Archive for June, 2012

Fan talk: Buyouts for coaches, Derrick Henry, SEC realignment and more!

Greg McGarity, Michael Adams and Mark Richt are all on the same page ... for now. (AJC file)

Greg McGarity, Michael Adams and Mark Richt are all on the same page … for now. (AJC file)

I’ll be off Saturday, so let’s take an early dip into the Junkyard Mail, starting with a letter dealing with Thursday’s finalizing of Mark Richt’s new contract. …

George Wilson writes: Bill, I’m happy that they FINALLY got Mark Richt’s new contract finalized, but what’s up with getting rid of the previous $2 million buyout if Richt decides to leave? I don’t really understand what Greg McGarity’s thinking is on that one. Why make it easier for another school to come along and poach your coach?

I think it’s just an acknowledgment by Greg McGarity that buyout clauses don’t really prevent a school from losing a coach and sometimes they just wind up making the parting even more unpleasant. If a coach of Mark Richt’s stature and tenure wants to leave, he’s usually not hurting for money and the other school frequently pays much of the buyout anyway. Has any coach ever changed his mind about …

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Oddsmaker likes Dawgs to win SEC East … and BCS!

Georgia's schedule has the Dawgs in early conversations about the BCS championship. (Associated Press)

Georgia's schedule has the Dawgs in early conversations about the BCS championship. (Associated Press)

So far, Mark Richt’s 2012 Dawgs are having a terrific silly season, that time of summer when all teams are undefeated and fans and prognosticators alike can go crazy with predictions.

Here’s a headline on the handicapping site Beyond the Bets sure to quicken a UGA fan’s pulse a beat or two: Who will win 2013 BCS national title? Our pick: the Georgia Bulldogs, currently a 19/1 long shot

At 19-to-1, Georgia has the seventh-best odds to win the national championship. Here are the reasons why BTB likes the Dawgs to do so: 1. They’re good. 2. Schedule 3. They can afford to lose a game.

Under the first reason, the site notes that quarterback Aaron Murray heads up a bunch of returning starters, the passing game should be among the nation’s best and “Georgia should finally have a running game to complement it.” Also, the defense, which returns 20 of 22 players on its depth chart, …

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Fan talk: Adding a ninth SEC game, Hines Ward, freshmen and more!

SEC-Football1Let’s go straight to the Junkyard Mail. …

Brian Stewart writes: I see a lot of gripe/debate going on about the SEC’s 6-1-1 schedule choice. I am all for preserving the Georgia-Auburn rivalry, but I also am a bit torn on whether or not I would be more in favor a 9-game conference schedule. On the one side, it would probably compare a lot better than this year’s home slate of games, replacing a Georgia Southern or Buffalo with another SEC team. On the other side, 9 conference games plus the rivalry with Tech would leave us very little wiggle room to fit in a tune-up during the season, and would pretty much destroy any hope of ever scheduling compelling out-of-conference games, like we tried to do with Ohio State. I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on these subjects?

My view on a nine-game conference schedule has been evolving, as someone once said. Originally, I was supportive of the stance the SEC coaches and athletic directors take: that adding a ninth game in what’s …

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What makes a true rivalry for the Dawgs?

A special memory from the celebrated Georgia-Auburn rivalry. (Associated Press)

A special memory from the celebrated Georgia-Auburn rivalry. (Associated Press)

All this talk at the SEC meetings this week about scheduling and the pros and cons of permanent cross-division rivals got me to thinking about what makes a rivalry and how important they are to schools like UGA.

There are various sorts of rivalries, of course. There are the natural in-state rivalries such as Georgia-Georgia Tech, and then there are rivalries born of proximity (border wars) like Georgia-Florida and Georgia-Auburn. Rivalries work best when the fans of the two schools live and work practically side by side.

It also helps to make a rivalry if, over the long haul, the two programs are fairly closely matched and competitive. As my friend Dan put it, “In order to be a rival, there has to be some equality.” For that reason, the rivalry with Tech has suffered during those long gaps between Jacket victories. And if the annual game between the Dawgs and Gators weren’t a special “neutral” site …

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