RPI pioneer and BCS expert Jerry Palm came out with his ridiculously early bowl projections this week for CBSsports.com.
Palm has LSU winning the SEC championship and meeting Southern Cal in the BCS Championship game. With the SEC champ headed to the national title game, he sees the Sugar Bowl taking Alabama to play West Virginia of the Big 12 rather than the SEC runner-up, which he once again predicts will be Georgia. He has the Dogs playing Big 10 runner-up Nebraska in the Capitol One Bowl in Orlando.
So obviously he sees Georgia losing to LSU again in the conference championship.
(Some of you might ask, if the SEC champ normally goes to the Sugar Bowl and instead goes to the BCS, why wouldn’t the No. 2 team in the conference take their place in the Sugar? Because that’s not the way the bowls work! The loser of the SEC championship game usually doesn’t get a BCS bid because they’re usually not the second highest-ranked conference team in the polls.)
Palm has 10 of the SEC’s 14 teams playing in bowls, with South Carolina in the Outback, Arkansas in the Cotton, Auburn in the Chick-fil-A, Florida in the Gator, Texas A&M in the Music City, Missouri in the Liberty and Mississippi State in the BBVA Compass.
Of course, these projections are good for nothing more than an excuse to talk college football during March Madness, but it does raise a question for fans: If Palm’s scenario plays out, Georgia would once again win the SEC East but also would lose again to LSU in the Georgia Dome and wind up in a non-BCS bowl, though one notch higher than this past season’s Outback Bowl.
So it essentially would be a replay of the 2011 season, only with a slightly better bowl.
Obviously, that would be a successful season for Mark Richt’s program. But would you find it satisfying? After suffering through a losing season, winning the SEC East looked awfully good to UGA fans. But would a second straight season of conference bridesmaid status look as good? Especially considering all the starters that Georgia returns and an infusion of highly regarded talent, especially in the backfield?
Feel free to share your thoughts and expectations for the 2012 season.
A STRONG EXPENDITURE
UGA has released the salaries for its newly reconfigured strength and conditioning staff, and the Athens Banner-Herald notes the program will be spending $108,039 more annually in that area, with salaries totaling $440,000 for the five-person staff. That includes $140,000 for former Penn State strength director John Thomas, who’ll be senior associate director of strength and conditioning, and $85,000 for speed specialist Sherman Armstrong, the associate strength and conditioning coach. Senior director of strength and conditioning Joe Tereshinski will make $150,000.
Considering the Dogs’ problems over the past couple of years with fading in the fourth quarter, the upgrading of the S&C staff looks like money well spent to me.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg