Of course, had the Gamecocks beaten Top 10 Arkansas this past season, I doubt anyone in garnet and black would have been arguing it should be worth only half a win in the standings. And let’s note that South Carolina’s other loss was to an Auburn team that Georgia beat like a drum. Anyway, I don’t think this plan will get very far. As Charles Bloom, the SEC’s associate commissioner, told The State newspaper, “The philosophy of the league has always been that all conference games are weighted the same.”

Rodney Hampton was part of a great lineup of running backs in Athens. (University of Georgia)

Rodney Hampton was part of a great lineup of running backs in Athens. (University of Georgia)

Jim, Class of ‘84, writes: Bill, who was our great trio? Was it Worley, Henderson, and Hampton that all played together at same time? Or am I mixing up classes? I remember Vince [Dooley] having a great trio that worked well together in the ’80s. With our recruitment and commitments of [Keith] Marshall and [Todd] Gurley … I believe we need to show these guys that it can work well for them to have multiple top-notch backs at same time at UGA. Of course, hopefully this makes [Isaiah] Crowell into a better back also. There have been many teams in college that have had high quality 3 and 4 deep backs. … Let’s let these kids know they can all achieve their goals with multiple talented backs on team.

All they have to do is look at the 2011 LSU team to see what multiple tailbacks can accomplish. But, to answer your question, Tim Worley, Keith Henderson and Rodney Hampton all played together only in the 1988 season, Vince Dooley’s last. Worley led the team with over 1,200 yards rushing, Hampton topped 800 and Henderson had just over 400 and also caught quite a few passes. They were part of a great stable of backs between 1985 and 1989 that also included Lars Tate, but the Dogs never had all four playing at once. In ‘85 it was Worley as the leading rusher, followed by Henderson (who played fullback) and Tate. In ‘86, Tate led, followed by Henderson and Worley. Worley and Henderson sat out the 1987 season, which was Hampton’s freshman year, with academic problems, so that year it was just Tate and Hampton. Don’t forget, though, that the Dogs have had tailback-by-committee situations in the Mark Richt era, too. In 2006, it was Kregg Lumpkin, Danny Ware and Thomas Brown. And the next year Knowshon Moreno and Brown alternated, though a gimpy Lumpkin was not much of a factor.

Chris Morley asks: Is our No. 2 QB better than our starting QB? Should the position be open in the spring? And Clay Brisbois writes: I know one of CMR’s most endearing qualities to his players is his loyalty, but I for one hope that the QB competition is opened up again this spring. Remember that [Aaron] Murray won and kept the starting job as a freshman not so much because he earned it, but because his competition selected out. I love Murray’s heart and passion, but I don’t feel like I saw as much improvement in him over the course of these two seasons as I would have expected. With another favorable schedule this fall, it wouldn’t be too much of a risk to try a new guy out, especially considering you’d have Murray to fall back on. Let’s give [Hutson] Mason and [Christian' LeMay and even [Faton] Bauta a chance to compete this year, and hold off on any redshirting until the fall for Mason. I’d love to hear your perspective on the possibility of opening up the QB competition.

I don’t think an open competition for starting quarterback is very likely. As we discussed this week, Murray, who set a UGA single-season record for touchdown throws, ranked second in the SEC in passing (220.1 yards per game), second in total offense (229.6) and fourth in passing efficiency (146.4). Yeah, he made mistakes at some crucial times, but overall he did a good job of leading Georgia’s offense. I don’t really believe Richt had him on the field and Mason on the sideline just out of loyalty, especially in a season where his job was on the line. Murray was the best quarterback Georgia had this season. And I don’t see that changing in 2012.

Barry Morton writes: Now that the Georgia-Florida game will cost $20 more per ticket, how much is UGA going to charge us loyal season ticket holders for Buffalo, Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern? Don’t mind a modest increase for SEC games, but how about a break on the others? By the way, any idea on how much MIssouri will cost? Oklahoma State ripped us off.

Karen Huff of the UGA athletic office says the price for single home-game tickets will be $45 this coming season, SEC or otherwise. She said they don’t yet know the price for the Florida game or any of the away games.

Roger Hoy writes: Bill, As a UGA grad who lives in Nebraska I really appreciate your columns and the AJC coverage of UGA football. As a professor at the University of Nebraska, I also follow UNL football. I was really glad that UGA and UNL did not meet in post season but I suppose with the Big Ten SEC bowl pairings, it will now happen occasionally. It has been quite a contrast the past two years watching Aaron Murray and Taylor Martinez, as freshmen and sophmores. UGA fans should be delighted to have a quaterback as cool and competent as Murray. Just watch some footage of Martinez trying to throw for comparison. One other comment: I think that fans do not appreciate how much growing takes place between freshman and senior years for college students. I am amazed how freshmen arrive at UNL as kids and leave as adults. I think that the expectations we place on players like [Isaiah] Crowell as true freshman are way too high and we all need to realize that much growing and maturation still has to take place. I expect great things from UGA next year with so many players returning. There must be some real magic on the defense especially, as I think some players did not jump to the NFL so they could see how good they really could be next year. This is a real testament to [Todd] Grantham and Richt and the defensive position coaches for the environment they have created.

You make some good points. I think it’s way too early to write off Crowell. And if Murray can get a handle on his ball-security issues, the fan qualms about quarterback should be quietened. Best of all, returning just about the entire defense should indeed be a huge factor in the 2012 season.

Rodney Brown writes: Bill, just wanted to ask a question about the use of Nick Marshall. Do you see them using him as the emergency 3rd string QB? Seeing that Mason will redshirt, I think Marshall getting more utilization is a must to keep teams honest.

If Aaron Murray, Hutson Mason and Christian LeMay all were to get hurt then, yeah, I suppose Marshall might get the call as the starting quarterback. But in the meantime it would be nice to see Georgia make more use of him on offense, and based on what happened this past season with Brandon Boykin and Branden Smith, I think that’s likely to happen.

Heath Schoenfeld is raising his sons right. (Family photo)

Heath Schoenfeld is raising his sons right. (Family photo)

Finally, Heath Schoenfeld of Vero Beach, Fla., writes: Good morning Bill! As always, I love to read your insight into the UGA program. I had written back in the summer and you had posted my story of finally getting season tickets and taking my twin sons (and their Gator Mom) to their first football games. I just wanted to thank you for the tips. I was able to make the 9 hour drive for 4 games this year plus the Outback Bowl here in Florida. I wanted to send you a [photo] of the boys’ first game, which was Homecoming. I thought that might be the easier game to slide out of in case my 4 year olds started acting like 4 year olds. Sure enough, we had to scoot at halftime, but the game was comfortably in hand by then! The boys even got to ring the bell on the way across campus. Thanks again and I hope to see you next fall in Athens! Go Dawgs!

Congratulations on getting them started early as Dawg fans. With a devoted fan like you as a dad, those boys will likely be wearing red and black for the rest of their lives!

Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

237 comments Add your comment

D A DoubleU G

January 21st, 2012
11:33 am

South Carolina and its fans are a bunch of crybabies.

Trashy

January 21st, 2012
11:39 am

Any time Spurrier cries, I cry tears of joy.

Kershaw Eagles

January 21st, 2012
11:41 am

I’m a USC grad and long time GCC member. As I have always told all my friends, we play an SEC schedule, not an SEC East schedule. UGa had the better SEC record, end of story.

faithfuldawg86

January 21st, 2012
11:42 am

Roger Hoy, I love your comments. I am also a college professor (and die-hard UGA fan), and I completely agree about the maturity level of incoming freshmen. I think that as fans, we often forget that these are 18-19 year old kids away from home for the first time with a lot of responsibility riding on their shoulders–responsibility, I might add, that many well-grown adults wouldn’t handle well. Aaron Murray has shown great poise and maturity for such a young man, but that is rare. Crowell will be fine (as I’ve pointed out frequently on these blogs); he just needed a little time to mature physically and emotionally. Just because these guys are big does not mean they’re adults!

Desert Fox

January 21st, 2012
11:48 am

Arguably the best trio of UGA RB’s was the ‘88 dawgs. All went onto pro careers in the NFL most notably Hampton w/the Giants.

D A DoubleU G

January 21st, 2012
11:52 am

Amen faithfuldawg!!

So many fans made up their minds that Isaiah was going to come in last year and break 20 yard runs every possession.

Truth is, Isaiah, like so many other kids around the nation, thought he would do the same thing, and got a rude awakening the first time a real SEC LB took a shot at him.

Given a full year with Coach T, I expect Isaiah to toughen up quite a bit. Marshall and Gurley seem to be very good kids who hopefully will bind with and adjust Isaiah’s attitude.

On the first possession of the Buffalo game on September 1, I foresee Isaiah taking the first snap, Samuel getting several first half carries, and Marshall and Gurley not getting snaps until the 2nd half, exclusively.

By mid season, I still see Isaiah as the starter, with the others mixed in regularly.

2012 will be a fine year at running back in Athens!!

GO DAWGS!!!!

East Repeat

January 21st, 2012
11:56 am

No, a rules change in not needed. Everyone, Dawg fans included, know who the best team in the SEC East is, South Carolina. Just like best team in West is Alabama. Can’t wait to beat Dawgs in Columbia this year. SC is clearly (just look at records and wins the last 2 years) the best team in East.

JDawg1785

January 21st, 2012
12:03 pm

Really, USCe?!

Dawgs need depth.

January 21st, 2012
12:05 pm

o-line is younger, while special teams needs an edge again. murray cant try to do it all, needs a o-line to pass protect and run block to get these highly recruited rb’s some holes to hit. defense will have a more depth with a few prospects grantham recruited to make immediate impacts. its not a question dawgs defense was gassed late against the better teams. now if the offense does its job, giving the defense more time to rest with the added depth UGA will be elite defensive team that’ll pound the ball to wear teams out late.

JDawg1785

January 21st, 2012
12:08 pm

I totally agree with you on Crowell, faithfuldawg86. So few true freshman are ready for that kind of a challenge at such a young age. We should applaud Crowell for even trying to help his team win with an injured ankle. He’s going to be a force at Georgia for years to come!

Bazooka Joe

January 21st, 2012
12:12 pm

You chickens crack me up…. 2 years of decent (not great, decent…. ok maybe thats great for you) seasons and all of a sudden you think you’re one of the big boys. Keep dreaming, some teams are great, some are has beens, S.Carolina is a never was.

AltamahaDawg

January 21st, 2012
12:14 pm

The backhanded compliment of “player loyalty” is always thrown out becasue folks think there has to be some motive involved. It’s never occured to them that maybe Richt just does NOT agree with their accessment.

Nemo

January 21st, 2012
12:15 pm

We need some more talent to take the next step.Need it on both sides of the ball.I don’t know if fatigue is an issue either…you get just as tired playing offense as you do on defense.

hipdawg

January 21st, 2012
12:26 pm

Too short!!! We know he throws it up for grabs a couple of times every game.He has won every game he should of and lost several he should have won.Do the math.D-lineman are atleast 6′3.heck he cant see over his fat yes his fat lineman who under achieve.I know no running game has hurt but………too short.

Fats O Kelley

January 21st, 2012
12:31 pm

Afraid South Carolina will eat the Dawgs’ lunch again next year. They have their number this decade it seems.

oakisland

January 21st, 2012
12:36 pm

East Repeat–are there going to be different players in the game in October? And no, we do not think South Carolina is the best team in the East, just ask Auburn.

Chilidawg

January 21st, 2012
12:48 pm

I have a better idea. Any loss by South Carolina should count as 1/2 a game and losses by other division schools would count as a whole (1) game. Also, if this doesn’t work for SC we could change the rules after the last game is played.

Titus

January 21st, 2012
12:49 pm

Delusional “USC” fans. And don’t ya know that USC is in Los Angeles and Carolina is in Chapel Hill

Timbo

January 21st, 2012
12:49 pm

South Carolina not being original charter members of the SEC should just keep their mouth shut or just say “Thank you for all of the money bestowed upon us since allowing our institution in 1991 to become part of the fine conference that is the SEC today, because we know that for the most part we haven’t held up to our end of the bargain, but still don’t mind receiving “our share” of the money that gets sent our way just for being a member.”

Ted

January 21st, 2012
12:51 pm

As a dog fan it is hard for for to criticise the complaint of SC. I think it was pretty pitiful that we win the east and lose to every good team we played only to get hammered by the west. Sorry, but until we have a strong team and coach I don’t really care about moral east championships when the entire east is weak and we are a hair better than weak.

The Factor

January 21st, 2012
12:51 pm

@East Repeat

Is that why your coach said after the UGA/USC game and I quote, “Give Georgia credit, they BEAT US on both sides of the ball. We won on the scroreboard, sometimes it happens that way and we’ll take it.”

JTH

January 21st, 2012
12:52 pm

Whats the matter Bill? Afraid of honest comments?

SC=loser crybabies. Change the rules so we can win.

Ted

January 21st, 2012
12:53 pm

When we (UGA) have a team that can compete with the best teams in the SEC I will get a little excited.

Ted

January 21st, 2012
12:56 pm

The truth is UGA needs the rules changed so we can win also. We are no closer than SC of winning a NC.

ole yeller

January 21st, 2012
12:57 pm

South Carlonia’s Coach “S” has such a bone to chew on when it comes to UGA. He’s almost obsessed with any dammage to UGA it almost seems he is sick. He can whine like a little girl all he like, but the simple truth is coach “S” in not BIGGER than the SEC or the game of football. He need to give UGA their due like UGA give “SC” their’s. I’m not sure he will ever be able to do that. I have never seen a coach as obsessed with disliking another team as coach “S” is about UGA. Maybe some anger Management is in order.

pj

January 21st, 2012
12:58 pm

So… LSU is “half” a game? Alabama would be “half” a game? That is hilarious. South Carolina just hit their all time peak last year and they’re headed back down. Its funny to watch them grasp at straws on their way.

WhatDawg?

January 21st, 2012
12:58 pm

That comes from a program not accustomed to winning championships, actually 0

S C Chads

January 21st, 2012
12:58 pm

So if the GOP winner today gets double the votes, he is still the loser because he had more money and the win doesn’t count?

Ted

January 21st, 2012
1:01 pm

BYW NEWT is awesome. Let’s hope SC keeps him in the race with a win!

I agree completely, Titus...

January 21st, 2012
1:02 pm

…there is only one true “USC” (the Trojans), and there is only one “Carolina”, and it is in Chapel Hill, NC…

WhatDawg?

January 21st, 2012
1:03 pm

Oh please change the rules for me so I can win……please just beat aubie and you are in the champiosnhip

ole yeller

January 21st, 2012
1:04 pm

Any complment “SC” Coach “S” give UGA in my opinion is all politics of the game. He does’t mean it. Say what you like, he does’t like any part of UGA, and never will.

Ted

January 21st, 2012
1:04 pm

UGA fans of today are sounding more and more like whining Tech fans. Have inferior team that is not that good, but whines about all the good teams and makes excuses on why we can’t win a NC. Because we would rather have a good man than MR that a jerk like saban. I would trade MR for the jerk than can get us to a NC game any day of trhe week.

JTH

January 21st, 2012
1:09 pm

Ted, shutup and bash SC for the whining losers they are.

AugustaDawg

January 21st, 2012
1:10 pm

I’ve had my disappointments in murray at times throughout the season but an inconsistent line, running game (due to injuries and suspensions) and often questionable/predictable playcalling makes Murray more susceptible to mistakes. They shore it up and run the table in 2012 GATA

ATLol

January 21st, 2012
1:11 pm

The NFL weights all games the same, and despite the millions of dollars involved I don’t hear Pro teams whining. I cannot believe SC would allow themselves to be this childish…it is a bad example for the students they are supposed to be concerned about teaching.

Edsel Callaway

January 21st, 2012
1:12 pm

Steve Superior “I didn’t get my way let’s change the rules”

you morons

January 21st, 2012
1:12 pm

Picture this scenario – Florida finishes 5-1 but wins the East, and Georgia finishes 6-0 in the East and finishes second because of what happens against the West. I bet you dirty fleabags would be saying the same thing USC is now. Get over yourselves.

Call_The...

January 21st, 2012
1:13 pm

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMBULANCE!!!

home&home

January 21st, 2012
1:13 pm

When you throw Cleveland Gary in with Henderson, Tate, Worley, & Hampton, we had quite the stable of backs at that time. Can’t recall exactly when Gary played but know that he transferred to Miami (FL) after a year or so.

papadawg

January 21st, 2012
1:14 pm

The Ol Ball Coach is suffering dementia or maybe DAWGmentia

@ The Factor

January 21st, 2012
1:15 pm

The 2011 game in Athens was very reminiscent of the 2009 game in Athens between USC and Georgia, only different outcomes. In 2009, USC dominated but Georgia won. In 2011, Georgia dominated but USC won. It doesn’t matter how you play the game, the only thing that matters is having more points than the other team.

Skitty Fritty

January 21st, 2012
1:16 pm

Be careful SC, remember what happened last time you had a 11 win season. Oh I forgot, you’ve never had a 11 win season till this year .
Maybe wins against Furman & Citadel should count as 0 points.

NOBODYYOUKNOW

January 21st, 2012
1:18 pm

Chickens are always clucking about something. Who cares?

shankit

January 21st, 2012
1:19 pm

Wasn’t Garrison Hearst and Terrell Davis (Super Bowl MVP)
on the same team under Goff? Not a bad comparison.

shankit

January 21st, 2012
1:21 pm

Spurrier will never get over the six sacks by Stanfill
and his only loss his senior season to the Dawgs.

danielsdawgs

January 21st, 2012
1:22 pm

Don’t lose to Auburn a team Georgia beat 45 to 7… Cry babies!!!!!!!!!!

Phillip

January 21st, 2012
1:23 pm

Ask Auburn whose the better team between South Carolina and Georgia.

bamaguy

January 21st, 2012
1:27 pm

I see no reason to alter the way the divisions work. The three best teams in the SEC are in the West right now but so what. Not so many years ago the strong teams were in the East. You going to mess with the rules that determine division winners every time there is a power shift?

Phillip

January 21st, 2012
1:27 pm

South Carolina vs. LSU actually would’ve been worse than 42-10. You think Connor Shaw is better than Murray? Your sick. LSU would have ate him alive. They got to Murray and ate him, but they would have chewed Shaw up and spit him out on the Georgia Dome floor. You guys know it. South Carolina would’ve gave up 50+ points for the 2nd consecutive year in the SEC title.